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Parks still a danger

george longley cartoon

(Cartoon by George Longley)

With provincial parks opening to the public, the temptation to go out with family or friends, especially as the temperature rises, comes with them.

The provincial government has opened 635 provincial parks and conservation areas, but has limited their use to only a few activities.

Park visitors can walk, hike, bike, or go birdwatching, but gathering in crowds is still considered a danger due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Camping and other activities are still prohibited in these parks.

Recently, when parks opened up again, many decided to go out and enjoy the nice weather, with Toronto’s Trinity-Bellwoods Park infamously attracting a packed crowd recently.

Even parks around Oshawa saw crowds for the first time this year, just not to the same scale.

Residents need to remember there is still an ever-present danger of COVID-19, and social distancing and self-isolation are still the recommended practices.

Ontario has seen 25,904 cases at the time of this writing, and Durham Region has seen 1,382 cases at the time of writing, with Oshawa at 224.

While numbers may have dropped overall, Ontario is still seeing more than 400 new cases per day.

Minister of Health Christine Elliott credited the high numbers to people visiting family on Mother’s Day when they should have stayed home.

She noted people gathered in crowds larger than the recommended five, and were more at risk of the virus because of this.

While it is easy to get excited and jump the gun, there is still a risk to going to the park.

COVID-19 is still a danger to everyone, and while it may be tempting to go to the park and get some sun, it is still safest to stay home.

Remember Oshawa, the goal is for everyone to stay safe and healthy, and for COVID-19 numbers to reach zero.