January 16, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City of Santa Monica Closes Playgrounds

Public playgrounds close, farmers market occupancy limited

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica officials have closed public playgrounds as COVID-19 spread in the region remains high.

On November 30, the City of Santa Monica updated rules surrounding recreational activities to align with new LA County restrictions. Included in the health order is the closure of all City of Santa Monica playground equipment, effective Monday, November 30 through December 20. This comes after in early October Santa Monica playgrounds reopened after months of closure.

In addition to the playground closure, the order limits swimming to one person per lane at public pools, and reduces farmers market customer occupancy by 50 percent.

“To ensure we align with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the City is working with the County to obtain further clarification for outdoor recreation activities and will share updates when available,” the City said in a press release.

Team sports games remain prohibited, both for adults and youth.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 5,014 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths. 2,049 people are hospitalized as of Sunday while the daily positivity rate’s seven-day average is 8.1 percent. This is an increase from the 6.9 percent average rate reported on Monday, November 23.

In the new LA County order that went into effect on Monday, “all public and private gatherings with individuals not in your household are prohibited, except for faith based services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.”

In addition, the county has placed the following occupancy limits in various sectors: essential retail – 35 percent, non-essential retail (includes indoor malls) – 20 percent, personal care services – 20 percent, libraries – 20 percent, outdoor fitness centers – 50 percent, museums galleries, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens – 50 percent, mini-golf, batting cages, outdoor go-kart racing operating outdoors – 50 percent.

All schools and day camps that have obtained waivers remain open adhering to re-opening protocols.

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