SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica closed all of its school playgrounds on Thursday, November 30, to be in accordance with Los Angeles County’s new targeted safer at home restrictions, according to a City of Santa Monica press release.

All elementary school playgrounds, including structures and open spaces were the primary target of the city ordinance. The ordinance included the City of Malibu as well, per their joint-school-district policies.

“The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has closed all elementary school playgrounds, including structures and open spaces, in response to the safer at home order by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in LA County,” the district said in a news release. 

“This order includes public playgrounds on school property in Santa Monica, through the City of Santa Monica Playground Partnership, and Malibu, through the City of Malibu Joint Use Agreement,” officials noted.

The order exempts certain child-care or on-campus services which need to use playgrounds as part of their operations.

Athletic conditioning throughout the cities’ high schools, in parallel, are allowed to continue under the city ordinance. 

“We understand these additional closures and emergency orders impact every corner of our community, especially heading into the December holidays,” said Santa Monica Chief Resilience Officer, Lindsay Call. 

“As we await a vaccine, our collaborative actions can help curb the deadly impact of COVID-19 on our community. We need every Santa Monica to follow LA County health guidelines and stay at home as much as possible, to wear a face covering, and not gather with those outside of their household.”