BREAKING: City Manager Closes WeHo Park and Plummer Park Due to Noncompliance of Face Covering and Social Distancing Requirements

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    Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

    In response to public noncompliance of face covering and social distancing requirements, Paul Arevalo, the City of West Hollywood City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, ordered the immediate closure of West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park. Arevalo issued Emergency Executive Order (2020-9) today, Thursday, July 23, 2020, implementing emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    Emergency Executive Order 2020-9 establishes the closure of West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park following numerous reports by City staff and the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that visitors to these City parks have been observed not complying with park rules adopted to curb the spread of COVID-19. Full text of Emergency Executive Order 2020-9 is available on the City of West Hollywood’s website (PDF) at https://www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=47771.

    According to City press release, approximately 50 percent 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 Order is aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of community members.

    At this time, neighborhood parks and dog parks at West Hollywood Park and William S. Hart Dog Park remain open, subject to park users’ compliance with face covering and social distancing requirements. Park patrons are subject to Administrative Citation for not voluntarily using face coverings. Additionally, tennis courts at West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park will remain open at this time. As with dog parks, City staff and Sheriff’s personnel will closely monitor adherence to requirements. 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 City of West Hollywood parks were first closed by Emergency Executive Order 2020-2 on Thursday, April 9, 2020, to protect the health and safety of community members. As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health eased restrictions through revised Health Officer Orders, the City of West Hollywood issued Emergency Executive Order 2020-7 on Monday, June 15, 2020 lifting the closure of City of West Hollywood parks. However, according to LA County Public Health, there has been a sharp increase in new COVID-19 positivity rates 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.

    Community members are urged to take personal responsibility in following face covering and social (physical) distancing requirements in order to keep themselves and others safe. More than 55 percent of LA County COVID-19 cases are now among individuals under the age of 40. While cases in this age range have thus far shown to have a generally lower risk of serious illness or death, LA County Public Health is expressing concern that people in this group may unknowingly infect parents, grandparents, and friends and family who have underlying health conditions and who are at greater risk for serious illness and death.

    The City of West Hollywood has had a mandatory face covering requirement in effect since Saturday, May 23, 2020. Full text of Emergency Executive Order 2020-3 requiring face coverings is available on the City’s website (PDF) at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=46373. The State of California and County of Los Angeles have also directed the use of face coverings in public.

    The City of West Hollywood has declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. When in public, community members should maintain your space with social (physical) distancing of at least six feet, and cover your face to adhere to City, County, and State requirements for the use of face coverings. Face coverings are not required for young children under two-years-old; children between two- and eight-years-old should only wear face coverings with adult supervision; and people with certain medical conditions are exempt from this requirement. Public Health officials recommend that everyone must continue to follow physical distancing and infection control directives and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household.

    The City encourages residents to remain home as much as is practical and limit close contact with others outside of a household. Additionally, people 65 years old or older and all people of any age with underlying health conditions should remain at home whenever possible; people in these categories should only leave their residences to seek medical care, exercise, or obtain food or other necessities.

    For Updates Related to West Hollywood, visit www.weho.org/coronavirus; Follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook; Subscribe to Email Alerts at www.weho.org/email

     For LA County Public Health Updates Visit:
    www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus

    For Information about California’s COVID-19 Efforts visit:
    www.covid19.ca.gov

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