Are Playgrounds And Parks Safe During COVID?
March 21, 2020
Schools are closed. Nearly all recreation facilities are closed. Meanwhile, parks and playgrounds are still accessible, and many families are wondering if it’s safe to take the kids there.
The issue was addressed by Dr Rachel Tellez, a Park Nicollet Clinic pediatrician, in a March 17 interview with KARE 11’s Jana Shortall. It was also addressed in a recent statement by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). And Golden Valley Parks & Recreation addressed it by coming up with a completely new was to stay active and have fun.
Advice From A Local Pediatrician
In a piece called “Coronavirus And Your Kids,” Shortall chatted with Tellez about ways parents could help their families cope.
“One thing parents want to know,” Shortall said, “is if their kids should be going to local parks, maybe with just two to three other kids.”
“This is a question that’s coming up a lot on neighborhood listserves and people kind of reporting each other, even,” replied Tellez. “In the medical field, we are taking a hard line no. Kids should not be playing with other children.”
What if your kids are the only ones on the playground, Shortall countered?
Tellez pointed out that, unfortunately, research shows COVID can stick to things for a long period of time. “So you may think you’re the only one there, but in reality, the other kids just left five minutes ago,” she added.
Recommendations From National Recreation And Parks Professionals
“We understand that people may have questions and concerns about visiting their local parks, trails, or open spaces at this time,” said the NRPA in a March 18 statement.
When it comes to using these spaces, NRPA recommends people follow local, state, and national ordinances and guidelines. In places where there are no restrictions, it encourages the following:
- Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
- Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene before and during use of parks or trails.
- Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or water fountains.
- While on trails, warn other users of your presence and as you pass, and step aside to let others pass.
- Follow CDC guidance on the recommended size of social gatherings, including outdoor picnicking, pick-up sports, and other group hangouts, and maintain proper physical distance at all times.
- Observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals at all times. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.
- Consult your local and state ordinances and guidelines for the most up-to-date recommendations on park and trail use.
Alternate Activities From Golden Valley Parks & Recreation
With so many activities off limits, the Golden Valley Parks & Recreation Department decided to bring the fun to you! The idea is to provide an experience for those stranded at home that is more “Swiss Family Robinson” and less “Lord Of The Flies.”
The City website COVID-19 page features the most up-to-date information about City facilities, meetings, events, and activities.