Parks, trails, and playgrounds now have new restrictions to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Seattle and King County Parks departments have closed playgrounds, and have said parks and trails can be used but City staff will be out reminding people to stay off play areas and to refrain from pickup games, picnics, parties, BBQs, and other gatherings.
“Parks should be our refuge right now, but they cannot be used as gathering spots,” Seattle Parks said in a press release.
The closure includes picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ballfields, and other active recreation locations. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails, and beaches where social distancing can be maintained remain open. Restrooms will remain open, and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Ballfields and playfields will also remain open for walking and other non-team activities.
“With schools closed and people adapting to new work habits, our parks and open spaces can provide an important break in these stressful times. It is clear, however, that we must continue to be vigilant in these places as well, and make sure all our residents put into practice Public Health directives,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “Go for a hike. Take the family for a stroll. Kick a soccer ball around with your kids. But use good sense and avoid gatherings, team sports, pick-up games, and playground equipment.”
The National Recreation and Park Association has put out some recommendations about recreating while maintaining physical distancing:
- Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to parks and trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not visit public spaces if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
- Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
- Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.
For more, visit Seattle Parks’ website.
Photo: Seattle Parks on Facebook