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The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday will consider reopening park playgrounds with new COVID-19 regulations that include a mask mandate and social distancing guidelines.
Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Playgrounds across the state have been closed since March 19 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. The California Department of Public Health issued new safety guidelines for reopening playgrounds on Sept. 28.
The new rules require masks for everyone above 2 years of age, the prohibition of eating and drinking, and a limit of 30-minute park visits a day, according to a City Council staff report. The requirements also call for an increased amount of cleaning for every surface, as well as hand washing and sanitizing stations around parks.
Newport Beach has installed signage around the entrances of playgrounds outlining the new rules, including the maximum occupancy for the area and for each structure within the playground, according to the staff report.
Since the closure of the parks in March, renovations were completed at Mariners, Bob Henry, and Newport Shores parks. These updated facilities will now be available to the public once the parks reopen.