The City of West Hollywood has closed Plummer Park and West Hollywood Park after reports that half of those using the parks have not been wearing mandatory face coverings.
“Approximately 50% of park users in recent days have failed to comply with the city’s face covering requirements and social (physical) distancing protocols and have altered and/or destroyed protective barriers intended to keep playgrounds closed,” the city said in an announcement today of the City Manager’s order to close the parks. “The order is aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of community members.
Neighborhood parks such as that on Kings Road and dog parks at West Hollywood Park and William S. Hart Dog Park will remain open so long as those using the parks comply with face covering and social distancing requirements. Those who don’t wear face coverings are subject to a citation that comes with a $250 fine and an additional $50 administrative fee.
Tennis courts at West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park also will remain open. “As with dog parks, city staff and Sheriff’s personnel will closely monitor adherence to requirements,” the city said in today’s announcement. “Tennis players not adhering to health and safety protocols are subject to administrative citation as well as a one-year suspension of iTennis membership and court reservation privileges.
“The continued availability of tennis courts at West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park is dependent upon players following strict standards set forth by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and protocols that have been established to be consistent with safe-play practices issued by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), International Tennis Federation (ITF), and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). Details are available at www.weho.org/tennis.”
All of the city’s parks were first closed by an emergency executive order issued by City Manager Paul Arevalo on April 9 in response to the growing number of COVID-19 infections. The county Health Department began easing restrictions as it appearing that the number of infections was leveling, and on June 15 the City Manager allowed the parks to re-open.
In its announcement of the closings, the city noted that the county Health Department has reported a sharp increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, “and simultaneously, approximately half of West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park visitors have continued to disregard health and safety protocols, despite signage, education, and enforcement efforts.”
People who leave their homes and go out in public in West Hollywood and the rest of Los Angeles County are required to wearing a cloth covering of their mouths and noses. Such coverings have been proven to reduce the change that one can infect another by transmitting the COVID-19 virus through the air by sneezing, coughing, or talking loudly. Recently health experts have said that face coverings also can protect those who wear them.