St. Louis County could open playgrounds soon, following cities like Crestwood

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Mehlville’s John Cary Early Childhood students Emma Kitchell and Yaneli Juarez-Carrillo check out their playground the first week at school in 2018.

By Gloria Lloyd, Staff Reporter

St. Louis County-owned playgrounds are still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic even after playgrounds in county municipalities like Crestwood have reopened, but that could change in the next week as the county looks to reopen its own parks too.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation has submitted plans to the Department of Public Health to try to reopen county playgrounds, a health department spokeswoman told The Call. The health department allowed cities to start reopening their parks in mid-August, but safety plans have to be approved by county officials.

The county’s own plan for playgrounds “is on our list of plans to review this week. That is why County playgrounds are still closed,” the spokeswoman said.

Crestwood’s playgrounds reopened Aug. 14 after being closed for most of the summer due to COVID-19. St. Louis County’s playgrounds have been closed since March.

“Please note that there is an increased risk of COVID-19 when on public playgrounds,” Crestwood Parks and Recreation officials posted on Facebook.

The parks in Sunset Hills are still closed until further notice.

Under the city’s 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.