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Coronavirus In Seattle
caption: A swing set is off limits and surrounded by caution tape as a result of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at Seward Park in Seattle. 
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A swing set is off limits and surrounded by caution tape as a result of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at Seward Park in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle parks will close under order of Mayor Durkan

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday that the city will shut down public parks over the weekend as Washington's stay-at-home order continues.

Mayor Durkan broke the news on KUOW's afternoon show The Record. Durkan emphasized "we are not out of the woods."

"It's so important, and so hard, I know in these beautiful, beautiful days, to really stay inside," Durkan said. "This is not spring break, this is not the weekend. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic."

Durkan said that some of "the most significant parks" in Seattle will be affected, including:

  • Green Lake
  • Lincoln
  • Golden Gardens
  • Seward Park
  • Magnuson Park
  • Gas Works
  • Alki Beach
  • Discovery
  • Cal Anderson
  • Carkeek
  • Woodland Park
  • Volunteer Park
  • Kubota Garden
  • West Seattle Stadium
  • Washington Park Arboretum

The parks close on Friday, April 10 at 11 p.m. They will reopen Monday, April 12 at 4:30 am. City officials will consider further park closures on a week-by-week basis moving forward.

Rattlesnake Ledge and Rattlesnake Recreation Area -- which fall under Seattle's purview -- will also remain closed to the public. Stan Sayres, Magnuson, Don Armeni, and Atlantic Street boat launches are closed as well.

"Where we are now in the number of people who are getting sick and entering the hospital and dying is where we were three weeks ago, we are just on the other side of it," she added. "If we changed our behavior, we would be looking at the same chance of a big peak that could overwhelm our health care system. While I'm confident in the modeling, it only works if people continue to do their part."

The park closures come as temps warm up into the 60s and sunnier weather is expected in the Seattle area.

"Even though we have confidence right now that our hospitals will not be overwhelmed, if we take our foot off the gas, and people were to come together again, and not do social distancing, not wear face masks, not do the things we are asking, we could be in a world of hurt real fast," Durkan said. "What we do (now) shows up in two weeks."

The mayor noted that sentiment can go either way -- actions today could equate to lower numbers of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead, or dramatic spikes in cases.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.