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Coronavirus prompts closure of New Bedford playgrounds


NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Playgrounds in New Bedford are being shut down beginning Thursday in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Mayor Jon Mitchell said Wednesday that the decision was made out of an abundance of caution. He said Bristol County currently has five positive cases of COVID-19 and while none of them are from New Bedford, two people within the city are on self-quarantine.

“You’re going to see yellow tape around swing sets and jungle gyms which really stinks,” Mitchell said. “The city has great playgrounds, many of them newly built, but the reality is the virus can live on surfaces for some period of time.”

He said the city is only closing playgrounds, adding that parks will remain open.

Fall River resident Chelsee Barkemeyer, who spent Wednesday afternoon at Buttonwood Park, said she’s enjoying the fresh air while also being mindful to distance herself from others.

“I just think we need to take all the precautionary measures we can to protect our families,” Barkemeyer said.

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