With Santa Barbara County now in the red tier of the state’s color-coded reopening plan, local cities have been able to reopen playgrounds for resident use.
The city of Santa Barbara announced earlier this week that its 22 public playgrounds have reopened under new guidelines. The cities of Goleta and Lompoc also announced Friday that their parks and playgrounds have reopened, with Goleta also reopening its skate park, with health protocols in place.
The guidelines to visit local parks or playgrounds is as follows: Playgrounds are open during normal hours, which is sunrise to a half-hour before sunset, seven days a week, for most parks; all attendees over the age of 2 must wear a mask covering their face; a physical distance of six feet is required between individuals from different households to prevent overcrowding; and each playground will have a designated number allowed in the active play space at any one time.
Food or drink is not permitted and guests are asked to wash or sanitize their hands before and after their visit. Peak park hours tend to be weekday afternoons and weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents are asked to visit a playground at different times to avoid crowds. Visits will be limited to 30 minutes when others are waiting.
Elderly residents and people with underlying medical conditions should avoid playgrounds when others are present.
Organized groups, as well as groups of non-related families, are not permitted to congregate or use the playgrounds, officials said.
Playgrounds will not be staffed, though park rangers will be present during normal daily hours in Santa Barbara.
The city of Goleta will clean its playgrounds three times per week. City officials throughout the county said that it is not possible to clean playground surfaces between every use, and to have attendees bring disinfecting wipes if needed.
— Mitchell White