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California Issues New, Extensive Guidelines For Reopening Public, Outdoor Playgrounds

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Outdoor playgrounds in California can now reopen, after the state issued extensive new guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Daily Life In Los Angeles Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 21: A closed playground in Griffith Park is seen during the coronavirus pandemic on May 21, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 334,000 lives and infecting over 5.1 million people. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Playgrounds across the state have been roped off with caution tape since coronavirus began to spread in March. California's Department of Public Health issued the new guidelines Monday, specifically for free, publicly accessible outdoor, neighborhood play structures, slides and swings that are operated by government agencies.

The new guidance does not apply to indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers.

To reopen, face masks that cover the mouth and nose are required for all people over the age of 2, and hands should be washed or sanitized before and after using the playground. Eating and drinking is also not recommended while using the playground, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.

Playground visitors were also urged to avoid crowds, keep adults and children from different households at least six feet apart, and limit their visits to 30 minutes a day when others are present. Seniors and persons with underlying medical conditions were also advised to avoid playgrounds during crowded times.

Even more guidelines were issued for the cities and counties that operate publicly-accessible playgrounds, including increasing the cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces, providing hand washing or hand sanitizing stations, marking playgrounds to help visitors maintain 6-foot distancing and areas where families can wait before entering the playground, and determine the new maximum occupancy of each play structure with 6-foot vertical and horizontal distancing.

The reopening of public, outdoor playgrounds will be subject to county authorities.

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