De Blasio confirms playgrounds will reopen Monday
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that city playgrounds will reopen on Monday, June 22, as the city approaches Phase 2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a lot of things that still cannot yet happen in our parks,” he said. “But for the playgrounds meant for younger children, with the playground equipment that’s specifically meant for kids to get a break, get some exercise … we’re ready to open those up on Monday.”
According to de Blasio, the city will start by opening playgrounds for younger kids and then follow it with the opening of all park athletic facilities.
The parks will have social distancing ambassadors, the mayor said.
“They’re going to be out reminding people about distancing, giving out the face coverings, helping parents to remember all those basic hygiene rules that really matter with kids,” he said. “If they’re out in the playground, [it’s] really important to use the hand sanitizer, wash hands afterwards, all sorts of precautions that need to be taken, but we believe we can make it work safely and it’s another step in the right direction.”
“I am grateful that the mayor answered our call to safely reopen our local playgrounds,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan. “We’ve come a long way over the past four months, but we still need to stay vigilant and safe – especially when it comes to our little ones.”
“Parents will of course need to use their best judgment about avoiding play areas that are overly crowded, and ensuring their children are staying safe and washing hands after being outdoors,” he added. “To help reinforce existing public health guidance, the Parks Department will install advisory signage throughout all parks, and social distancing ambassadors will be out helping educate parkgoers and distribute face coverings. ”
“It’s great news for kids and their parents that playgrounds will finally be reopening,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “Families have been cooped up for the past several months and they need safe ways to exercise, get fresh air and have some fun during the summer months.”
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