Walk, then wash: how to enjoy Kingston’s park trails while physical distancing - Walk, then wash: how to enjoy Kingston’s park trails while physical distancing

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null Walk, then wash: how to enjoy Kingston’s park trails while physical distancing

April 3, 2020 -

Maintaining physical fitness and mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic – especially when playgrounds, park amenities and sports fields are closed – has many residents wondering how they can be outdoors, safely.

That is why the City is providing do’s and don’ts to help residents understand what behaviours are permitted during park and amenity closures.

“Part of what makes Kingston such an amazing community to live in is our wealth of parks, playgrounds and waterfront spaces. Like many residents, I miss the opportunity to enjoy them with my family and friends. However, we all have a part in limiting the community spread of COVID-19, and it’s important that residents stay safely away from the park amenities that are currently closed to protect everyone in our community,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. Follow these do’s and don’ts, and help flatten the COVID-19 curve in Kingston:

Do

  • Walk, run or cycle on open trails.
  • Walk or run on sidewalks.
  • Make way for other pedestrians or cyclists using the same trail or sidewalk.
  • Maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and others. That’s about the length of a hockey stick or two bicycles.
  • Report non-compliance concerns to KFL&A online.
  • Wash your hands as soon as you can after being outdoors. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Kindly let others know if they accidentally overstep the 2-metre safe space by simply saying, “Let’s give ourselves space to stay safe.” 

Do Not

  • Use any of the closed park amenities, including playground equipment, benches and sports courts.
  • Remove signs, fencing, or caution tape installed at parks and playgrounds.
  • Gather in social groups of more than five in any public space.
  • Use the trails or sidewalks if you are feeling ill or are returning from travel.

The signs are not suggestions

Signage and safety fencing is being installed to remind residents that access to high-risk park amenities increases the risk of community spread of COVID-19. Temporary fencing was placed at some parks today, and this work will continue over the weekend. On March 30, the Province of Ontario’s extended emergency declaration mandated the closure of the all communal or shared, public or private, outdoor recreational amenities everywhere in Ontario. In Kingston, this includes:

  • Play structures, swings, slides and climbers
  • Sports fields and ball diamonds
  • Basketball, pickleball and tennis courts
  • Off-leash dog parks
  • Skateboard and BMX parks
  • Beaches
  • Splash pads
  • Park washrooms and buildings
  • Benches, picnic tables and shade shelters
  • Boat launches
  • Outdoor community gardens

“We know we live in a city, which under normal circumstances, has many great recreational opportunities. But what makes this community truly amazing is our ability to come together, and to do the right thing for the greater good. By considering the entire community when we make individual choices, we will come out the other side of this stronger, together,” concludes Paterson.

Early this afternoon, Public Health Ontario announced stark projections on the impact to life COVID-19 could have if Ontarians fail to respect temporary restrictions. "We have now reached a critical time in our fight against COVID-19,” says Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Every step taken by the province and every effort made by each of us to avoid close contact with others are the key to our success as a province to stop the spread of this virus.”

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