SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Public Health changed its rules on outdoor playgrounds Wednesday, allowing them to remain open in regions under strict stay-at-home orders. 

The CDPH guidance on playgrounds remains in effect. Playgrounds located on schools that remain open for in-person instruction and not accessible by the general public may remain open. They must follow guidance for schools and school-based programs.

On its website, the state said playgrounds could stay open to “facilitate physically distanced personal health and wellness through outdoor exercise.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom has come under heavy criticism for the closure of children’s playgrounds when the administration has repeatedly said being outdoors is safer than indoor operations. There is little evidence of virus spread on play structures.