California allows playgrounds to open under stay-home order

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 12:28 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 18:02:00-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has changed its rules overnight to allow outdoor playgrounds to stay open in regions under strict stay-home orders.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration had come under heavy criticism that shutting playgrounds would harm low-income children who have few options to safely romp outside. A spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health said the change was new as of Wednesday morning.

San Francisco's mayor said city playgrounds will reopen Thursday after closing earlier this week. Playground advocates say children need fresh air and exercise for their emotional and physical health and that many don’t have access to private backyards.

The City of Bakersfield said its playgrounds are currently open to the public.

The Kern County Department of Public Health says playgrounds are exempt from the Regional Stay Home Order issued by the State this weekend. Public Health has asked that only one household/family group use the playground equipment at a time.