San Francisco announces reopening date for outdoor playgrounds with restrictions

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Reopening date set for outdoor playgrounds in SF
San Francisco playgrounds can reopen in two weeks, but there are many restrictions because of COVID-19.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced outdoor playgrounds will be able to reopen for the first time since March, but with restrictions because of COVID-19. San Francisco playgrounds are set to reopen Oct. 14.

It's been a long six months. Swings are empty, slides are dusty and kids are missing their playgrounds.

"I miss the climbing and the slides," said 10-year-old Ian Nguyen.

He said he has had enough time to come up with his own guidelines for reopening playgrounds.

"Face masks and at the end of every day you can sanitize the equipment. That's all I think," Ian said.

MAP: Here's everything that's allowed to reopen in the Bay Area

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On Monday, the California Public Health Department published a lengthy list of guidelines that city playgrounds will need to follow. San Francisco has 179 playgrounds.

"We are planning to open playgrounds and frankly it's about time," said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of the SF Recreation and Park Department. He added, "We've got tattoo parlors open now it's time to let kids access the monkey bars."

These are the guidelines. The state requires everyone 2 years of age or older to wear a face mask. Visitors are not able to eat or drink in the playground to ensure everyone is wearing a mask at all times. You should limit your stay to 30 minutes when other people are present.

VIDEO: UCSF doctor explains why COVID-19 transmission among kids are infrequent

Returning to in-person learning is scary for some teachers & parents, but UCSF compiled a report that may help appease those concerned with transmission in the classroom. Doctors explained why kids get less severe symptoms & infrequent COVID-19 infection.

And that's not all. San Francisco can also add more to the list. "

Capacity guidelines and we are going to make sure that playgrounds are connected to a restroom where they can wash their hands or there are going to be handwashing stations," explained Ginsburg. "We are going to have signage with do's and don'ts."

He went on to say, "We are hopeful that the young people will be able to play on playgrounds by the middle of October. Playgrounds are gonna open, guys! Yeah! It's about time."

Save the date: playgrounds will reopen no later than Oct. 14.

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