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Playgrounds, tracks and fields are fair game again after being closed as a pandemic precaution.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Portland Public Schools has reopened its playgrounds (seen here in a pre-pandemic file photo), to give people more outdoor-play options during the pandemic.

Portland Public Schools has reopened its fields and playgrounds that have been closed because of safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've taken down the signage prohibiting the use of playgrounds and our grounds," Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said at the Tuesday, Dec. 1, school board meeting.

"I'm glad we're able to offer some return to normalcy," he added. COURTESY PHOTO: RYAN SEPULVEDA FOR UNSPLASH - Portland Public Schools reopened its playgrounds, track and fields.

Portland Public has 81 schools with playgrounds, fields or tracks.

The leader of the state's largest school district announced the reopening of the school grounds just after a discussion of the dramatic increase in the state's coronavirus cases and deaths, putting a return to in-person school likely farther off. Tuesday the state announced 1,233 new cases of COVID-19 and a record 24 deaths, bringing total cases to over 76,650 and total deaths to 936 since the pandemic began.

People who want to use the school facilities will still have to follow recommended COVID-19 safety precautions.

School board members praised the move for giving Portland residents a way to get out of the house and engage in safe activities.

School board member Andrew Scott said he was glad for the reopening of the playgrounds and fields. "It's one of the only safe things we have, being outside," he said.


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