[Brief] Vallejo playgrounds reopen under new state guidelines

JohnGlidden.com staff report | Oct. 12, 2020

Kids rejoice as the Greater Vallejo Recreation District has reopened the city’s playgrounds under new health guidelines.

On Sept. 28, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance outlining how outdoor playgrounds and other recreational facilities can be used amid COVID-19.

Under the new rules, everyone 2 years of age and older must wear a face covering with supervision by an adult to ensure the mask stays on.

The new guidelines prohibit eating and drinking in and around the playgrounds, to ensure masks remain in place, and persons are asked to not use the playground equipment if persons from different households cannot maintain six feet distance from each other.

According to a GVRD notice, the district explained that it doesn’t sanitize park equipment on a daily basis.

“Playground users are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and wash their hands before arriving and upon returning to their homes,” the notice states.

It also states that elderly individuals and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid playgrounds when others are present.

There is also a limit of 30 minutes of use time per day when other are present, and a maximum of six participants are allowed to use a playground at any one time.

The guidance does not apply to indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers, the state said.

The decision to reopen playgrounds comes weeks after California legislators sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to reopen playgrounds and parks.

“As a parent yourself, you know how important it is for children to have opportunities to expend their physical energy and play. However, especially in lower-income communities, families may have little to no outdoor space of their own available,” the lawmakers said. “Public parks and playgrounds provide a critical shared outdoor resource for families, but the indefinite closure further disadvantages children who have limited other options for outdoor recreation and physical activity.”

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

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