CALGARY -- Parks and pathways remain open in Calgary but playgrounds are now closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency head Tom Sampson made the announcement Monday morning.

"It's just not healthy, it's not a great place for kids to be, where they're going to co-mingle, " he said.

"Those of us who have watched kids play, they don't have any sense of that distance, nor do they have any sense of high-touch areas. It's a challenge as a parent to understand what you can and can't do, but you can work through it. We do need to make these sacrifices to avoid the ongoing spread of COVID-19."

Playgrounds in Airdrie have also been closed, along with playgrounds in the Rocky View Schools district.

Calgarians are being asked to practise social distancing during the ongoing pandemic, which means staying at least two metres away from other people and remaining at home whenever possible.

"It doesn't mean you can't visit," said Sampson.

"We took groceries to a friend who had been travelling recently, we stood (four metres) apart, they were in the garage and we sort of shouted to them, 'Good to see you home.'

"You don't need to social distance from trees or plant life, just people. That's why we're leaving our vast park network open, there should be plenty of space for you to have that physical distancing."

Anyone who has returned from international travel should self-isolate for 14 days and anyone feeling ill should also self-isolate and call 811 for information.

An online self-assessment tool is also available.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said once again at Friday's daily COVID-19 briefing that those who are feeling healthy, and even those who are self-isolating after travelling, can enjoy the outdoors, as long as they stay at least two metres away from other people.

The mayor of Canmore issued a plea over the weekend, however, asking Calgarians to stop visiting the mountain town during the pandemic.