The city of St. Paul said Wednesday night that it is closing playgrounds, sports courts and skate parks to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

In a news release, the city said the closures come in response to the recent increased demand for use of recreational amenities on warm-weather days, combined with a concern for public safety because social distancing cannot be managed at such sites.

"We appreciate the need to re-create and connect with nature during these new and challenging times, but safety remains our top priority," parks director Mike Hahm said in the news release. "We are making these adjustments to serve park users while limiting their risk and also that of others."

Basketball hoops will be removed, tennis courts locked and multilingual closure signage will be posted at playgrounds and similar features in the coming days.

Parks, trails, open spaces, dog parks, and athletic fields will remain open, with restrictions, including 6 foot social distancing. No pickup games, contact sports, or organized teams will be allowed.

A full list of St. Paul park restrictions can be found at

Playgrounds remain open at Minneapolis parks, but some parkway closures have been implemented to help maintain social distance. Athletic fields remain open, with some restrictions.