APACHE JUNCTION, April 1 - The Apache Junction Parks and Recreation department, in its continuing effort to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, has implemented additional measures in following guidelines set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of Thursday, residents are asked to plan for other Parks & Rec amenities to be closed, in order to reduce exposure and discourage congregation of groups. These facilities include: large pickleball/tennis courts, the skatepark, shuffleboard courts, the splash pad at Flatiron Community Park and playgrounds.
Other amenities may be closed in the future, if it is determined that CDC guidelines are unable to be observed.
All parks, open spaces, trails and walking paths remain open from sunrise to 10 p.m. (trails are open sunrise to sunset). Restrooms remain open in designated areas as long as the city can properly maintain those facilities.
“These measures, though undesirable, are an effort to continue to help ‘flatten the curve’ and encourage physical distancing,” said Liz Langenbach, director of the Parks department.
Physical distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC still apply in all open areas. All visitors should practice a safe distance of 6 feet or more from other patrons and avoid congregating in groups. Park rangers have been circulating frequently throughout parks to help educate patrons. If visitors see areas of non-compliance they are encouraged to contact the department at 480-983-2181 and select option 4 to report a problem in the parks.
"The governor’s order to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected’ allows for individuals to visit outdoor recreation spaces for exercise and fresh air,” Langenbach said. "Fortunately, we have a number of parks and open spaces in one of the most beautiful areas of the state. Individuals can walk their dogs, take a hike, enjoy walking paths and open spaces, as long as they practice CDC recommendations.”
The city had already closed the Multi-Generational Center and suspended all programs, events and facility reservations. Critical senior services continue, such as senior meals, distributed on a drive-thru basis and limited home delivered meal options. Senior transportation for critical medical and grocery shopping can also be coordinated through the department. Residents can contact the department for senior services at 480-474-5260.
Individuals are encouraged to follow the Parks department facebook page – www.facebook.com/ajparksandrec - for ways they can stay healthy and stay connected during this difficult time. Visit www.ajcity.net/parks for updates related to parks and programs and the city’s homepage, www.ajcity.net for the latest on virus response.
As always, health officials remind to take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.