Town of Cochrane closes playgrounds amid COVID-19 concerns

The town of Cochrane, west of Calgary, previously closed all playgrounds amid COVID-19 concerns. Mike Hills / Global News

The Town of Cochrane has closed playgrounds until further notice in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Pathways and other open spaces will remain open.

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Notices went up Saturday morning in playgrounds throughout the community west of Calgary, advising people not to use the areas.

As of Saturday afternoon, Cochrane’s disc golf course was also closed along with the Zero Gravity Skate Park.

Mayor Jeff Genung said the emergency management team made the decision acting on the advice of health officials given how long the virus can last on surfaces.

“Our emergency management committee meets on a daily basis and this was something that we had been talking about for some time,” Genung said.

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“We have had quite a few residents reach out through social media and email and texts asking if it was safe. So as an extra precaution, the town felt it necessary to close all playgrounds.”

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Genung expects there to be mixed reviews about the decision.

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“There are people driving up now to use the parks because people are being isolated and are trying to work from home and kids are out of school. They have been flooding to playgrounds,” Genung said.

“So I’m sure there will be some upset parents but I am hoping that people understand that this is for the betterment of the health and safety of our community.”

The town’s communication adviser is reminding people that the pathways and green spaces are still open.

“We know that people want to keep busy outside but we are reminding them to keep their physical distance from others,” said Laurie Drukier, senior communications adviser of the town. “We are doing everything we can to help the community and town staff help themselves.”

The Cochrane RancheHouse, which is home to a conference centre and houses town offices and council meetings, has been closed since Monday.

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On Sunday, Rocky View Schools posted on its website that effective immediately, its playground structures would be closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

That same day, the City of Chestermere announced it would close playgrounds too.

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