NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some New York City playgrounds will be allowed to reopen in Phase 2 on Monday, the mayor announced Thursday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said playgrounds that are geared toward “younger children” will be the first to reopen.
“I know what it feels like as a parent to have young kids and to deal with all the challenges every parent deals with, especially if you have multiple young kids and it’s been months and months of being cooped up,” he said. “We want to give this relief. We’re gonna start with those playgrounds for younger kids and then hopefully sometime soon we can go even farther in terms of our parks and all the athletic facilities they have.”
For Park Slope mom Annika Hagstrom and her 4-year-old son Oscar, opening Harmony Playground in Brookln’s Prospect Park can’t come soon enough.
“The playground is key for the kids, so we’re excited,” Hagstrom told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
While many can’t wait for Monday, other parents say they’re not quite ready to expose their families to more germs.
“Life has to continue but I don’t think we’re going to be using the playgrounds anytime soon,” mom Jody Girgenti said.
“I have my sanitizer and my wipes. Before I put my child on the slide or my baby in the swing, I make sure I wipe it down and whatever,” Marilyn Lagan said.
The mayor reminded parents to have good hygiene and practice social distancing.
He also said social distance ambassadors will be out to make sure people stay six feet apart and to give out face masks to anyone who needs one.
The Parks Department says they will not be sanitizing the playgrounds ahead of them opening.
De Blasio said the city is not ready to reopen parks or athletic facilities.
De Blasio was also asked again about the city’s beaches Thursday and whether lifeguards will be ready if/when they’re allowed to reopen.
“The situation where you’re going to group tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in the same place is a more sensitive decision,” he said. “We’re talking about when that would be appropriate, but I’m convinced from everything I’m hearing that we’ll have the lifeguards ready.”
New York City enters Phase 2 on Monday with outdoor dining, in-store retail, hair salons, barbershops and more reopening.