LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Children were allowed back on Los Angeles Unified School District playgrounds Monday in another sure sign of improving coronavirus conditions.

A kindergartener in a puffy yellow vest did a happy dance as he and his classmates helped LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner take down the caution tape from around the playground equipment at Kenter Canyon Charter School in Brentwood.

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“I like it, cause we can play everywhere and we can see all our friends having fun,” student Mathias Shamsian said.

(credit: CBS)

LAUSD campuses had just reopened last month for in-person learning, but with a hybrid schedule to allow for adequate physical distancing. And even though playgrounds aren’t fully risk-free, conditions in Los Angeles County – which is poised to improve into the yellow tier, the least restrictive in the state’s reopening schedule – school officials felt it was important enough to risk it.

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“It’s part of the joy of learning. It’s a joy being with friends, being outside, getting the Legos out, and playing on the playground,” Beutner said.

(credit: CBS)

Beutner joined in some of the students’ fun, hanging with them on the bars and taking a turn down the slide.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on the slide, I forgot how much fun it was,” Beutner said.

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The students were not generally vigilant about observing physical distance guidelines, so the district is limiting playground time to one class at a time, wearing masks, and washing their hands before and after play.