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Phoenix parks open but restricted in response to COVID-19 outbreak

(Facebook Photo/City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department)

PHOENIX – Arizonans are encouraged to spend time in the great outdoors under Gov. Doug Ducey’s “stay at home” order, but playground areas and some sports courts will be off-limits at parks in Phoenix and surrounding communities.

Phoenix said all playgrounds, fitness equipment, basketball and volleyball courts and sports complexes within its public parks will be closed as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, when Ducey’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected” executive order designed to combat the spread of COVID-19 takes effect.

Phoenix’s parks will remain open for normally posted hours, with green space, walking paths, dog parks, skate parks, and tennis and pickleball courts and restrooms available for use. Access will be limited at the city’s high-traffic trailheads.

Visitors must follow physical distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet apart and avoid congregating in groups of more than 10.

Other Valley suburbs are also implementing restrictions for certain amenities at their public parks, but the details vary by city. For example, Mesa, Gilbert and Tempe are shutting down all sports courts, with no exceptions, in addition to closing playground areas.

Residents should seek information from their local governments for the rules applying to them.

Parks and trails remain open at Maricopa County regional parks, but measures such as reduced hours and closure of nature centers and playgrounds have been implemented.

Popular trailheads a the county parks may be restricted to limit the number of hikers and ensure social distancing is maintained.

On Monday, Ducey revealed his stay-at-home order, calling it a “holistic approach that prioritizes all of public health, placing a focus on staying home to slow the spread, staying healthy and active, and staying connected to provide the much needed support we can provide one another in these unprecedented times.”

During the announcement, he encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors as long as they are keeping clear of others.

“We do not want people to feel trapped or isolated in their homes,” he said. “The weather is beautiful right now. Find ways to get out and enjoy it — with physical distancing.”

As of Tuesday morning, Maricopa County had 788 of the Arizona’s 1,289 reported cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

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