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‘It literally just looks like a giant petri dish': Concerns raised about crowds at uptown Charlotte park

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Residents who live in Uptown Charlotte say they were shocked to see Romare Bearden park crowded over the weekend.

They don’t think people are taking the order seriously enough and it’s making them concerned for their own health.

“If you’re looking from the balcony, it literally just looks like a giant petri dish,” said Konstantin Kirilin, who lives in an apartment building in Uptown. “People are not taking the whole stay at home thing seriously.”

He says he's been working from home and only goes out to walk his dog or go to the grocery store.

“I’m definitely doing my part and it feels a little bit unfair that I’m looking at my window and people are well within 6 feet of each other and no body’s wearing masks,” Kirilin said.

On Saturday and Sunday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to more than 200 calls regarding people violating the stay at home order. A handful of those were to public parks but no park goers were ticketed.

“Just keep 6 feet worth of distance. Social distance is important. The Charlotte area is getting out of hand so we need to try and contain this so it won’t get out of hand more," said Barry Sharper.

WBTV reached out to Mecklenburg County about the crowded parks and the volleyball game shown in a video from Romare Bearden Park. Mecklenburg County Public Health Director said people were not following the order.

“The volleyball video from Romare Bearden violates the County’s Stay at Home Order and the direction not to play sports that share equipment and don’t allow for six feet of social distancing. I again ask that people comply with this order so we can flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases and prevent deaths in our community.”

WBTV also asked if the county was going to place further restrictions on the parks because of the crowds. They did not answer those questions in their statement.

You can report a violation of the COVID-19 order by calling 311 or reporting online on the City of Charlotte’s website.

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