COVID-19 concerns close public playgrounds, sports courts in CK

Mitchell's Bay Playground in 2015 (Photo via Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

The swings, slides, and outdoor sports courts will be noticeably empty in Chatham-Kent for the next little while — or at least they should be.

Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Colby is ordering the closure of all city-owned playground equipment until further notice as part of the effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the community. The order was released just after 7 a.m. on Friday, March 27 and is effective immediately.

“It is very difficult to enforce physical distancing amongst youth, and it becomes increasingly difficult to do so at these locations,” said Dr. Colby.

A release from the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit (CKPHU) said the order includes publicly-owned basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas and outdoor exercise equipment, too.

A safety warning sign will also be posted at the locations that are affected by the order to let members of the public know about the closures.

Even though playground equipment and sports courts are closed, public trails and parks will stay open.

However, local public health officials are reminding people who choose to visit the public trails or green spaces to keep at least two metres between themselves and others and to continue to wash their hands before and after visiting those areas.

They are also reminding the public that anyone who is feeling ill should stay home.

(Photo courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit)

(Photo courtesy of the Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit)