PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Town Parks, Beaches to Close
Here is an update from First Selectman Fred Camillo on the Town’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the needs of our residents.
To lead by example for social distancing, we are issuing this announcement electronically. The updates also will be posted on the Town website’s dedicated page (www.greenwichct.gov/covid19) for COVID-19 information.
First Selectman Fred Camillo has ordered ALL Town parks and beaches closed to the public, effective at 8 p.m. today, Sunday, March 22, 2020. The closures will be effective until further notice.
The closure includes but is not limited to tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, ball fields, school grounds and open spaces. Bathrooms at all recreational facilities will be closed.
“This is a decision I did not make lightly. Our parks are being overwhelmed by visitors who are not practicing social distancing,” Mr. Camillo said. “This is a national public health emergency. While it is good for people to enjoy the outdoors and exercise, to do so in such large numbers presents the possibility of a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.”
On Saturday, March 21, there were 8,433 visitors to Greenwich Point Park alone.
The decision to close the beaches and parks was made after discussion with and with the support of Town department heads and administrative staff, the Board of Selectmen, our state Legislative delegation and Congressman Jim Himes.
The closure of the parks and beaches follows Mr. Camillo’s decision to close Town Hall to employees, effective at 10 a.m. Monday, March 23, through April 22. The Town-operated Griffith E. Harris Golf Course will close at the end of business today, Sunday, March 22.
Department of Parks & Recreation staff and the Greenwich Police Department, along with members of the Town’s volunteer fire companies will enforce the parks and beach closures. Violators of this directive may be cited for trespassing or more severe criminal sanctions in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes.
Residents seeking a respite in the outdoors may use any of the trails and sidewalks in Town, while maintaining social distancing.
Updates on other Town Operations:
All employees are expected to work from home and be available by phone and email during business hours. The Town will continue to provide limited services where possible. If you need a Town service, please first visit the Department’s webpage. Our website and email are the preferred methods of communication during this time. Staff will make periodic checks of voicemail boxes, however, please allow additional time for responses during this situation. Given the unprecedented fluidity of this situation, expectations and operations may change at any time.
The Greenwich Department of Health continues to monitor patients who are at home, investigate patients contacts with follow up as needed, as well as maintain patient public health nursing services to the elderly and homebound.
Patient caseloads are in flux making it difficult to report exact real time positive cases from the local level, according to Health Director Caroline Baisley. As of Friday March 20, 2020, there were approximately 25 cases reported in Greenwich.
The Health Department will continue to receive residents’ calls and answer concerns on designated phone lines: 203-622 -7865, 203-622-7703, 203-622-7614, 203-622-7842 and 203-622-7836. For more information on limited services during this time please visit the Department of Health’s webpage .
Please reach out to your doctor or healthcare facility if you have an upcoming appointment for the latest information on hours of operation and visitor restrictions. Many offices are now offering telemedicine services during this time. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, call your doctor or healthcare facility before visiting. If you have questions about COVID-19, call 833-ASK-YNHH (833-275-9644), or check the website: https://www.ynhhs.org/patient-care/covid-19.aspx
The Police Department reminds residents that if you are experiencing mild symptoms of illness and are not in a high risk group that you contact your personal physician rather than call 911. If you have mild symptoms, do not go to the emergency room before contacting your doctor for direction. If you have any serious symptoms, please do not hesitate to call 911. Please save 911 for real emergencies.
Other resources for residents:
The next press update will be released Monday, March 23, 2020, unless there is a development that warrants immediate public notification.
For media inquiries, please contact Executive Assistant to the First Selectman Barbara Heins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACCESS FULL PDF HERE: https://www.greenwichct.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14506/3_22_20-Greenwich-COVID19-Update