ALEXANDRIA, VA – In a statement released this afternoon, the City of Alexandria has closed all playgrounds, fenced parks (including dog parks) and major play areas.
The shut down includes:
- Recreation, nature and art centers
- Fenced fields
- Fenced basketball and tennis courts
- Fenced dog parks
- Park amenities, including restrooms and parking lots
The Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has recommended these changes because public play areas have continued to attract groups of more than 10 people despite earlier warnings against this practice. Social distancing — including avoiding gatherings and maintaining at least six feet of personal space whenever possible — is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the virus. It is also not feasible for City and ACPS staff to clean and disinfect outdoor play surfaces on a constant basis.
AHD strongly urges all community members to change their daily behavior to reduce risk from COVID-19, particularly to protect our most vulnerable populations. Public health officials have noted evidence of community transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Northern Virginia, and each individual is a critical part of slowing the spread of the virus.
All unfenced parks, trails and fields remain open to the public. The City, ACPS and AHD believe that safe, socially distant opportunities for exercise are crucial for our community, to maintain both physical and mental health. Patrons are urged to practice social distancing and wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, to protect themselves and others. Signage with these guidelines is being posted at play areas.
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