Dubuque Reopens Park Playgrounds
Marie Ware, Leisure Services Manager
June 17, 2020 -- For Immediate Release
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Effective immediately, the City of Dubuque is reopening the playgrounds in City parks but reminds residents to take recommended precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signage currently posted in parks will be updated as soon as possible but the playgrounds can be used now.
Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware said that, after consulting with Public Health Specialist Mary Rose Corrigan, staff felt they could reopen the parks’ outdoor playgrounds with signage promoting preventative actions and encouragement that, if social distancing is not possible due to heavy use of the playground unit, residents delay their visit or wait their turn at a physical distance.
“Additionally, it’s very important that residents be prepared for their park visit prior to leaving the house,” added Ware. “This includes taking along and using hand sanitizer and wearing a mask when you can’t social distance from others outside your household unit.”
Other recommended preventative actions emphasize personal responsibility and preparing for their visit. These include:
- Increase hygiene practices like handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes
- Bring your own reusable water bottle
- Bring table covers for picnic tables
- Go to the restroom before leaving on your home
- When places are very busy or people are not social distancing, change your plans or choose an alternative location
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently lifted the restriction on playgrounds and more recent guidance from the CDC encouraged consulting with local public health officials and referring to state and local regulations regarding the appropriate timing of re-opening playgrounds. Additionally, the CDC updated guidance that now advises, “outdoor areas generally required normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection.”
In addition to reopening playgrounds, the 50 percent capacity restriction has been lifted at the Flora Park, Comiskey Park, and McAleece Recreation Area Skate Parks. Skate park patrons are urged to practice social distancing and good hygiene.
Dubuque’s park pavilions and restrooms remain closed due to City budget constraints. Water fountains are also not available due to COVID transmission concerns. Staff continue to evaluate considerations and options for potential opening.
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