Coronavirus: City of Barrie closes playgrounds, waterfront fitness equipment

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The City of Barrie has closed all of its municipal playground and waterfront fitness equipment to residents.

Signs were installed Monday at all parks with playgrounds, in addition to the workout equipment along the city’s waterfront trail.

The off-leash dog parks are open at this time, but signs are being placed at the sites to remind people to take extra precautions.

“These measure are in place because the equipment cannot be regularly sanitized and will further promote social distancing as recommended by Public Health,” Barrie officials say.

“The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit recommends that while outside, you make sure to avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from those around you.”

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It’s OK to go for a walk outside, but people must stay six feet apart from one another, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said in a video on Twitter Sunday.

“That is the key to stopping the spread of this virus,” Lehman said.

On Monday, a 10th case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s jurisdiction — a woman in her 60s who had recently travelled internationally.

The same day, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced all non-essential businesses in the province will be forced to close, effective Tuesday night. The province is still determining what will be considered essential and non-essential, with a list of what’s permitted to stay open to release Tuesday.

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So far, there have been four confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Barrie, two of whom have died. Both the deceased are men in their 70s who had close contact with one another, although the source of infection for one of them has been identified as travel-related from Alberta.

As of Monday, there are 489 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.

— With files from Ryan Rocca

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