DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: North Durham municipalities and partners are taking steps to keep people away from playgrounds while communities battle COVID-19. The Township of Uxbridge has closed playgrounds and outdoor recreation facilities in the municipality, including playground equipment, basketball courts, swings, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, the skate park, and the pump park and other outdoor fitness equipment. On Monday, March 30th, the township posted that the off-leash dog park is closed. “The closure will reduce groups congregating and spreading the virus. The COVID-19 virus can remain on surfaces for many hours, and playground equipment and structures are not sanitized,” read a township press release. “Signage indicating this closure will be posted at all playgrounds and all outdoor amenities and facilities.” The Township of Scugog wants residents to stay away from playgrounds during this time. Scugog staff have placed caution tape around playground structures and have safety warning signs up in front of the equipment to deter people from using them. “We don’t have the resources to police the playgrounds that we have signed with safety warnings and tape,” Mayor Bobbie Drew explained, at a meeting on Monday, March 23rd. A Scugog press release added, “the public are asked to avoid visiting and congregating in parks and recreation areas.” The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is also discouraging people from using their playground equipment. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we kindly request that members of the community please stay off playground equipment situated on DDSB schoolyards, as they are not routinely cleaned/sanitized. This is critical to help protect individuals, families, and community members and stop the spread of the virus,” read a DDSB press release sent on Thursday, March 26th.