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Seattle Parks reopens playgrounds, fitness equipment, but kids will have to wait their turn


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Good news for those with stir-crazy kids: Seattle Parks and Recreation is reopening 150 outdoor play areas to the public with new safety guidelines Tuesday.

The play areas closed in March when the novel coronavirus first hit the region as they were considered “high touch” areas that could easily spread the virus. But with new research showing that the virus is unlikely to spread through surfaces, the city’s parks have gotten the green light to reopen with new rules in place to limit transmission.


To keep swings, climbers and slides safe, play equipment will be limited to five or fewer children at any one time. In accordance with the statewide mask mandate, all children above the age of two will be required to wear a mask although there are some exceptions.



To maintain social distancing and occupancy requirements, the department is asking parents to visit parks at less busy times and only stay for 30 minutes or less to give others the opportunity to play. Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek and Jefferson Park are some of the more popular play areas in the city and may be busier during weekends.


“We are all in this together, so kindly remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the play area gets too crowded,” Seattle Parks wrote in its blog. “We cannot allow play areas to be places where COVID-19 is spread, so we need folks to use these spaces safely.”

Cal Anderson’s playground will remain closed as the park has not officially reopened in the wake of summer protests.


Those who have canceled their gym membership in the past months are also in luck as outdoor fitness equipment at all Seattle parks reopened Tuesday. The equipment follows similar guidelines to play areas, including limiting use to five or fewer people at any one time and requiring masks.

The department also emphasized that play areas and fitness equipment are not regularly sanitized or cleaned and all users should wash or sanitize hands before and

Fred Hutch opens dedicated research center in Seattle to test treatments for COVID-19 patients

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, foreground, in the Minor Building on Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Seattle campus. (Fred Hutch Photo)

Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is opening a new facility dedicated to testing treatments for people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Center, or CCRC is one of the first stand-alone facilities in the country designed for such work, according to Fred Hutch announcement on Monday. Located in the Minor Building on Fred Hutch’s South Lake Union campus, it was funded by philanthropic donations and public/private partnerships.

Scientists and clinicians will partner in the space with study volunteers, health care providers, research institutes, foundations and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry on Phase 1 through 3 clinical trials (observational and interventional) for COVID-19-positive participants.

Two studies are already underway:

  • A Phase 3 randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of remdesivir (GS-5734TM) treatment of individuals with COVID-19 who are not ill enough to be hospitalized. Infectious disease doctors at Fred Hutch and the University of Washington School of Medicine are testing whether remdesivir can reduce symptoms and the need for hospitalization in individuals with early stage COVID-19.
  • A Phase 2/3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial examining REGN-COV2, Regeneron’s investigational double antibody cocktail, in non-hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In this study, which is for people diagnosed with COVID-19 with or without symptoms of the disease, researchers at Fred Hutch and UW Medicine will further test REGN-COV2 and help determine whether it can provide immediate antiviral activity, lasting several weeks.

Fred Hutch says multiple measures are in place to address the safety of study participants and those who are on-site, including air circulation that meets or exceeds standards in medical facilities; separate entry/exits and restrooms for study volunteers with known or potential COVID-19; restricted and secure access to the facility to prevent unauthorized/accidental access; appropriate personal protective equipment for all staff and participants; extensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

The facility can be used in the future to test and treat participants with other infectious diseases, Fred Hutch said.

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