Parks staff no longer able to follow CDC guidelines for sanitation and have closed all playgournds
Marysville and Arlington have closed off their playgrounds but their parks are still open for those who are following social distancing guidelines.
COVID-19, the new coronavirus, has caused local cities to shut down portions of their parks that they are unable to consistently sanitize.
For Marysville, that means that the playgrounds and the skate park have been closed down and many buildings have been closed to the public.
"We can't control how many people are using those areas," said Tara Mizell, director of Marysville's Parks, Culture and Recreation Department.
"There is a lot of metal surfaces, and we were cleaning those every day but we couldn't guarantee that people wouldn't get exposed on that equipment," said Mizell.
In Arlington playgrounds and restrooms have been closed at city parks.
"This is for the safety of the public. We are not able to sanitize the playgrounds and bathrooms the way that is recommended for safety right now," said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager with the city of Arlington.
County parks are still open as well, but the parking lots have been closed.
"The county parks have also been gated off, including Twin Rivers Park, but they are still open to foot traffic," said Lopez.
Arlington and Marysville's parks are still open, but individuals should be six feet apart and follow social distancing rules.
"People should not gather in groups at the parks," said Lopez. People also shouldn't gather for use of the picnic shelters or sports field, she said.
"I think people have really got the idea of staying home the last couple of days," said Lopez.
Mizell said the Marysville parks are seeing a good amount of use still.
"We've seen an increase in the use of the doggy bags in the last couple of weeks so, anecdotally at least, that tells us people are going out there for walks," said Mizell.
The parks departments in both cities have had to cancel all events that were upcoming.
"We had a handful of classes that had around 10 people," said Mizell.
"Once the guidelines came out we knew there was no way to adhere to them with the number of people we had," she said.
The biggest cancellation for Marysville is likely the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which is usually held at Jennings Park.
Arlington has also had to cancel their annual Easter Egg Hunt which they host with other community organizations.
Besides the Easter event though, Arlington "didn't have a lot coming up," said Lopez. The McClinchy Mile Bike Ride is another event that has been forced to cancel.
Marysville has been able to move many of their events to later in the year.
"People have been great about rescheduling with us," said Mizell.
The Mother/Son Superhero Dance has been rescheduled for June 6 and a number of Opera House concerts have been moved to later in the year.
The Mother Lovin' Craft Fair has been rescheduled for Sept. 19.
More cancellations and postponements may have to happen if the state 'stay-at-home' order continues.
"We're waiting to see what will happen over the next couple of weeks and will have a better picture soon," said Mizell.