CLOSURES: Seattle, King County Parks close playgrounds, sports courts/fields

While Governor Inslee is NOT issuing a “shelter in place” order, so far (as reported here earlier), there’s a brand-new city/county order to further restrict use of parks – just in:

To follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines established by Public Health—Seattle & King County and the Washington Department of Health, King County Parks and Seattle Parks and Recreations are closing sports courts, playground equipment, and other active recreation areas where it could be difficult to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.

Ballfields and playfields are open for walking and other non-team activities.

The closure includes picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ballfields, and other active recreation locations. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails, and beaches where social distancing can be maintained remain open.

Pick-up games, picnics, and other large gatherings will not be permitted.

Restrooms within parks will continue to be open to the public, and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.
Read the rest of the announcement, including reminders about social distancing on trails, by going here.

P.S. This means what we wrote about this morning – finding less-crowded local parks with lots of room to wander – still applies. The city and county are NOT closing the parks – just specific parts/uses, like playgrounds and sports.

53 Replies to "CLOSURES: Seattle, King County Parks close playgrounds, sports courts/fields"

  • Shihtzu March 20, 2020 (6:06 pm)

    We went hiking today. It was busy. No different from strolling at Alki. Directions are too vague and contradictory. Can we take Walks or not? Dow Constantine says to take a hike. Inslee shames Alki walkers… It’s elbow to elbow out on popular trails… 

    I guess both are a no??? Just say that.

    • WSB March 20, 2020 (6:13 pm)

      YES, you can take a walk. From the end of the linked news release: “While individuals and families can bike, walk, or run, we cannot allow gatherings at Seattle’s best locations including Alki, Golden Gardens, Seward, Volunteer Park or Magnuson. Every single resident should take social distancing guidelines to heart – it could save someone’s life,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.

      • Shihtzu March 20, 2020 (6:21 pm)

        I guess I haven’t been down at Alki in a few days, but my kid has. I’m feeling dense. Are people having big parties and that’s the problem or lots of people walking is the problem. I’m just thinking if people want the Alki trail closed to walkers, should probably close all hiking trails too.

        • Roms March 20, 2020 (7:56 pm)

          Should you let you kid go to Alki?

          • Admiral Resident March 21, 2020 (9:44 am)

            Absolutely not! Children can act as a vector for the virus delivering it to unsuspecting seniors. Children can’t be trusted to maintain social distance from each other and should be instructed to stay home for the foreseeable future.

          • West Seattle since 1979 March 21, 2020 (1:52 pm)

            How do you know it’s a child or teenager? Could be an adult. Many people refer to their adult offspring as their “kids”.

        • Rocketgurl March 20, 2020 (10:22 pm)

          The problem with Alki Beach and walking or exercising around our city is that not everyone takes the 6 feet distancing seriously.  I’ve frequently been surprised by a runner or biker coming up from behind me and passing too close for comfort. When I can see a person ahead of me walking a couple of dogs, I can move to the street, but when someone comes from behind me, I have very little control.  Also, the paths at Alki Beach are so crowded, that trying to distance six feet between groups is sometimes impossible.  Unfortunately, EVERYONE needs to take it seriously, and those who aren’t make exercising for the rest of us difficult.

      • flimflam March 20, 2020 (6:33 pm)

        yes, that is nice to wish for things, but people are not and have not been taking social distancing seriously – last week it was packed bars, Inslee finally followed the lead from states that have not been impacted as much as we have. now its, “gosh guys, i really wish you’d do better at distancing” – shelter in place should have been ordered already rather than hoping some people will wise up.

    • Elton March 20, 2020 (6:25 pm)

      We have to throw our public officials a bone here: they’re trying to do the right thing without being completely draconian and are trying to give recommendations that encourage people to use their best judgment. Even if you are fortunate enough to be able to work from home sufficiently to support your household, you need to support your own general health which is typically boosted (especially at this time of year) from going outside for physical activity.I, personally, don’t think they need to spell out that if you’re going for a hike and there’s a lot of people on the trail making social distancing impossible, pick another trail or walk somewhere else instead. Even if you’re going to an open park and it’s full of people, you should probably turn around and find another park. I see people walking around neighborhoods in West Seattle completely safely away from other people. The key takeaway is really the social distancing, and clearly they don’t believe everyone is taking it seriously enough. 

      • waikikigirl March 21, 2020 (8:07 am)

        This is a form of selfishness, the people who go to these public spaces with no concern of anyone but themself.What I do when I feel the need for boredom and exercise, work in the yard, turn on  “on demand”  look for their free fitness programs, turn on the music channels and dance to those good old songs you listened to when younger (for us oldies) you know the songs you could understand what their singing about! So come on people stay away from crowds don’t think this is just about you, let’s get thru this and get back to “normal”

      • Gerald Shields March 21, 2020 (2:14 pm)

        Social distancing is kinda tough on a Metro/Sound Transit Bus, though most people aren’t riding either.

    • Intelligent human March 20, 2020 (7:24 pm)

      I have an idea, stay the f**k home and stop putting other humans in danger because you can’t seem to find something to entertain yourself for a two week period inside your house!! 

      • Bradley March 20, 2020 (8:25 pm)

        No State is requiring residents to “stay the f**k home” with their shelter-in-place orders. They are still encouraging people to go outside to exercise. Curtailing all physical activity is DANGEROUS: depression can be deadly, and many of us have health conditions that require daily exercise. Regular exercise is also the best way to increase the body’s immune sysyem. You’re in no danger from daily joggers running past you 6 feet away in our parks or on the sidewalk in front of your house. Inslee’s frustration today was directed more at people having group picnics and young guys with cool cars gathering in parking lots for impromptu car shows at Don Armeni boat launch.

        • The King March 20, 2020 (11:10 pm)

          You actually are in danger with joggers running past you at 6 feet. The smart people at MIT have proven a cough can travel 18 feet, a sneeze up to 24 feet and the droplets can stay suspended in the air for up to ten minutes. It’s not just the young guys in cool cars as you suggest. 

          • Bradley March 21, 2020 (2:48 am)

            The CDC and WHO say 6-feet for less than 10 minutes is fine INDOORS. Outdoors in broad daylight the UVA radiation kills aerosoled micro-droplets on contact. You’re in far more danger in a security apartment hallway or lobby than you are sharing the roads and trails with joggers and dog walkers. Don’t let fear consume you and try to get outside and enjoy some fresh air.

          • CAM March 21, 2020 (6:08 pm)

            Every article I have read has said there is as yet no evidence that UV radiation kills the virus. Do you have a citation for that?

        • momosmom March 21, 2020 (8:14 am)

          No those “guys” and gals too should not be at Don Armeni but do I hear some resentment to the people who own nice cars?

          • Bradley March 21, 2020 (12:23 pm)

            I own a cool car, but I’m not encouraging people to crowd around it.

        • John March 21, 2020 (11:20 am)

          “6 feet away” is where we have a problem as that’s observed by maybe 40% of people at this point

        • Gerald Shields March 21, 2020 (2:15 pm)

          Yeah, not excising is a bad idea too. As long as you’re not near any people, I don’t see the issue.

      • Elton March 20, 2020 (10:46 pm)

        Two weeks is pretty optimistic, it’s looking at this rate like it’s going to be months. China only recovered so fast because they did the draconian thing and forced people into quarantine and other extreme measures. 

        • Cool Rick March 21, 2020 (5:36 am)

          Months of economic shutdown isn’t realistic and shouldn’t be tolerated. The economic and societal damage would be worse than letting this thing run it’s course based on many of the different models out there. At some point as a society we need to weigh the costs associated with this shut down approach.

          • ImNotSparticus March 21, 2020 (11:09 am)

            Easy for you to say until you are the one sick or dying, or a loved one is.

          • Elton March 23, 2020 (10:06 am)

            “Months of economic shutdown isn’t realistic and shouldn’t be tolerated”If you believe that it’s possible to run the economy as normal and beat this thing, I feel truly sorry for you because you’re not mentally prepared for the state of affairs we’re in right now and I think a lot of Italians would disagree with you. Remember: dying from COVID-19 is only one possible terrible outcome from this pandemic – it’s more likely to die from a completely unrelated issue because the healthcare system is overloaded and not able to help you or a loved one. The quicker people comply with public health guidance, the quicker we can bring the economy back online.

  • Travis March 20, 2020 (6:16 pm)

    So, I am not able to take my two daughters and play catch with them at a park that happens to be on a ball field? 

    • Joshua's Mom March 20, 2020 (9:28 pm)

      Incorrect Travis – the published statement above states:“Ballfields and playfields are open for walking and other non-team activities.”So you may take your babies and play catch – just don’t bring their entire T-ball team with you. 

  • AdmiralDoc March 20, 2020 (6:32 pm)

    What’s amazing is my wife and I just walked by a house having a party in the Admiral district.  Could not believe it.

    • Paul March 20, 2020 (8:24 pm)

      I ran by that same house day, because I live on Alki and didn’t feel I could safely run on the trail, and want to yell at them to shut it the hell down. What a bunch of jerks.

    • Gerald Shields March 21, 2020 (2:18 pm)

      Oh boy. Remember the good ole days when you were young, stupid and thought you were invincible?

  • WSMom March 20, 2020 (6:40 pm)

    I had somewhere I needed to go and I heard Alki was crazy so I drove past (without getting out!).  Just amazed by all the people down there and even renting those Wheel Fun rentals. Crazy! I was glad to see that nobody was sitting at the Blue Moon Burgers outdoor seating. Looks like they shut that down.

    • Alki resident March 20, 2020 (8:33 pm)

      Yes, the Alki Blue Moon Burgers was closed yesterday and today.

    • LB March 20, 2020 (8:36 pm)

      Thank God. Blue Moon was featured on Q13as one of the  businesses that was in violation for allowing outside eating.  

  • RS March 20, 2020 (6:42 pm)

    Clearly, a lot of folks didn’t get the message. Ercolini Playground is packed, and has been packed since the restaurants and bars were closed. It’s full of kids and parents, and I haven’t seen anyone cleaning any of the play equipment. I’m worried that we will see a spike in cases of children with COVID-19 because people think only the elderly and comprised are vulnerable.

  • Todd Jordan March 20, 2020 (6:49 pm)

    So 2 people can’t go out and play tennis at a park in Seattle?

    • Duh March 20, 2020 (7:47 pm)

      No. I’m assuming you mean at a Seattle public tennis court. 

  • WSDudeman March 20, 2020 (7:29 pm)

    Shihtzu, if popular trails are packed, you might reconsider where you go. Walk around your neighborhood. Plenty of space in this city and around the greater area is still pretty devoid of people, allowing yourself to exercise while not being in close proximity to others.Went past Alki yesterday. Unbelievable how many people were strolling, running, biking and socializing amongst one another. 🙄

    • Paul March 20, 2020 (8:25 pm)

      I live down here and want to walk in my neighborhood, but feel like I can’t. =(

      • Alki March 21, 2020 (9:33 am)

        I live right on alki as well. Went to go for a little walk last night there is no way I could have gotten out of my door and kept a distance of 6 feet or more from anyone. So while I know other people have rights to go wherever they want right now my right to go outside and be 6 feet away from people was compromised because of everyone else. Inslee needs to shut this down, people are not taking it seriously.

  • JN March 20, 2020 (7:30 pm)

    I’ve been amazed at the apparent complete lack of social distancing we as a City have been exhibiting. I still get in my daily solo run to keep active (keeping a minimum of 6 feet distance when passing people on the sidewalk), but I see so many groups of people out and about. I’m honestly upset at the children’s playgrounds that are packed with parents and children, with this behavior we deserve a complete shutdown with police and National Guard patrolling the streets like they are in Italy.

  • J March 20, 2020 (7:58 pm)

    Estimating cases based on deaths- math:

  • Jay March 20, 2020 (8:07 pm)

    Any word about golf courses?

  • TJ March 20, 2020 (9:42 pm)

    Sure, so let’s completely shut down and turn into a police state then. People need to adhere to the social distancing, and with the weather turning to rain next week these people will. But Americans value civil liberties too much for military vehicles patrolling around. If you pay attention to lead economists, we have about 2-3 weeks of the current situation we can get by. After that the economy will be in a place not scene since the depression.

    • Alki March 21, 2020 (9:36 am)

      TJ I live right on alki I can’t even walk out my door the last three days without bumping into someone it’s been so packed. So while I appreciate what you’re saying some people just don’t know how to behave and so they need to be told how to behave and held accountable. My father is old and he’s got cancer and I can’t go see him right now because I can’t keep a safe distance from people walking all over on alki. My door those right out onto the sidewalk.

  • Alki-holic March 21, 2020 (9:08 am)

    This is a situation where all of our actions will mean life or death for others. Please. Listen. Stay home. I know its “hard” I know its “boring” but your actions will save lives… exercise/play catch/walk in your own safe space… two weeks seems like alot now… but it is a small sacrifice we can ALL make for the better of our entire community. Please be Socially Responsible. We will all be able to thank each other later…

  • Mj March 21, 2020 (12:07 pm)

    Cool Rick I agree economic disaster may be worse.  A two week shut down is one thing that hopefully most businesses can deal with, but much longer and the bankruptcy court will get overwhelmed.

  • Gerald Shields March 21, 2020 (2:08 pm)

    Sorta scratching my head: I’m across from Greenlake Park, and it’s looking fairly busy there. Lots of cars parked. I was thinking about walking around there, but alas, I will behave.

    • Alki-holic March 21, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      Glad you decided to “behave” the fact that you drove to Green Lake to walk, but only decided to “behave” when you saw others,with the same idea, then decided that the risk to you was too great, sums up the whole problem. Please. Listen. Stay home.

  • Tax Exempt March 21, 2020 (4:18 pm)

    I think people need to start considering a petition to forgo property taxes for as long as this is going to continue. You can’t expect people to continue to pay taxes if this is going to go on for an extended period of time. The lack of public use warrants at least a partial reduction in taxes. I’m not interested in paying for things I am not allowed/able to use that are funded by tax payer money.

    • momosmom March 21, 2020 (4:59 pm)

      What does not going to pay your taxes have to do with the COVID19? The State, City, County or Government didn’t cause this? Sorry you’re put out for a few weeks but it’s for your best interest.

    • Will S. March 21, 2020 (5:35 pm)

      I wouldn’t get within twelve feet of this petition. You are asking for tax relief not because you can’t afford to pay, but because you don’t like the inconvenience of public health measures. Nobody likes it. Grow up. 

  • WSB March 21, 2020 (4:45 pm)

    Update: Some enforcement attempts will be made. Parks is sending staff to parks; also, just heard on one scanner frequency, at least one precinct is sending officers to patrol parks and make “dispersal requests.” Not sure what that’ll entail – let us know if you see/hear any, we’ll probably be driving past Alki a bit later to look.

  • PDiddy March 21, 2020 (5:42 pm)

    I saw a coach with a team practicing Soccer at the Delridge play fields yesterday. There were about 20-25 kids so no doubt they are not all his. Surprised no one came and cracked down on that. No SD in that environment..

  • Sam March 22, 2020 (11:54 am)

    Tennis courts? Really? I understand we shouldn’t be playing 5v5 basketball but if you’re within 6 feet playing singles tennis you’re doing it wrong 

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