Parking lots closed at local parks to minimize crowds amid COVID-19 pandemic

"Stay-at-home" orders and strict social distancing remains in place across the country and Northern Virginia is no exception as playgrounds and parks remain closed.

Despite the barricades and signage, people are still flocking to public spaces like Great Falls Park because trails remain open but the parking lots are closed. The hope is that will minimize the crowds.

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The same strategy is being used at other parks — it remains to be seen if it works.

The parking closure seems to be deterring people from visiting the park all together but not all.

It seems visitors are taking it upon themselves to practice social distancing.

A park ranger at Great Falls says closing parking lots should help with crowd control and social distancing enforcement.

Everyone FOX 5 spoke with on Monday echoed the same sentiment — they just want to get out of the house. Even so, lawmakers are urging everyone stay in to curb community transmission of the coronavirus.

The same scene played out at Burke Lake Park in Burke, also in Northern Virginia.  The park parking lot closure strategy comes just days after Governor Ralph Northam issued a stay at home order.

The trails are open so the public can remain active but aside from a lone Ranger, we didn’t observe anyone enforcing social distancing.

Overall in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam says visits to the state beaches and state parks was down this past weekend compared to last weekend.