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Coronavirus Cabin Fever: Crowds Flock To Central Park Even As Social Distancing Enforcement Remains In Effect

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Sunshine and warm temperatures brought out plenty of people all over the area Saturday, even as social distancing enforcement remains in effect.

New York City is essentially shut down, but at Central Park, it felt like a normal Saturday in the spring.

Except of course for all the face masks and coverings.

"It's just a beautiful day out. People need to get out of the house and get some fresh air," said Mark Silverman, of Manhattan.


After more than a month of quarantine and a stretch of rainy weather, all it took was a little sun and temperatures in the 60s to bring droves of people to parks across the city.

"It's our first time to the park since this has happened," said Jack Haines, of Manhattan.

The vast majority of people were wearing masks and maintaing social distance, but not everyone, CBS2's Nick Caloway reports.

"You'll notice that there's plenty of spaces that it seems like there's no problem at all, so it's a little surprising," Silverman said.

Some say the parks are a bit too crowded on warm days, making it difficult to stay six feet from others.

"I'll probably have to adjust my running schedule a part, run either in the mornings or later at night to kind of avoid the crowds," one runner named Sarah said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

Crowds also formed along the waterfront in Long Island City in Queens. Some were even playing team sports at Sunset Park in Brooklyn, against the orders of state and local leaders.

And at Long Beach, large groups of people were spotted at the beach, many not keeping that six-foot distance.

This despite the fact that the beach is closed.

In Central Park, the NYPD was seen patrolling to enforce the rules. Police did not issue any summonses or make any arrests Saturday related to social distancing.

"There has to be a sustainable way to do this. I think if we take it seriously and wear a mask and keep distance, I think there is a way to be out. I think it's really important to be out," Haines said.

But as the weather warms up and we get closer to summer, some worry that parks will only get more crowded.

As one person put it, New Yorkers will not stay cooped up forever.

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