Watch CBS News

Pittsburgh Playgrounds Reopen With Extra Safety Precautions, Including Staff Members Handing Out Masks If Needed

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) - The playgrounds and ballfields across the city are no longer roped off and closed to the public.

A week after entering the "green" phase, the city made the decision to reopen outdoor recreation facilities.

"I was elated. I was glad the courts were going to open back up. I was going to get to go outside and have a somewhat normal life," said Montez Newsome.

On Monday, families headed out to the more than 150 parks in the city to experience what has been closed.

"We still need to take precautions and everything. But I think our kids know, now more than ever, not to go up and touch strangers and use hand sanitizer when we are out in public," said Mari Beth Torrez, who has two children.

While the facilities are outdoors, masks are still recommended.

"We have at many of our parks, some rules listed with some suggestions surrounding social distancing and what that entails. We have even put staff out at the spray parks during peak hours," said Kathryn Vargas, who's the city's Assistant Director of Community Recreation.

Vargas said those staff members will have extra masks on hand if needed.

The public restrooms are still closed at all the parks so mobile hand washing stations and restrooms were set up throughout the parks.

If you are looking to plan a large gathering, you can now apply for a block party permit for up to 250 people.

"You also have to submit a social distancing plan with that. So how you are going to stay in line with that activity, that would get submitted with your permit and get approved, that way to help us ensure as we make these facilities more available, that people are putting thought into how they plan for these things," Vargas said.

The city is working on a timeline and plan for reopening the indoor recreation centers and senior centers.

Officials tell KDKA they hope to have more information on those opening dates in the next month.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.