On Saturday, the Franklin County Health Officer ordered that the city close down a private, off-road vehicle park in Laurel, Indiana.
According to a report from Local12, the Franklin County Health Officer ordered the closure of the popular Haspin Acres off-road and motocross park. Customers were also ordered to leave, as residents across the area were told to stay home in the wake of the coronavirus.
Maintaining Strict Stay-at-Home Guidelines
Haspin Acres is a private off-road park that provides a free space for customers to walk on, as well as camping facilities and even food concessions. Citing a report from the Franklin County Observer, the news medium explained that many people have come from as far as Ohio to participate in activities like dirt biking and dune buggying, despite the enforcement of stay-at-home orders.
Local12 highlighted that the area drew so much traffic that county Sheriffs had to intervene to reduce the gridlock and allow easy access for emergency vehicles to the only main road in the town.
The Franklin Sheriff’s Department also confirmed that Franklin County Sheriff Deputies worked for several hours to get this done, as they also spent time educating people on the significance of staying at home at this time.
At the time, Franklin County, which includes Laurel, was under a Level Orange travel restriction for essential movement only. Authorities haven’t charged anyone at press time, but they’ve also confirmed that the park’s officials will be hit with a Class B misdemeanor if they find that the park violates the County Health Officer’s order.
Offenders in this misdemeanor class are liable for $1,000 in fines and up to 180 days in jail if they get convicted.
It is somewhat disappointing that an establishment such as Haspin Acres will continue to open its doors to members of the public amid a global pandemic. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb had ordered residents to stay at home since last month, and while the state hasn’t recorded numbers in the range of places like New York and California. Haspin Acres remaining open at such a time is, frankly, unacceptable.
The Relatable Need for Physical Activity
Of course, it’s understandable that many people will want to engage in outdoor activities. Several jurisdictions have made accommodations to allow their citizens to leave their house to get some physical activity and remain healthy.
As Be Active Outdoors reported, locals in Mississippi have been able to engage in activities like fishing despite the lockdown. They were, however, mandated to maintain proper physical distance between each other.
The news source explained that the residents have been especially careful in this period, as they’ve prioritized safety over anything else. However, they also see the importance of these activities for both physical and mental wellbeing. To wit, beaches have been closed to avoid a cluster of people.
A similar situation has been reported in Maine, where the Governor has greenlighted outdoor activities due to their importance to total well-being.
“Getting outside to go fishing, hiking, canoeing, scouting for a hunt, or other outdoor activities are essential to not only your physical health, but your mental health as well,” Judy Casumo, Maine’s Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife explained, at the time.