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La Crosse closes playgrounds, but allows some outdoor activity



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.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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