California now allows all outdoor playgrounds to reopen to public
CONCORD, Calif. - California is now allowing all outdoor playgrounds to reopen to the public.
Some outdoor playgrounds in the Bay Area are starting to welcome back families. New state guidelines allow cities to reopen outdoor recreational facilities and playgrounds. The City of Concord is planning to reopen all its 19 playgrounds on Thursday.
“Being quarantined with a kid in a house is already tough,” said Olena Kononovych of Concord.
For many families in the Bay Area, keeping young ones away from the playground has not been easy. Kononovynch, the mother of a rambunctious three-year-old can't wait for her child to hop on the slides and swings again.
“We are grateful things are transitioning and things are coming back to a little bit normal,” said Kononovynch.
Starting Thursday, the city of Concord is reopening its playgrounds after six months of steering children away. Fencing will come down and signage will appear.
“We are making sure all the equipment is being checked we are making sure anything that needs to be cleaned above and beyond right now,” said Concord Mayor Tim McGallian.
The City of Concord mad the decision after Contra Costa County moved to the less restrictive red tier for coronavirus risk and the state clearing the way with new guidelines.
Among the guidelines include adults and children two years of age and older must wear a face covering. Kids must be supervised by an adult to ensure that mask stays on. Eating and drinking is restricted for that same reason. Different households must maintain six feet of distance. Visits are limited to 30 minutes when others are present.
While some families may be eager to return, pediatricians understand others are not.
“Robbing kids at this point some of these basic enjoyments of childhood is tough,” said Dr. Alan Schroeder of Stanford Children’s Health.
Dr. Schroeder said studies have determined children don’t transmit the virus as much as adults do and contaminated surfaces is not a common mode of transmission as once thought.
He said wearing masks and social distancing is key. Hand sanitizing and wiping down equipment is also sensible to do.
“If you feel like your child’s mental state and physical activity would improve by being outdoors and playing in the playground I think if you take these precautions it’s very reasonable,” said Dr. Schroeder.
The new state guidance does not permit indoor playgrounds and family entertainment centers to open. The City of San Francisco city plans to re-open its playgrounds on October 14.