State Sets Protocols for Reopening Outdoor Playground Facilities

community association Oct 01, 2020

By Matt D. Ober, Esq., CCAL

For those who need a break from guiding your children through home schooling or distance learning, your community association playground may soon be open.  On September 28, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines for outdoor playgrounds and recreational facilities. By State definition, the guidance applies to publicly accessible outdoor locations including play structures, slides, and swings, but does not include indoor playgrounds.   

  • All visitors to playgrounds (2 years or older) must wear a facemask.
  • Members of different households must maintain a minimum physical distance of 6 feet.
  • Caregivers must monitor use to ensure minimum physical distance.
  • Eating and drinking in playground area is prohibited. 
  • Wash hands before and after use. 
  • Elderly and persons with underlying medical conditions should avoid the playground area. 

In an effort to comply with the above recommendations in your community, as with pool reopening rules, we recommend adopting rules on use, limiting playtime (i.e. 30 minutes per household when others are present), and perhaps implement playground reservations to avoid overcrowding the facility. 

For community leaders (managers and directors), adherence to the State Guidelines is similar to previous amenities reopening. To ensure the safety of your residents and reduce risk to you’re association, we recommend posting and complying with the following:

  • Adult supervision of children is required to ensure social distancing and proper facemask use.
  • Children supervised by the same adult must remain together in same play area.
  • Post instructions on rules for waiting to use the playground and advise residents to remain 6 feet away from the equipment while they wait. 
  • Increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (recommended daily).
  • Provide handwashing stations or sanitizer if feasible.
  • Post the maximum number of playground users at the entrance and the maximum capacity per play structure or equipment.
  • Mark playground area to assist in maintaining 6-foot minimum distancing.

As is the case for opening any community amenity affected by COVID-19, the State and Local health officer orders and protocols allow communities to reopen certain amenities – but do not require that your community do so.  Each community association board and manager must evaluate whether it is practical, feasible and/or prudent to open any amenity in light of the protocols required and the resources available to the particular community.   

Please contact us for assistance in opening your community playground or other amenity.