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Denver's dog parks will reopen this week after all

The dog days of summer have arrived.

DENVER — Like salons, restaurants and some national parks, Denver's dog parks closed in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After some back-and-forth this week, the city said they will reopen starting Friday at 5 a.m.

Scott Gilmore with Denver Parks and Recreation made the announcement during Next with Kyle Clark on Wednesday.

Just days earlier, the city did not have an opening date to give. Responding to a question from Next on Monday, the city said it would be following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has encouraged maintaining physical distancing requirements and discouraging large gatherings.

A spokesperson also pointed to the CDC's pet guidelines. That portion of the CDC website explains the agency is still studying the animal-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus. It states:

What to do if you own pets:

Until we learn more about how this virus affects animals, treat pets as you would other human family members to protect them from a possible infection.

Because there is a small risk that people with COVID-19 could spread the virus to animals, CDC recommends that pet owners limit their pet’s interaction with people outside their household.

  • Keep cats indoors when possible and do not let them roam freely outside.
  • Walk dogs on a leash at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
  • Avoid public places where a large number of people gather.

For now, the CDC continues to recommend that pet owners limit their pet's interaction with people outside their home.

Denver has slowly started to reopen other park facilities, as well, Gilmore said. Those include playgrounds and basketball courts.

Some dog parks outside of Denver, including the Cherry Creek Dog Off-Leash Area, have remained open.

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SUGGESTED VIDEO: Next with Kyle Clark