Harlingen to reopen city park playgrounds Friday

HARLINGEN — City playgrounds are set to re-open on Friday, but playtime participants are going to have to abide by some restrictions, officials said Wednesday.

Playgrounds shut down due to COVID-19 will re-open on a limited basis, and mask mandates, social-distancing and crowd limits, among other things, will be required.

“For the safety of playground users, the City of Harlingen is adding safety measures to mitigate or reduce the spread of COVID-19,” a city statement read. “The guidelines include CDC and playground experts’ recommendations for limiting capacity on playgrounds, supporting physical distancing, cleaning surfaces, wearing face coverings, utilizing properly trained staff and educating the community about the reopening guidelines.”

Parks and Recreation Department staff will disinfect all playgrounds at 8 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. Playgrounds will be closed for 15 minutes during these periods. Also, and this will vary from playground to playground, occupancy will be limited.

Other rules include:

– Social-distancing is required to avoid crowding parks.

– Do not visit parks if you are sick, tested positive for COVID-19, were recently exposed to COVID-19, or just don’t feel well.

– Help children follow guidelines.

– Adults or caregivers are required to monitor their children.

– No groups larger than 10 people will be allowed except for families or people living in the same household.

– Use of face coverings or masks required except for children under the age of two.

– No food or drinks allowed in the playground area.

– Visits should be limited to 30 minutes when others are in the playground.

The safety guidelines will be posted at each city playground, and parks and rec department staff will provide hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations at all playgrounds.