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The move follows similar actions in nearby Tigard as local cities try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

PMG FILE PHOTO: RAY PITZ - A curious pooch checks out a culvert at the Sherwood Dog Park.Visiting a Sherwood park? Keep off the monkey bars.

Play areas, including playground equipment and athletic courts, are closed to the public until further notice as city officials work to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Sherwood Dog Park at Snyder Park is also closed.

The city announced the closures Sunday, March 22, a day after nearby Tigard announced similar restrictions. As in Tigard, they don't amount to a total closure of parks, but they close off areas of the park where people are likely to come into contact with hard surfaces or other people and animals.

COVID-19 affects humans, not household pets, although the virus can live on surfaces for some time and is believed to be transmitted through respiratory droplets.

The disease is caused by the novel coronavirus. Oregon reported its first case on Feb. 28. Since then, there have been 161 cases indicated by a positive test, and four deaths associated with COVID-19. Public health officials say there are likely many more cases that have not been detected due to the limited availability of tests.

Sherwood declared a local state of emergency on March 12. The Sherwood School District, like districts throughout Oregon, is closed until April 28.

Sherwood city buildings, including the Sherwood Public Library, are already closed to the public. That includes public restroom facilities.

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