St. Louis County reopens its playgrounds today

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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.

St. Louis County will reopen its playgrounds today — Monday, Sept. 21. St. Louis County’s playgrounds have been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county Parks Department developed procedures with approval from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health for cleaning and disinfecting park playground equipment at the 55 sites located in the county parks system. Playgrounds will be 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.

To further help limit the risk of disease transmission, St. Louis County Parks will limit use of playground equipment to daylight hours only, 8 a.m. to dusk, daily.

For more information about St. Louis County Parks service status, visit stlcorona.com.

St. Louis County-owned playgrounds stayed closed in August and early September due to the COVID-19 pandemic even after the county health department granted approval to playgrounds in county municipalities like Crestwood to reopen. Those safety plans have to be approved by county officials.

As first reported by The Call Sept. 10, a health department spokeswoman said the county Department of Parks and Recreation had submitted plans to the Department of Public Health to try to reopen county playgrounds.

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 at the time.

Crestwood’s playgrounds reopened Aug. 14 after being closed for most of the summer due to COVID-19.

Sunset Hills opened its playgrounds two weeks ago after the county approved its safety plans.