CLOSED: Ashland Police Officer Jolissa May-Werner fixes the caution tape around the Euclid Street Park playground equipment on Saturday afternoon. A day earlier, the city’s Board of Health closed the playgrounds to the public in the interest of safety. (Staff Photo by Suzi Nelson)

ASHLAND – The city’s playgrounds are now off limits to the public, by order of the Board of Health.

On Friday, the board met to discuss closing the playgrounds located at Wiggenhorn Park, the Kiddy Korner Park at Jack Anderson Ball Park playground, the Euclid Street Park at 21st and Euclid and the East Side Park at sixth and Birch streets.

It is another of the measures taken by the City of Ashland as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, said City Administrator Jessica Quady. Last month, the public library was closed to all visitors. The doors to City Hall were locked to the public, with business to be conducted over the phone, online or by appointment.

The board of health closed the playgrounds “for the safety of resident,” said Quady. No date has been set for reopening.

Cleaning the playground equipment is the issue. City officials said it is difficult to ensure the plastic, metal and wood components are clean enough for children or adults to use. Also, the city does not have enough staff to continually disinfect the equipment.

The Ashland Board of Health is made up of the mayor, the city council president, the chief of police and the building official.

The Village of Greenwood has taken similar measures. At an emergency meeting on March 16, the village board of trustees voted to close all public facilities, including the playground and gazebo at the park.

A sign on the playground reads: “The playground equipment surfaces have not been sanitized. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the playground equipment has been closed until further notice.”

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