More than a dozen Seattle parks and beaches closing through Easter weekend

SEATTLE -- The city of Seattle is closing more than a dozen of its biggest and most popular parks starting Friday evening in response to an uptick in barbecues and people not following social distancing guidelines.

"We need people to stay home," Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a remote news conference. "We know this puts a big burden on people because we all love the parks. Getting out seems like one of the few things we can do to relieve this anxiety. It’s a time when unfortunately we still have to hunker down."

The following parks will close from 11 p.m. Friday through Easter Sunday and reopen at 4:30 a.m. Monday, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Jesús Aguirre:

    Washington is under a statewide stay-at-home order through May 4 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Residents are asked to stay home unless making essential trips to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, perform essential job duties or take a walk or run outside.

    As of Thursday afternoon, there were 9,097 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 421 deaths in Washington state.

    State hiking trails and other state-managed public lands, including state parks, are also closed through May 4.