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City playgrounds closed to public

Post Date:03/23/2020 6:22 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2020

 

SANDPOINT — To follow COVID-19 social distance and disinfection guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Panhandle Health District, Sandpoint Parks and Recreation is closing its playgrounds effective tomorrow.  Playgrounds are located at Travers, Lakeview and Hickory Parks and City Beach.  “These measures are not being taken lightly,” remarked Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad.  “We understand the impacts on parents trying to keep children busy and entertained.  It is a matter of public health and ensuring the safety for the community as a whole.”

The public restrooms at Jeff Jones Town Square, the Interpretive Center, Mickinnick Trailhead have also been closed and the portable restrooms are being removed.  “The health of the Sandpoint community is extremely important.  In order to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus into our community -- particularly by Parks users coming from communities with a known COVID outbreak -- we deemed this a necessary measure,” noted City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton.

In follow-up to its announcement yesterday, the City has launched an online form for businesses which have closed or plan to close to provide that information to the Sandpoint Police Department which is increasing its security patrols at closure sites.  The form is available at https://lf.sandpointidaho.gov/forms/BusinessCOVID-19.  It can also be accessed in the City’s Engage Sandpoint mobile app, on the City of Sandpoint Facebook Page and website at www.sandpointidaho.gov.

The form also asks businesses to let the City know if they are providing takeout/delivery service, and/or take phone or online orders.  The City will be launching an online directory of this information in coming days.

As of today, City officials believe there is nearly 100% voluntary closure of the restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in Sandpoint – if not the full 100%.  “We would like to again recognize the responsible, proactive, but difficult decisions the owners have made this week to protect their employees and the broader community,” said Mayor Shelby Rognstad.  City officials and their public health partners continue to strongly encourage service businesses who cannot maintain the recommended social distancing to also close in the coming days.  This includes hair salons and barber shops, fitness centers and personal treatment services.

“I know that these actions cause significant hardship and heartache for people, but they are necessary to save lives,” said Mayor Shelby Rognstad.

As of 5:00 p.m. today, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bonner County. Bonner General Hospital has 27 tests they are awaiting results on.  Due to limits on testing supplies, only high priority patients are being tested.

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