New Hanover County Shares Enhanced Guidance on Public Playground Use to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

Posted March 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm     Category: Emergency ManagementEmergency NewsNews ReleasePublic Health

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – With the increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County, and because of the higher level and frequency of cleaning recommended for high volume facility use to prevent the spread of COVID-19, New Hanover County Public Health and Emergency Operations are providing enhanced guidance for playground use in county and municipal parks. This guidance pertains to all playgrounds throughout New Hanover County, including and as agreed to by City of Wilmington, Town of Carolina Beach, Town of Kure Beach and Town of Wrightsville Beach.

According to the CDC, transmission of COVID-19 could occur from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, then touching mouth, nose or possibly eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but additional caution should be taken.

If residents choose to use playgrounds, they should be prepared to wipe down surfaces with recommended cleaning products before and after use. Limited county supply of cleaning products does not allow for them to be provided in public playground areas. Cleaning products to wipe down equipment should be brought from home.

“Social distancing measures you take now don’t only protect yourself, they protect everyone in the community,” said New Hanover County Personal Health Services Manager Carla Turner, RN. “Playgrounds have many high touch surfaces and without the capacity to increase frequency of cleaning, families should take seriously this guidance regarding playground use.”

Parks, including walking trails are open and social distancing is important to prevent facility closures. Residents are encouraged to continue increased prevention measures and practice limited contact with others:

  • Follow social distancing: gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, under the State of Emergency, and individuals are encouraged to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched (like your phone, tablet, countertops and daily work surfaces).
  • Stay home and away from others when you are sick.

Residents are also encouraged to prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19 as you would for other emergencies, using the ReadyNHC steps:

    • Make a Plan
      • Plan for social distancing and other prevention measures.
      • Plan for limiting the need to go out in public by utilizing services like delivery of groceries and other goods.
    • Build a Kit
      • Have non-perishable food and water, medications and anything you need to stay home for several days to limit the risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses in your household.
    • Stay Informed


As of 3:15 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, there are four cases of COVID-19 in New Hanover County and preparedness plans are in place for the health and safety of our community. For updates and resources related to the COVID-19 virus in New Hanover County, visit or call 910-798-6800.

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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