Ocean County Freeholder said many young people in the county are contracting COVID-19 coronavirus, which led her to close the parks, not reports of large numbers of Orthodox Jewish residents.
TOMS RIVER-Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholder Virginia Haines, 77, explained in a video published by the Asbury Park Press why she closed all of Ocean County’s parks last week. Haines, who was politically appointed to the position of Freeholder under the advisement of former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore said, in accordance with the Governor and President’s calls for sheltering in place, she just wants people to stay home.
Insiders within the county said her decision to close a park in Brick came after crowds of Orthodox Jewish residents visited. Haines said that was not why.
Haines, who was also accused by many on social media for closing the parks after a large gathering of Orthodox Jewish residents descended upon the Mantoloking Bridge Park in Brick Township did not mention that incident in her declaration, a week after closing that park.
Now, Haines has closed all of the county parks.
“We decided to make the decision to close our county parks, last week we closed two county parks because it was becoming overcrowded in our parking lots,” she said.
Haines said she decided to close the parks because of the upcoming Passover and Easter holidays.
“It’s for the safety and health factor, that is our priority,” she added. “Yes, many people are upset that we closed the parks, but I felt we made the right decision.