WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — After months of closures, playgrounds across Palm Beach County are allowed to reopen.
Under an emergency order issued Thursday, all county-operated park playgrounds, water playgrounds, play and exercise equipment, water fountains, and volleyball courts can reopen at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Skate parks and bicycle tracks may reopen "with supervision as determined by park management."
Campgrounds may begin taking reservations for stays on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and supervised sports facilities with lights may be open after sunset. In addition, adult sports activities and leagues are permitted.
READ THE ORDER:
"We have made the decision, it's time to reopen," Vice County Mayor Robert Weinroth told WPTV. "Let the children enjoy the fresh air. Go out and enjoy the amenities."
Under a notice issued by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, people are being told to "wear a mask if you can" at playgrounds.
County leaders said earlier this week that they were planning to issue an emergency order on Thursday regarding the reopening of playgrounds.
"We wanted to give the cities a heads up that we were contemplating opening our playgrounds, along with some other type of activities in our parks," County Administrator Verdenia Baker told county commissioners on Tuesday. "That is an [emergency order] that we will be completing, and we anticipate opening those, making it effective on Thursday of this week."
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus
Baker said that once county-operated playgrounds reopen, health guidelines from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be in place and equipment will be disinfected.
"It's important that parents recognize that we can't police all of these areas. We can't keep them sanitized. Parents are gonna have to take responsibility for their children," Weinroth said.
INTERVIEW WITH VICE MAYOR:
Palm Beach County's emergency order only applies to county-operated playgrounds. Individual municipalities can then decide if they want to open city-operated playgrounds as well.
"We gave our county staff a few extra days to get out there, get the tape down, make sure everything was in good working order," Weinroth said. "The municipalities may have some problems getting ready. But as far as county parks, we should be ready to go."