With winter approaching, Crestwood said it will adjust its St. Louis County-mandated playground cleaning to match the weather. The city’s playgrounds opened in mid-August after being officially closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Louis County-owned playgrounds at 55 sites such as the ones in Bee Tree Park and Jefferson Barracks Park reopened in September after the county Department of Public Health approved the plan from the county Department of Parks.
But the county told The Call this week that the safety plans filed with the county will have to continue indefinitely, with no timeline for ending. If a city makes a change to the days or frequency of cleaning, a new safety plan has to be approved by the county.
Crestwood Parks and Recreation Director Eilien Ramirez said that the city will have to submit a new plan in anticipation of winter.
“We will be cleaning the playgrounds based on the weather. If it is a sunny day with no precipitation then we will clean the playgrounds on that day. If it is raining, snowing, icing or cold and windy then we will not clean that day. Kids tend to hit the playgrounds on sunny days. We will see how this plan works out. If we have to set a temperature we may do that at a later date. This is a learn as we go situation.”
The parks in Sunset Hills also reopened in late summer.
“Please note that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 when on public playgrounds,” Crestwood Parks and Recreation officials posted on Facebook.
Under the city’s existing safety plan, Crestwood’s playgrounds at Whitecliff Park and Crestwood Park will be cleaned and sanitized Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Rayburn, Sanders, Spellman and Ferndale parks will be cleaned and sanitized on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The city is asking residents going to the playgrounds to wear masks, as required by the mandatory mask mandate in St. Louis County, and bring hand sanitizer to use before and after using the playground equipment.
Anyone who has COVID-19-related symptoms is asked not to visit the playground until they are healthy.
“If the playground is busy and social distancing cannot take place we ask that you visit at a later time,” the city said.
County-owned playgrounds such as those in Oakville are disinfected several times a week with U.S. Centers for Disease Control-approved cleaners. Frequency of cleaning may be increased or decreased in the future based on further guidance from St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the state of Missouri or the CDC.
Signage will be placed at each playground site reminding visitors to stay home if sick, maintain 6 feet of distance from others and wash or sanitize hands regularly. Masks are required except on children while playing. Visitors are also encouraged to limit usage in order to ensure social distancing.