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Boise Parks and Rec still wants people to practice social distancing on the Greenbelt and in the foothills

If people follow the guidelines, Boise Parks and Rec won't have any reason to close down the Greenbelt or trails, according to the Boise Parks and Rec's director.

BOISE, Idaho — Cities across the Treasure Valley have closed public buildings and playgrounds in an effort to lessen the spread of the coronavirus.

While parks aren't closed, visitors still need to practice social distancing, according to Director of Boise Parks and Recreation Doug Holloway. Boise Parks and Rec have posted signs at each of the city's parks telling people that they need to six-feet away from each other.

Social distancing also applies to the trails in the Ridge to Rivers system. Holloway said the best thing someone can do if they encounter someone else on the Greenbelt or trails is to step off to the side and maintain that six-foot distance.

"If we can abide by that and continue to work towards those guidelines," Holloway said, "and keep those guidelines pure, I don't see any reason why we would have to close the Greenbelt or close parks or close the Ridge to Rivers system."

However, if people don't abide by the new social distancing guidelines, Holloway they could close down the parks and trails.

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Holloway said closing the Ridge to Rivers system wouldn't be an easy feat.

Five different organizations and groups help run and maintain the trails. Currently, there have been some discussions about what shuttering down the trails would look like but there haven't been any serious conversations about it at this time.

"At the end of the day, it would be a really tough thing to pull of in closing the Ridge to River system so I think more than ever it's so extremely important we continue to exercise that safe social distancing when you're on the trail system so we don't get into a situation where we have to look at some very drastic type of situations up there," Holloway said.

Boise Parks and Rec closed all playgrounds on March 21 and all city park and trailhead bathrooms are closed as well.

Health experts said social distancing will help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and would help keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed with patients that have the coronavirus.

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