Playgrounds closing in Chattanooga parks due to COVID-19 outbreak

Staff File Photo / Parks and playgrounds, where people gather, may be some of the places individuals are asked to avoid during the coronavirus outbreak.

In alignment with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Recreation and Parks Association, the Chattanooga Department of Public Works is closing playgrounds in the city's parks to ensure the safety of park visitors and the community, according to a news release from the department.

Chattanooga joined more than 500 National Recreation and Parks Association groups nationwide to support the safe use of parks during the COVID-19 outbreak.

While parks continue to be a great outlet for mental and health wellness in Chattanooga, features such as playgrounds invite close exposure to others and increased exposure to surfaces that cannot be disinfected consistently enough to reduce the exposure to and spread of COVID-19.

Park's staff are working to post notifications and install parameter tape around the 41 playground features within the 84 city parks, while continuing to disinfect them for future use. Staff asks that while not all features may be closed off at this time, out of an abundance of caution the public should avoid these areas.

All other parks, park features, and trails will remain open for use. Visitors should continue to maintain a safe distance of at least 6-feet from other visitors. Individuals who are sick should stay home and avoid using city parks.