City Announces Changes to Summer Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 15, 2020) As the City of Pittsburgh enters a phased reopening today under the guidance of Governor Tom Wolf, the City is announcing how summertime activities will be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

While many activities will be allowed, others will be canceled or postponed. All decisions follow federal and state guidelines. 

“Pittsburgh residents have done a great job during these trying times staying safe and looking out for each other. The data shows the battle against this pandemic is far from over, however, and we must keep social distancing and other measures in place to win this fight, even when we’re enjoying the outdoors,” Mayor William Peduto said. 

The following is a list of permitted and non-permitted activities, with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines attached when relevant. 

Activities that can comply safely with social distancing guidelines will be allowed. They include: 

  • Drive-in movies (by the Special Events office) 
  • Farmers Markets 
  • Pickup of bulk trash 
  • Road closures in City parks (more information below) 
  • Tennis courts (singles matches encouraged) 
  • Pickle ball courts (singles matches encouraged) 
  • Skate parks  
  • Fields (but not for organized group sports) 
  • Frisbee Golf 
  • Lawn Bowling 
  • Bocce
  • Expanded summer food program (likely to begin June 15) 

(City crews are working to reopen facilities starting today and into next week.) 

Large group events that cannot comply safely with social distancing will not be allowed. They include: 

  • July 4 fireworks 
  • City-sponsored concerts 
  • 5Ks, the Great Race and other races (though they can be held virtually) 
  • Summer Camps 
  • Citiparks summer youth baseball 
  • Summer Line Dancing 
  • Pistons in the Park  

Playgrounds, park shelters and spray parks remain closed until further notice (CDC). 

Swimming pools (including the Oliver Bath House) will be closed. While the CDC says that swimming itself is safe, it says 6 feet of distance between users is required and no more than 10 people should be allowed at any time. City pool waiting areas, locker rooms and lounging areas are too cramped to allow for appropriate distancing under the guidelines. 

Final decisions on other activities and facilities have not yet been made. These include: 

  • Recreation centers 
  • Senior Healthy Active Living centers 
  • Block party permits 
  • Mellon Tennis Bubble 
  • Art Cart 
  • Water fountains and water features 
  • Park restrooms 
  • Organized group sports including deck hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball (CDC

Decisions on closures and allowed activities may be revisited as pandemic circumstances and federal and state guidelines change. 

The City Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) has established a task force to study methods of using some streets and sidewalks to allow for safe recreation and business activity. Its recommendations will be issued soon. In the meantime plans are underway to close some streets in City parks to vehicular traffic. No timetables are yet set, but plans are for the following closures: 

  • Sheraden Park: Adon Street  
  • West End Park: West End Park Drive at Weaver and Herschel 
  • Highland Park: Reservoir Drive; Farmhouse Drive at Jackson Street/Connecting Road/Heberton/Grafton (These will be partial closures to allow for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority access to facilities.) 

Drive-in movies organized by the Special Events office will begin June 13. More information will be released later. 

Farmer’s Markets will begin June 3 in Carrick and begin in other neighborhoods thereafter. Social distancing and safe purchasing requirements will be in place. The schedule is: 

  • Wednesdays: Carrick Dairy District, starting June 3, from 3-7 p.m. 
  • Sundays: Squirrel Hill, Beacon/Bartlett parking lot, starting June 7, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. 
  • Fridays: North Side, Allegheny Commons Park, starting June 12, from 3-7 p.m. 
  • Mondays: East Liberty, N. Euclid Avenue and Broad Street, starting June 15, from 3-7 p.m. 



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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office