Santa Monica children and families can begin heading outdoors to enjoy local playgrounds starting this Friday.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced last week that playgrounds were cleared for safe reopening but officials gave cities the ability to decide exactly when monkey bars and slides would be safe for use again.
Dozens of playgrounds throughout the county have opened since the revised health order, and city staff said Santa Monica’s Public Works teams have been hard at work evaluating equipment, replacing materials, pressure washing the grounds, and installing signage with guidance for a safe experience for visitors.
And thanks to their diligence, 12 playgrounds will soon be available for use, according to city spokesperson Constance Farrell, who said the open play areas include:
– Airport Park Playground
– Clover Park Playgrounds
– Douglas Park Playground
– Gandara Park Playground
– Joslyn Park Playground
– Marine Park Playground
– Memorial Park Playground
– North Beach Playground (slide closed)
– Reed Park Playground
– South Beach Universally Accessible Playground
– Tongva Park Playground
– Virginia Avenue Park Playground
“Parks that do not have nearby restrooms or need additional maintenance will not open until it is safe to do so,” Farrell added, so the Annenberg Community Beach House, Euclid Park, Ishihara Park, Ocean Park Beach and Ozone Park playgrounds are not included in the reopening orders. Muscle Beach and other outdoor exercise equipment at parks also remain closed, but their reopenings are slated soon.
“The City is closely monitoring LA County Department of Public Health forthcoming reopening guidelines for outdoor fitness equipment and will release details of any additional reopenings at that time,” the news release states, mentioning access to open space and playgrounds is more critical than ever since students are participating in online learning.
“We are excited to welcome families back to playgrounds across the City. We ask for everyone’s cooperation in following the guidelines and posted signage so that we can get outside and play safely,” Interim City Manager Lane Dilg said.
City leaders noted Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District intends to reopen playgrounds at Roosevelt, Franklin, and McKinley elementary schools this weekend through the Playground Partnership. Reopenings at Edison, Grant, Roosevelt, and Los Amigos are slated to come by the end of next week.
But it’s necessary that all visitors comply with the guidelines listed and fully accept they are using the playground and surrounding area at their own risk, the release reads, adding: “All playgrounds are subject to closure due to any events of COVID-19 exposure, or lack of cooperation with health and safety guidelines.”
Tips to Stay Healthy:
– Do not visit the playground or park when feeling ill. Check children for any flu-like symptoms before going to the park.
– Wash or sanitize hands before and after using the playground. Use nearby restrooms to wash your hands frequently during your visit or bring your own sanitizing supplies.
– Face masks over the mouth and nose are required for everyone two years of age or older with caregiver supervision at all times to ensure face mask use.
– No eating or drinking in playground, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.
– Do not use the playground when different households are unable to maintain a physical distance of six feet.
– People standing outside of the playground should remain six feet away from areas used by other visitors.
– Caregivers must monitor to keep adults and children from different households at least six feet apart.
– Patrons and visitors are encouraged to use playgrounds at different times to avoid crowds.
– Individuals with underlying medical conditions should avoid the playground when others are present.
– Limit visit to 30 minutes when others are waiting.
– No adult team sports are allowed, nor are any competitions or spectator events.
All recreational activities allowed to reopen and their specific protocols can be found at https://covid19.lacounty.gov/recovery-recreation-entertainment-travel-and-learning/