LAUSD playgrounds set to reopen today; LA Public Library to offer limited in-person services

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As Los Angeles County eyes a move to the least-restrictive yellow tier this week, Los Angeles Unified elementary school playgrounds and the Los Angeles Public Library will begin to reopen Monday.

Playgrounds at all LAUSD elementary schools and early education centers will reopen after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

District personnel will use electrostatic misters and approved disinfectant to regularly sanitize playground equipment, the same procedure used to clean frequently touched surfaces in a school, according to Superintendent Austin Beutner.

Only one group of students will be allowed to use the playground at a time, and students will be encouraged to wash their hands after using the equipment, Beutner said.

LA County on the verge of moving to least-restrictive yellow tier this week
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Los Angeles County is expected to reach the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state's four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy when updated statistics are released on Tuesday.



"Smiles all around,'' Beutner said. "The road to recovery includes the opportunity for youngsters to exercise and play outdoors in a way that is safe and appropriate.

"This is all part of our commitment to create the safest possible school environment.''

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Public Library will begin a phased reopening of the Central Library and 37 other branches for in-person services.

The L.A. Public Library system will open with limited in-person services at the downtown flagship location and 37 of its 73 total branches, which may include quick browsing, computer access, mobile printing orders, checking out library materials and the Library To Go'' contactless pickup service.

"Libraries are the civic and cultural heartbeat of our communities, and an extraordinary resource for Angelenos looking to fire up their imaginations and pursue their dreams,'' Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week.

"Our next phase in reopening our library doors marks the next step toward reintegrating this critical entry point for learning, literacy and literature back into the everyday lives of our residents -- and another crucial marker on our road to recovery.''

This is the second phase of the library's reopening plan to gradually restore service after all branches closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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L.A. County again eased its COVID-19 health restrictions, lifting restrictions on operating hours for bars, breweries and wineries, while allowing indoor playgrounds and arcades to reopen at limited capacity.



Last July, the library launched its "Library to Go'' program, allowing customers to safely pick up and drop off materials curbside to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. That program expanded on March 23 to include evening hours at more than two-dozen locations, along with free remote wireless printing services.

"We are excited to be starting this new chapter ... and we know Angelenos have missed us as much as we have missed them,'' said City Librarian John F. Szabo. "We look forward to seeing our patrons return, and we're committed to offering everyone a safe and welcoming experience.''

To learn more about the reopening and see which 37 branches are participating, go to www.lapl.org/reopening.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles County Library announced that 30 of its 85 libraries will reopen for in-person service beginning May 10, bringing the total number of reopened libraries in the county system to 60.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County is expected to reach the least-restrictive yellow tier of the state's four-tier Blueprint for a Safer Economy when updated statistics are released on Tuesday.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said if the county does qualify for the move, a new health order with more relaxed restrictions will be published Wednesday, taking effect Thursday.



City News Service contributed to this report.
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