The City of Dubuque is closing its playground areas and play structures as well as the Flora Skate Park to the public as a precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic. City parks will remain open but the more than 50 playground areas containing over 250 play units within those parks as well as the Flora Skate Park will be closed.

City of Dubuque Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware said the playgrounds and equipment they contain, and the Flora Skate Park are extremely challenging to sanitize and keep sanitized following use that happens on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis. The decision is similar those made by several other Iowa communities.

“We want people to understand that the outdoors and our parks are still open but, for their own safety and the safety of the children, we are asking the public to stay off this equipment and help limit the spread of the virus,” said Ware. “We need parents and guardians to help children and teens understand this temporary closure.”

Ware said the number of areas/structures make it impractical to create physical barriers to prevent use but signage explaining the closures will be posted in all areas as soon as possible. The closures will remain in place until further notice.

Dubuque parks are not yet officially open for the 2020 season so restrooms, water fountains, and other amenities are not yet accessible to the public. Residents are welcome to visit parks but should practice physical/social distancing of at least six feet, as instructed by the Centers for Disease Control and wash their hands as soon as possible after use.