King County and the city of Seattle have ordered closures of all playgrounds and sports courts to urge residents to follow social distancing measures amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The cities of Sammamish, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Kirkland also closed parks, playgrounds and sport courts.
The closures include picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ball fields and other active recreation sites, according to a Friday statement from King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails and beaches where social distancing can be maintained will stay open, the statement said.
Pickup games, picnics and other large gatherings won’t be permitted, though ball fields and playfields are open for walking and other nonteam activities.
Restrooms within parks — which will be cleaned and sanitized frequently — will continue to be open to the public, the statement said.
“With schools closed and people adapting to new work habits, our parks and open spaces can provide an important break in these stressful times. It is clear, however, that we must continue to be vigilant in these places as well, and make sure all our residents put into practice Public Health directives,” Constantine said in the statement.
“Go for a hike,” he continued. “Take the family for a stroll. Kick a soccer ball around with your kids. But use good sense and avoid gatherings, team sports, pickup games, and playground equipment.”