Memphis suburban leaders steadily announced Wednesday that playgrounds will soon reopen. Therefore, giving children an opportunity to return to swinging from playground equipment, climbing ladders and going down slides for the first time since spring.

However, the announcement carries the caveat of playing “at your own risk.”

Bartlett, Collierville and Germantown will reopen playgrounds Saturday for the first time since since closing due safety concerns connected to the coronavirus pandemic. Memphis suburban leaders are hard at work.

“We have been following the Tennessee Pledge and Shelby County Health Department, so we didn’t do anything we felt was not safe,” Shan Criswell, Bartlett Parks and Recreation director, said. “We wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing.”

Lakeland Hopes to Open Parks Next Month

Meanwhile, Lakeland City Manager Shane Horn says that while that city will not open parks this weekend, he hopes the recreation areas will open in the next month. Appropriate signage must be placed and hand sanitizer made available.

“In (the most recent health directive), there is no mention of playgrounds being closed,” Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County Health Department health officer, said in Tuesday’s media briefing.

According to Randolph, the 11th health directive explicitly outlines which businesses are to close. The closure of park playgrounds are the responsibility of the municipalities.

Since May, Arlington playgrounds have been open. It was somewhat of “a soft opening.” and was not highly publicized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are visible.

Visitors are to Follow Normal Social Distancing Guidelines

The announcements recommend visitors follow the normal rules regarding social distancing and bringing their own hand sanitizer. Additionally, people are not to crowd and stay away from those outside their own families.

The Bartlett Parks and Recreation Department will clean equipment once per day but recommends that those using the recreation areas bring their own cleansing wipes for the equipment. Bartlett also recommends facial coverings for those over age 2.

For more information, please check out the full article from the Daily Memphian.
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