On March 25, the City of Toronto announced it will begin closing and taping off all public parks and playgrounds in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19, a decision many cities around the world have taken.

In an interview with Global News, Nancy Walton, a registered nurse and the director of the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing at Ryerson University, said public parks are a natural social gathering place for both kids and adults alike.

“Parks are inherently social spaces for us, places where we like to gather, places where we relax and seek solace… and that feeling of cabin fever that you get after the winter is even more exacerbated by having to stay home,” said Walton.

The reason why public parks are closed is because they’re seen as high-touch surfaces, and therefore an easy way for people to possibly transmit COVID-19.

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1:59Coronavirus outbreak: Toronto closes public parks and playgrounds

Coronavirus outbreak: Toronto closes public parks and playgrounds

“If you think about the equipment on a playground, kids are touching it all the time and very frequently and one after the other. So, you know, swinging from the monkey bars, holding onto the chains of a swing as they swing or, you know, pulling themselves up the ladder of a slide. Those are really high-touch areas,” said Walton.

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