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COVID-19: Playgrounds, restaurants now able to reopen in Citrus Heights

Children could be seen swinging at a playground at Rusch Park on Wednesday, following new guidelines issued Sept. 29 that allow more outdoor activities. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip–
More businesses and activities can now resume in Citrus Heights, after Sacramento County on Tuesday moved into the “Red Tier” of the state’s color-coded system for identifying counties with lower COVID-19 risks.

In a news release Tuesday, Sacramento County outlined which businesses and activities are now allowed to operate under the less restrictive guidelines.

Gyms and fitness centers can reopen indoors, but with only 10 percent capacity. Movie theaters, places of worship and restaurants can also reopen indoors with 25% occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less.

Family entertainment centers, cardrooms, wineries, bars and breweries can only operate outdoors, and may be conducted under a tent with no more than one side closed.

Boston’s Pizza, one of Citrus Heights’ newest restaurants, announced they have already re-opened for indoor dining. The restaurant will be complying with state and county guidelines, according to the announcement on social media.

The county’s guidelines define family entertainment centers as bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, and arcades. Some on social media questioned how outdoor bowling would be feasible.

Playgrounds and other outdoor recreational facilities are also permitted to reopen, according to a news release by the California Department of Public Health, Monday. The new guidelines for playgrounds require face masks for anyone over the age of two. Families must maintain physical distancing, and no food or drink will be allowed in order to ensure face coverings are worn.

Supervisor Sue Frost took to social media to express her excitement over the new guidelines. The District 4 supervisor said she is “thrilled” that playgrounds are reopening.

“My office has heard from countless parents and grandparents asking for playgrounds to open,” Frost said. “If there is a playground in your community, I encourage you to ensure that the operators are aware of these new guidelines so that children can get back to playing safely outdoors.”

Marty Buell, Senior Recreation Services Manager for Sunrise Recreation and Park District, told The Sentinel in an email Thursday that parks throughout the district have remained open, however some amenities were restricted to slow the spread of COVID-19. He confirmed that playgrounds were opened back up this week and said the district has updated their website with the “Play it Safe” guidelines provided by the California Department of Public Health.

It was unclear whether the district had enforced playground closures prior to the restriction being lifted this week.

The State’s tier system includes four risk levels. The most restrictive tier is “Widespread,” shown in purple. From there, the tiers are Red for “Substantial,” Orange for “Moderate,” and Yellow for “Minimal.”

In order to move through the tier system, a county must show a decrease in criteria such as case rate and positivity rate. Counties showing an increase may move into a more restrictive tier.

To read the latest health order from Sacramento County, click here.

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