UPDATE | MARCH 23RD, 3PM
Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson ordered closure of the Snoqualmie Skatepark and sport courts throughout the city to prevent large groups from congregating at those locations. This measure is to safeguard public health as COVID-19 continues to spread in the region and globally. Playgrounds were closed on March 18th.
Snoqualmie said parks will remain open, but are subject to closure if the practice of social distancing does not improve.
We ask parents to strongly urge their children and teenagers to stay home so that the virus can be contained. In addition to putting themselves at risk, they can be carriers without showing symptoms and could pass it onto vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with underlying health problems.
Park restrooms in Snoqualmie will remain open for accessibility and to prevent people from using other areas of the parks for non-hygienic purposes. However, parks crews will not be cleaning or disinfecting restrooms due to a shortage of safety supplies that are being diverted to healthcare services and first responders.
After a morning Facebook post from the Snoqualmie Police Department saying local kids are “not staying home to learn, or practicing social distancing” during the coronavirus outbreak, the City of Snoqualmie announced effective immediately, playgrounds are temporarily closed.
The March 18th closure announcement stated, “Based on CDC recommendations for social distancing, new guidelines for parks are listed below. We are disheartened at the need to do this. These actions are for the safety of the community.
- Playgrounds are closed. Signs are in place and will be removed upon re-opening.
- Parks remain open, although visitors are asked to maintain social distancing.
- Athletic fields are open but organized sports and practices are not allowed.
SPD posted on Facebook Tuesday morning, March 18th: “Our local youths are not staying home to learn, or practicing social distancing. So far our on-going hide and seek game has located large groups of them in Community Park after hours, behind Safeway, and crashing cars they don’t own. Positive vibes to their parents. #DoYouKnowWhereYourKidsAre“
SPD Captain Nick Almquist said officers are seeing an increase in park usage – including ‘many groups of the younger generation’ – due to the [coronavirus] school closure. He said they are only asking the groups to disperse and move along when they are in the park after hours.
Governor Inslee this week asked Washington residents to stay home to help fight the novel coronavirus spread, which had infected 562 King County residents and taken 56 lives as of March 17th.
Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson commented, “Please talk to your kids and emphasize how important it is that they do their part to dramatically slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Please do not congregate in large groups in city parks and consistently remain at least six feet apart from those around you. Assume everyone you encounter has the virus and protect yourself accordingly.”