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La Crosse closes playgrounds, but allows some outdoor activity

Brad Williams



The city of La Crosse has closed its playgrounds, to limit the spread of coronavirus.

La Crosse park and recreation director Jay Odegaard warned this week that people vulnerable to coronavirus, such as grandparents, should stay away from hard surfaces in parks like playground equipment. 

Even though the governor is telling Wisconsin residents to stay home during a virus outbreak, some outdoor activity is still allowed. 

That includes walking, biking, and running.

Team sports are not included in those outdoor activities, because they involve close physical contact instead of social distancing. 

Forest Hiils had been scheduled to open for the season this week.

The park department also is NOT planning to use the Green Island ice arena as a possible quarantine site for people with the illness, says Odegaard. 

The arena is shut down, and Odegaard says it could be used for storage right now.

Skaters and hockey players have been urging the city not to eliminate winter sports programs at Green Island, but plans to renovate the building are in the works.

Odegaard says the department is still hiring, in anticipation of needing workers for summer programs, and needing lifeguards on city beaches.