School district closes Witter Field (again)

Julie Reichle

Witter Field was first closed in March, then reopened again earlier this summer.

In Friday press release, the Piedmont Unified School District announced it would close the Witter Athletic Complex at 6:00 am on Monday, August 3 until further notice.

The Complex includes Witter Field, the baseball and softball fields, the batting cages, and the Witter Field House restrooms.

The statement reads:

“This closure is due to persistent lack of compliance with the Alameda County Public Health Department’s Shelter in Place orders. Despite repeated warnings from District staff, users of the Witter Complex have continued to play group sports in violation of COVID-19 health orders.

Similar issues led the City of Piedmont to close the Linda Beach Playfield last week. The District regrets having to take this action and the inconvenience this may cause the community. Nonetheless, continued lack of compliance on both City and District fields poses a serious public health risk, necessitating these closures.

The District will work with the City and County to determine when it is safe and appropriate to reopen the Witter Complex.

Questions or comments? Please contact Director of Facilities Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us”

7 thoughts on “School district closes Witter Field (again)

  1. Not surprising at all. The majority of runners I saw were not wearing masks or had them hanging off their chins, even when passing others. Some runners doing intervals in groups across the lanes. The signs were clear, wear a mask. If it’s too difficult to run in a mask, don’t do track. I guess too many people thought those signs didn’t apply to them and here we are …..

  2. I’ve been on the track multiple times in the last month. I believe most people doing individual or in small group (3-4) exercise exerted good judgement with social distancing and mask wearing. I unfortunately did see on one occasion a group of about 20 playing soccer in a condensed area (one corner of the field) which I thought was excessive. It’s very unfortunate that a small number of folks ruin it for the rest of us. I hope the district revaluates soon and reopens. How we can deter large gatherings? Larger signs? Regular police patrols? Citations?

  3. I’ll just say that it is pretty impossible to wear a mask while running fast on a track so not sure what they expected people to do. If people actually knew track etiquette it would be fine, but every time I went I would see people running the wrong direction and joggers/walkers running in the inside lanes instead of the outside ones, which makes people have to dodge them and get unnecessarily close.

    • I agree that with wearing a mask it is extremely hard to breathe while running or doing almost any form of exercise. Health experts agree that the virus is hard to catch outside. It’s unfortunate our fields keep getting closed down. ☹️

    • Running fast on a track is a choice. It’s pretty simple really – do it in a mask or drop the intervals & quest for a PR.

  4. I have been to Witter 3 times in the late afternoon this week and found close to 90% not wearing masks. Even if you are working out far from others, people come near you as they round the track and signs and law requires mask wearing. I had to report the failures to the City and they passed on to the school. Really unfortunate people refuse to comply!

  5. Interesting. I’ve been to Witter 3 times in the past 3 days and I was impressed by the amount of distance players were keeping from each other. This is surprising.

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