Coronavirus: Hamilton’s emergency director ‘disheartened’ to see kids in parks during pandemic

Hamilton’s director of the emergency operations centre (EOC) is urging parents to keep their kids away from city parks and playgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Johnson said he was “disheartened” when he saw photos of gatherings across the city’s conservation areas and parks over the weekend.


“It’s not a time for play dates with kids. It’s not a time to allow your kids to go and play with a basketball in the local park. This is all stuff that shouldn’t be happening,” Johnson told Global News.

The EOC director says when he came in Monday morning, he was met with a deluge of e-mails from concerned residents telling stories about large gatherings not practising “social distancing” in the city’s parks and conservation areas.

“They are a bit disheartening because it’s not three or four people getting together and a little too close. They’re talking about 30, 40, 50 people. They’re talking with thousands of people at a park.”

Johnson says although greenspaces in city parks are still open to the public, park equipment and play structures are not. Playground structures have been closed until further notice since the city can not assure they are completely sanitized for use.

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