In response to rising cases of COVID-19 in Skagit County, Burlington will once again close several of its parks facilities, Mayor Steve Sexton announced in a July 16 letter.

Soccer fields on Whitmarsh Road south of Skagit River Park and the baseball diamond and sand volleyball courts at Rotary Park are closed effective immediately.

Sexton said city staff have seen gatherings that exceed five people at these facilities, in violation of public health guidelines for Skagit County’s current Phase 2 status in the governor’s four-phase Safe Start plan to reopen during the pandemic.

“If we do not see this situation turn around in the near future, at best our county will not be ready to move onto Phase 3 of the reopening plan and at worst we may be moved back to Phase 1,” Sexton wrote.

There have been 208 new confirmed cases since the county was approved for Phase 2 on June 5. Of those, 138 were documented from July 1-17, though that number increased by just two on Friday.

Also, the Skagit County Public Health Department revised the number of local deaths on its website, from 17 to 16.

A planned drive-in concert series at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon was also canceled, after a declaration Thursday from Gov. Inslee banning live entertainment throughout the state.

The series had been scheduled for three weekends in August.

Organizers were careful to set policy that would protect attendees, requiring masks and social distancing, according to a news release from nonprofit performance arts group Turnaround Artists.

The Skagit County Fair, normally held in August, was canceled on May 6, in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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