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LA Closes Recreation And Senior Centers, Plus Griffith Observatory And Other Public Draws

Visitors line up at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. (Andrew Cullen for LAist)
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The cascade of closure announcements for places that we’re all used to counting on being opened continues.

Late Friday, Los Angeles Library officials announced a shutdown for all locations until April 20. The L.A. Zoo shuttered to the public that same day and will remain so through March 31.

Now, Los Angeles is closing most recreational centers, city-run activities and well-known landmarks.

City officials said they’re doing so out of both “an abundance of caution” and following guidance from public health officials to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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Through April 4, the majority of facilities managed by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) will be closed, city officials announced today.

That includes all city recreation centers, senior centers, city-run public pools, and “all recreational and cultural activities, indoor and outdoor sports leagues, aquatics classes, instructional courses, and group sessions,” city officials said.

Other public draws like the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Sherman Oaks Castle, the EXPO Center, and Griffith Observatory will also lock up. Travel Town, train and pony rides, and the merry-go-round at Griffith Park are closed, too.

The only exceptions to the new rules: census stations already slated for park facilities — though access will be limited to no more than 50 people at a time — and golf courses, though that might change amid the fluid situation, officials said.

The statement said:

“We know many of you rely on our programs and sites as crucial community resources. Therefore, we appreciate your support and understanding as we adapt to this evolving health emergency and work to keep your safety at our forefront.”

The city has also canceled events and permits for 50-or-more people at RAP sites and has temporarily suspended all new reservations and permit requests.

Still open during regular operating hours: Outdoor park space and amenities, including restrooms “accessible to the outdoors.”

Organizers from senior dining centers will be contacting participants starting Monday, March 16, “to provide information regarding meal distribution,” officials said, adding that home-delivered meals will continue as usual.

Older adults are asked to contact the centers they visit with any concerns, or call the L.A. Department of Aging directly at 213-482-7252 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) for more information about meal services.


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