The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated health directives that align with the State of California’s recent reversal on playground closures. With the green light from public health authorities, the City of Santa Monica will reopen previously available playgrounds Friday, December 11.

With this opening comes an even greater need for parents to practice extreme caution and vigilance as we break new daily records for positive COVID-19 cases and deaths. The risk of community spread is incredibly high at this time, with Santa Monica seeing a 15 percent increase in its total cases (as calculated over 10 months), occurring in just the last two weeks.

Follow posted health guidance every time you visit a playground. This includes:

Never visiting if you are sick. Not gathering with people outside your household. Wearing a face covering at all times, including all children over age two. Using hand sanitizer or washing hands frequently. Not visiting the playground when crowded.

The following parks will open Friday, December 11:

Airport Park Playground, Annenberg Community Beach House Playground, Clover Park Playgrounds, Douglas Park Playground, Euclid Park Playground, Gandara Park Playground, Ishihara Park Playground, Marine Park Playground, North Beach Playground, Ozone Park Playground, Reed Park Playground, Tongva Park Playground and Virginia Avenue Park Playground (slide closed).

In collaboration with Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, school play structures will reopen at Franklin, Roosevelt, McKinley, Rogers, Grant, Edison, and Muir / SMASH schools. Fields and open space at all Santa Monica elementary schools are open Monday – Friday, 3:30 – 5 p.m. and weekends and breaks through the Playground Partnership. Lincoln Middle School and John Adams Middle School fields are open for permit use only. Behavior of playground users will be monitored and if the district determines that people are not following the posted rules, the district may discontinue access.

The LA County’s Department of Public Health has issued guidance that high contact programs and recreational amenities that require close contact less than six feet in distance should continue to be suspended at this time. This includes activities such as all non-professional team sports, group sporting events, organized intermural activities, pick-up basketball and volleyball, lawn bowling, and/or organized races. It also includes recreational amenities such as splash pads, outdoor fitness equipment, and outdoor BBQ grills in parks.

Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer