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Southern Nevada governments closing playgrounds amid coronavirus fears

Updated March 23, 2020 - 5:55 pm

Southern Nevada governments were closing playgrounds Monday amid concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials said.

Clark County, Henderson and North Las Vegas have all announced closures. Las Vegas was keeping playgrounds and other park facilities open but was implementing new cleaning measures immediately.

The county is restricting public access to its park restroom facilities, while Henderson and North Las Vegas said city sports courts and skate parks would be included in closures.

The decision came as officials were concerned over an apparent lack of social distancing, Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said.

The city wants people to go out to Henderson’s parks, but wants them to keep at least 6 feet of space between themselves and others, Richards said.

Signage going up Monday reminds people using the parks to keep their distance, she said.

Open spaces at North Las Vegas parks will also remain open as long as visitors practice social distancing, city spokesman Patrick Walker said in an email.

“We have noticed people congregating in groups and we hope they will adhere to the governor’s orders,” he wrote. “We will continue working with our local, state and federal partners to do what we can to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.”

Signs will be posted and yellow caution tape will be placed around all county playgrounds, according to Richard Mueller, spokesman for county Parks and Recreation.

Park maintenance staffers will check playgrounds and parks daily to ensure the signage and caution tape remain up, Mueller said in a statement.

The county’s outdoor park spaces and trails will remain open to the public. The county operates 100 public parks.

Las Vegas spokesman David Riggleman said that a dozen crews of 10 city employees reassigned from closed facilities will clean and disinfect high-touch areas twice a day at the city’s 70 parks.

The city on Monday signed on to a joint statement from the National Recreation and Park Association, supporting the safe use of local parks for physical and mental health and wellness, Riggleman said.

“We still want to provide valuable service,” he said, adding that the city is encouraging social distancing. “We still want to help the community get through all of this.”

Last week, Summerlin announced closures of its playgrounds. Open spaces in the master-planned community remain accessible.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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