By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday that its Junior Lake Lifeguard program will re-open this summer after being canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Instructors and students will be required to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing face coverings required at all times except during swimming or when eating and drinking.

They must also practice social distancing and undergo daily health and temperature screenings. Smaller class sizes will be required to ensure the health and safety of staff and participants, officials said.

“The Junior Lake Lifeguard program provides an opportunity like no other for youth to get outside again, partake in water activities and learn crucial life-saving skills,” said Norma E. Garcia-Gonzalez, director of Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation.

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“Our incredible trained staff will ensure youth participants gain unique experiences and essential water safety knowledge that can be used throughout their lives, whether in situations helping others or in their careers as lifeguards.”

The summer program, offered at Castaic Lake Recreation Area, Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park and Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, teaches lifesaving skills and water safety to youth between the ages of 9 and 17.

Children perform activities including first-aid, CPR and rescue skills with paddleboards in a calm freshwater environment without waves or strong current, officials said.

Youth participants are required to try out for the program, with pre-registration required at reservations.lacounty.gov.

Three two-week sessions — June 21 to July 1, July 12 to July 22, and July 26 to Aug. 5 — will be held this summer to accommodate the smaller class sizes, officials said.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)