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Calgary playgrounds to be closed amid coronavirus concerns

Click to play video 'City of Calgary closes playgrounds over COVID-19 concerns' City of Calgary closes playgrounds over COVID-19 concerns
WATCH: As of Monday, March 23, Calgary playgrounds are closed in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and protect children from the virus. Adam Toy reports. – Mar 23, 2020

Calgary playgrounds will be closed in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 and protect children from the virus, the Calgary Emergency Management Agency announced on Monday.

“We know how to get in the outdoors and physical distance ourselves, unfortunately, our kids do not. The only thing they know how to do is play together, and generally, playing together means they’re going to be tight together,” CEMA chief Tom Sampson said during a news conference.

Click to play video 'CEMA chief announces closure of Calgary playgrounds' CEMA chief announces closure of Calgary playgrounds
CEMA chief announces closure of Calgary playgrounds – Mar 23, 2020

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“We’ve made a very difficult decision… We’ve made the decision to close the playgrounds. The parks will remain open, but the playgrounds specifically will be closed,” Sampson added.

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“It’s just not healthy. It’s not a great place for kids to be.”

“We understand the impact this has, especially considering the closure of other things for kids,” he added. “We do need to make these sacrifices in order to stop the ongoing spread of COVID-19.”

READ MORE: Live updates: Coronavirus in Canada

In addition, Sampson said adults need to model physical distancing for their kids.

“You do need to have social distancing.

“It shouldn’t take me, and it shouldn’t take the premier and the mayor to tell you to have you that physical distancing is the right thing.”

Click to play video 'Adults need to be better at physical distancing, says CEMA chief' Adults need to be better at physical distancing, says CEMA chief
Adults need to be better at physical distancing, says CEMA chief – Mar 23, 2020

Sampson suggested Calgarians can still visit city parks, but encouraged them to try checking out lesser-used parks and keep a bicycle’s distance between them and the people around them.

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In total, Calgary has 1,100 playgrounds. Citizens are asked to refrain from using them immediately as the city works to tape them off.

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Coronavirus concerns prompt changes to Calgary Transit bus procedures – Mar 19, 2020