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Parks reopen as Stanislaus County remains in widespread COVID-19 tier
COVID parks
The California Department of Public Health allowed for outdoor parks and playgrounds to reopen statewide (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

The California Department of Public Health has given the greenlight for parks and playgrounds to reopen statewide, regardless of what tier the counties are in currently.

The authorization was granted Monday and is only for outdoor parks and playgrounds. It also comes with a lengthy list of rules designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Playgrounds that are allowed to open must be fully outdoors, free to enter and use, and publicly accessible.

Visitors to outdoor community playgrounds must comply with the following requirements:

  1. Face masks over the mouth and nose are required for everyone 2 years of age or older with caregiver supervision at all times to ensure face mask use.
  2. Do not use the playground when different households are unable to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or when the capacity limit has been reached.
  3. Caregivers must monitor to keep adults and children from different households at least 6 feet apart.
  4. Consider coming on different times or days to avoid wait times and potential crowded times.
  5. No eating or drinking in playground, to ensure face masks are worn at all times.
  6. Wash or sanitize hands before and after using the playground.
  7. Elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid playground when others are present.
  8. Limit visit to 30 min per day when others are present.

Stanislaus County is making progress towards moving to the next tier down in California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but currently remains in the widespread purple tier. As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County has a seven-day average number of new COVID-19 positive cases per day per 100,000 residents of 7.2%, which still falls into the widespread tier. The positivity rate was at 4.7%, according to the CDPH.

In order to move out of the purple widespread tier and into the red substantial tier, the county must meet both metrics and sustain that level for two consecutive weeks. Under the purple tier most non-essential indoor business operations have to remain closed or make modifications to operate outdoors, like restaurants, or decrease capacity. Under the red tier, some non-essential indoor business operations can open and/or increase capacity.

As of Tuesday, Stanislaus County has recorded 16,496 positive COVID-19 cases and seen 359 residents die from the virus.