SAN FRANCISCO—Playgrounds will reopen in San Francisco on Thursday, December 10 after California health officials were criticized for closing playgrounds as part of the stay-at-home order.

In a new update, the California Department of Health (CDPH) stated on its website that “outdoor playgrounds” are allowed to “open if they are operated by the city, state, county, or federal government.”

In addition, the CDPH said that local health departments may have more restrictions. After the reversal, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks indicated on Twitter that although playgrounds will reopen, residents can only go with members of their households.

In another tweet, anyone who is over the age of 2 “must wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing, and comply with capacity limits” and that no one should “schedule playdates or meet others at the playground.”

According to SF Recreation and Parks’ website, San Francisco is the first city in the United States for residents to “have access to a park within a 10-minute walk,”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted she is “glad to hear” about CA’s reversal on playgrounds and stated “outdoor activity is important for all of our physical and mental health, especially children.”

On December 3, California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced a regional stay-at-home order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  He explained on Twitter that this order applies to “regions where ICU [Intensive Care Unit] capacity have fallen below 15 percent.”

The state is divided into five regions.  According to the CDPH, those regions are: Northern California, the Bay Area, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, and Southern California.

The regions of Greater Sacramento, Southern California, and San Joaquin Valley are under a stay-at-home order, which is the majority of the residents in California.

The Bay Area is not under a regional stay-at-home order, but San Francisco, located in the Bay Area, has voluntary joined the regional stay-at-home order as of Sunday, December 6 after experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

As of December 8, the state of California has a total of 1,420,558 cases and 20,243 deaths. As of December 6, San Francisco has a total of 17,384 cases and 164 deaths.