CALIFORNIA—On September 28, the California Department of Public Health announced that outdoor playgrounds and facilities could reopen under state rules. The Department of Health noted the definition of a playground being fully outdoors and accessible, free and state-mandated open space for preschools and equipped with play structures such as slides, swings, etc.

“This guidance provides direction on usage of outdoor playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities (hereafter facilities) to support a safe environment for children and families,” the official statement explains. “It applies to outdoor playgrounds located in parks, campgrounds, and other publicly accessible locations. This guidance does not apply to indoor playgrounds or family entertainment centers.”

Rules include:

    • Everyone over 2 years old is required to use face masks to cover the mouth and nose all the time.
    • Do not use the playground when people cannot maintain 6 feet distance with other households, or when the playground reaches the maximum occupancy of people.
    • Caregivers need to monitor children and adults to stay at least 6 feet apart.
    • No foods or drinks are allowed in the playgrounds.
    • Wash or sanitize hands before and after using them.
    • The elderly and people with underlying medical conditions should not visit playgrounds when others use them.
    • Limit their use to 30 minutes per day when others are present.

Adults or caregivers must supervise children in the playgrounds and ensure that children wear masks all the time. Cleaning hands frequently with hand sanitizers containing 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol is recommended. When schools or programs reserve public playgrounds for their children, they have to make cohorts to maintain separation and avoid mixing.