Cobb County

People crowd the Silver Comet Trail despite it being closed due to coronavirus

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Dozens of cars were parked near the Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County on Monday despite it being closed.

Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Chris Jose was in Mableton, where some families think their health and their safety is at risk because people are not heeding social distancing protocols.

The parking lot of the Silver Comet Trail is closed, but dozens of cars were parked on a nearby residential street.

Residents are concerned because the trail is fairly narrow, which makes social distancing hard.

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Kayla Toler shot cellphone video of the crowds near the Floyd Road entrance of the trail.

"It's crazy to me that now there's this big pandemic going on, and there's so many people coming out," Toler said. "You shouldn’t have to have those signs out saying no parking when there’s a parking lot to the trail and clearly, it’s closed. So that means you’re not supposed to be on it."

A spokesperson said that while the 61-mile trail, which runs all the way to Alabama, is closed in Cobb County, there's no way to completely seal it off or patrol every section.

Channel 2′s Lauren Pozen talked to one woman who said she was considering walking on the trail.

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"I am just going to pop in and see if there’s too many people, lots of crowds, lots of families walking around," she said. "If so, then I think it is a big no."

A slowdown in the spread of coronavirus in places like Seattle and San Francisco suggests social distancing is working.

The Center for American Progress said preliminary data shows that strict containment strategies imposed in the earliest days of the outbreak are beginning to pay off, and that it’s that important social distancing continue.

Experts say the economic costs of not social distancing is far more damaging.

Toler is not only concerned about people creating a traffic jam in her neighborhood, she's worried about her own family. They are hesitant to go outside.

“The trail basically being in our backyard, who knows who has it?” Toler said.

The trail is also closed in Paulding County, but open in Polk County.