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Coronavirus: Saskatoon closes playgrounds to prevent contact with equipment surfaces

The City is considering revamping Saskatoon speed zones, specifically on streets surrounding children’s playgrounds.
The City of Saskatoon has closed all playgrounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. File / Global News

Playgrounds in Saskatoon have been closed as city officials say they continue to reassess COVID-19 developments to ensure the safety and well-being of citizens.

Officials said the measure, effective Wednesday, was taken to prevent people from touching playground equipment surfaces.

READ MORE: Saskatoon business 3D-printing medical supplies to help hospitals fight COVID-19

It does not affect dog parks, public squares and public areas around civic buildings, but officials are urging caution.

People using dog parks are being reminded by the city to ensure proper social distancing, and officials said health and safety messages will be posted.

Officials said they realize the need for people to get fresh air and exercise, but they are asking everyone to consider individual outings or going outside with just one other person while maintaining appropriate distances.

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Sports fields should not be used for any organized sports or play, and games, sports and activities that put people in close contact should be avoided, officials said.

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To date, there have been 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Saskatchewan, with 34 of those cases in Saskatoon.

Separating facts from fiction on the Coronavirus
Separating facts from fiction on the Coronavirus

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers across Canada are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. In Saskatchewan, international travellers are already required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the province.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.