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Newton closes city tennis, basketball courts to help combat coronavirus spread

Albemarle Park in Newton.

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has closed all of the city’s tennis and basketball courts, and limited access to playground equipment, to help promote social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Fuller also has prohibited people in separate households from playing sports together, according to a statement Monday.

"We are all in this together. Lives depend on rigorous social distancing by each of us," Fuller said in the statement.

Fuller said city workers will use zip ties to close access to fenced tennis and basketball courts, and zip ties will be put across basketball hoops to prevent their use.

She asked residents to maintain a 6-foot distance from anyone who is not a member of their household.


People living together in the same household can still play games, she said.

"At this time, we need our Newton Police Officers to keep their focus on a lot of other matters so I am asking that Newtonians adhere to these guidelines, do your part to help flatten the curve, and help keep our community safe," Fuller said in the statement.

Health officials have repeatedly said social distancing is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and help avoid overwhelming the nation's health system.

“It is so important that we slow the pace of transmission so that our health care personnel and facilities are able to keep up and care for everyone who needs it,” Fuller said.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.