BOSTON – The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is providing guidance on the re-opening of all playgrounds and spray decks during the Commonwealth’s Phase II.
Governor Charlie Baker said Phase II will begin on Monday, June 8.
Until the start of Phase II, these facilities must remain closed to the public, but operators are allowed to prepare their respective facilities and train staff to achieve compliance with the guidance below.
All visitors to playgrounds, spray decks and outdoor fitness areas (including associated seating or picnic areas), and managers associated with properties or activities herein, should abide by the specific guidelines outlined.
All visitors to playgrounds, spray decks and outdoor fitness areas must comply with COVID-19 Order 31, which means face coverings or masks must be worn when individuals cannot maintain 6 feet of distance between themselves and others.
Facial masks or coverings should not be worn while in the water of a spray deck (goggles and snorkels may be worn).
Social Distancing and Hygiene
- Persons using playgrounds, spray decks and outdoor fitness areas must maintain 6 feet from all other persons.
- Playground, spray deck and outdoor fitness area operators should post signage encouraging distancing and use of face coverings.
- Parents, guardians and other adults supervising children should monitor children at all times to ensure children maintain proper distancing and adhere to requirements for face coverings.
- Where possible, playground and outdoor fitness area operators or staff (if available) are encouraged to limit capacity to allow for social distancing. If the facility is unstaffed, parents and guardians will be required to seek alternative facilities if the playground or spray deck is crowded such that social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Children and adults who feel sick or are recovering from an illness may not visit theplayground, spray deck or outdoor fitness area.
- Users shall abide by social distancing standards for bathroom lines and follow any established visual guidelines for maintaining a 6 feet distance in all restroom facilities
- Restroom facilities, if available, should contain hand washing and/or sanitizer stations, and the public should use these stations before and after the use of the facilities.
- After visiting public spaces, users should use wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Playground and outdoor fitness area managers are encouraged, if feasible, to modify play structures to encourage social distancing (such as removing swings or moving seating).
- Playground, spray deck and outdoor fitness area operators should familiarize themselves with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control guidance on cleaning your facility.
- In accordance with CDC guidance, outdoor areas, like playgrounds and outdoor fitness areas, generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.
- Consult with the company or engineer that designed the spray deck to decide which disinfectants approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency external icon (EPA) are best for your spray deck venue.
- Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants and store them securely away from children.
- All handwash sinks shall be fully stocked with soap and paper towels.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol shall be available to any staff.
- Close playground, spray decks and outdoor fitness area facilities used by a sick person and wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting these facilities.
- High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, including grab bars and railings, tables and benches, should be frequently cleaned
- Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.
Restrooms & Trash Disposal
- In advance of the initial opening of public restrooms, the managing entity must adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines pertaining to the cleaning and disinfection standards of operating procedures for interior spaces and that social distancing
can be maintained.
- Furthermore, the managing entity must have the facilities cleaned at least once daily and perform deep cleaning and disinfection services at least once per week.
- Visitors of playgrounds, spray decks and outdoor fitness areas should expect limited or no trash disposal receptacles.
- When visiting public properties without trash receptacles, visitors should adhere to a strict “carry in, carry out” policy and take waste with them.
- Where trash receptacles are available for normal use, facility managers shall where feasible, provide no touch, lidless trashcans