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story.lead_photo.caption Children enjoy the playground Wednesday afternoon at Spring Lake Park. Texarkana, Texas, city officials have ordered the playgrounds in city parks closed until further notice. However, parks can still be visited. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA, Texas — The City of Texarkana, Texas, Parks and Recreation Department will close all playgrounds to the public amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Parks and Recreation Director Robby Robertson reminded the public to follow CDC Guidelines while using the parks in an announcement released Wednesday. He made the decision himself after consulting with other agencies including the Emergency Operations Center established by the twin cities and the surrounding counties, other Texas cities and the National Recreational Parks Association.

"Many cities and agencies are now closing playgrounds because there is no present guidance from CDC on how best to manage these spaces, including recommended cleaning and disinfection for outdoor equipment to prevent transmission of the coronavirus, or recommendations for limiting outdoor play with others," he said.  "We want to keep our parks open, so families will have a place to come and enjoy an outdoor setting, We encourage residents to come take a walk, or enjoy the scenery, but right now it isn't safe to continue allowing use of the playground equipment. We do ask that you continue keep a safe distance from others, and avoid gatherings of 10 or more. As long as everyone follows the guidelines, we can keep the parks open." 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends six feet of social distancing at all times, no groups or gatherings of 10 or more, and frequent hand washing to fight the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). 

According to Robertson, the playgrounds will remain off-limits until further notice.

For more information about this press release, contact Robby Robertson at 903-798-3999.

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