Effective Friday, June 5, Oakland County Health Division is rescinding Emergency Health Order 2020-8, which closed all indoor and outdoor playground equipment for children. Indoor playgrounds remain closed under State of Michigan Executive Order 2020-110 and social distancing is still required at outdoor parks and recreational facilities.
The County Health division is providing a day of preparation and recommends that playground operators utilize signage and other methods to remind visitors of the COVID-19 Health protocols which include practicing social distancing (six feet apart), wearing a face covering, covering for coughs and sneezes, and frequent handwashing.
Follow these actions when visiting a park, beach, or recreational facility:
- Stay at least six feet from others at all times. This can make some open areas, trails, and paths safer to use. Do not enter a crowded area.
- Minimize gathering with others outside of your household.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Keep hand sanitizer with you (at least 60% alcohol) for times when soap and water are not available.
Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas. If practical, high touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, should be cleaned routinely. Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (e.g., play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (e.g., mulch, sand) is not recommended.
Specifically, the language of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order, which is now in effect, reads:
“Unless otherwise prohibited by local regulation, outdoor parks and recreational facilities may be open, provided that they make any reasonable modifications necessary to enable employees and patrons not part of the same household to maintain six feet of distance from one another, and provided that areas in which social distancing cannot be maintained be closed, subject to guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Subject to the exceptions in section 14, the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:
“Indoor services or facilities, or outdoor services or facilities involving close contact of persons, for amusement or other recreational or entertainment purposes, such as amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor climbing facilities, indoor dance areas, skating rinks, trampoline parks, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities.”