Seattle Parks reopens playgrounds, fitness equipment, but kids will have to wait their turn


Good news for those with crazy kids: Seattle Parks and Recreation reopens 150 outdoor play areas to the public with new safety guidelines on Tuesday.

Playgrounds closed in March when the novel coronavirus first hit the area, as they were seen as “high sensitivity” areas that could easily spread the virus. But with new research showing the virus is unlikely to spread through surfaces, city parks have been given the green light to reopen with new rules in place to limit transmission.

To ensure the safety of swings, climbers and slides, play equipment will be limited to five children or less at a time. As per the statewide mask mandate, all children over the age of two will be required to wear a mask, although there are some exceptions.

To maintain social distancing and occupancy requirements, the department is asking parents to visit parks at less busy hours and only stay 30 minutes or less to give others the opportunity to play. Green Lake, Seward, Magnuson, Discovery, Lincoln, Gas Works, Carkeek, and Jefferson Park are some of the city’s most popular play areas and can get busier on weekends.

“We’re all in the same boat, so gently remind others of the guidelines and find a different activity if the playground is too crowded,” Seattle Parks wrote in his blog. “We cannot allow playgrounds to be places where COVID-19 spreads, so we need people to use these spaces safely. “


The Cal Anderson playground will remain closed as the park has not officially reopened following the summer protests.

Those who have canceled their gym memberships in recent months are also in luck as outdoor fitness equipment at all Seattle parks reopened on Tuesday. The equipment follows guidelines similar to playgrounds, including limiting use to five or fewer people at a time and requiring masks.

The department also pointed out that playgrounds and fitness equipment are not regularly sanitized or cleaned and that all users should wash or sanitize their hands before and after playing and avoid touching their face.

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