Newsom is at a disadvantage due to the closure of playgrounds in a new order

Some California lawmakers are calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to review the closure of public outdoor playgrounds to stay in a new home that will take effect if certain regions of the state suffer from critical care shortages due to COVID-19.

Although much of the discourse around the newly announced coronavirus restrictions focused on businesses – many questioned the science behind the planned closures or its justification – parents also expressed outrage and confusion as to why playgrounds would be banned, e.g. stay open.

In a letter to Newsom On Friday, lawmakers also noted that low-income areas are most affected by the rule because many residents do not have yards and other open areas where they can take their children.

“While we need to take due account of best practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we must also ensure that children throughout the state are not unfairly deprived of opportunities for outdoor access and play,” the letter, a dozen lawmakers said. . “The widespread closure of playgrounds is unfairly negatively affecting children and families.”

Los Angeles County made similar criticisms when it closed on outdoor public playgrounds as part of its own home stay on Monday.

The county has not publicly tied outbreaks of the coronavirus to playgrounds, but officials said the closures were necessary to slow the spread. Playgrounds were closed earlier in the pandemic, but reopened in September to parents ’cheers.

Before the latest regulations were issued, health officials “went back and forth” for many days on how to deal with local park department reports of crowding, children playing without masks, and difficulties in disinfecting playground equipment, says Barbara Ferrer, county health director.

“I know the playgrounds really aren’t really well understood by many, and [their closure] again, it causes a lot of difficulty for families, ”he said this week.

The ban on playgrounds is only one aspect of the state’s new and far-reaching restrictions that would have to be implemented if the capacity of an intensive care unit in a given region falls below 15%. State-defined regions: Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the Gulf, the Sacramento Region, and the Northern California countryside.

“The bottom line is that if we don’t act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed,” Newsom said on Thursday. “If we don’t act now, our mortality rates will continue to rise and more lives will be lost.”

Times staff member Hailey Branson-Potts contributed to this report.