21 thoughts on “First Selectman Closes New Canaan Public Parks; Fourth Resident Succumbs to COVID-19 [UPDATED]

  1. This seems like a an unnecessarily draconian move. Why not just punish the the people who cannot follow rules with fines or arrest vs the majority of folks who understand the importance of social distancing? Very unhappy about this. 99% of the folks in Irwin park were responsibly following the rules.

  2. This is colossally stupid and will do nothing to stem the spread of the virus. It may actually make matters worse as people are discouraged from getting exercise, fresh air and sunshine (vitamin D). The town should quickly reverse itself on this.

  3. While I agree with this decision, I do wish an accommodation could be made for The Apple Cart at Mead Park. It’s such a great option and such an asset to the town. I was there several times this past week and Emad is taking every precaution to deliver his always healthy and delicious food safely and to the highest health standards. If the town could allow him to continue serving takeaway, it would be most appreciated!

  4. This is a knee jerk reaction that does not follow sciences or reason. By all means close the playing fields and paddle courts. Mandate social distancing — and then back up those actions with enforcement and consequences. Do not take away walking and running trails and open grassy/ nature areas from individuals and families who are following the rules of social distancing. This will add unnecessary stress to an already stressed town. Allow only residents access to these areas to prevent overcrowding. This virus does not drip from trees. It doesn’t spray forth from the grass. We should all be extraordinarily careful during this time but we should not be forced to live indoors in fear. By closing trails the town is forcing walkers and runners and those seeking outdoor time onto sidewalks — these will quickly become crowded. If pedestrians take to the road there’s obviously a huge danger. I note that Central Park is still open. Hong Kong, a city state that has been lauded for its ability to contain Covid, is also allowing persons into country parks, trails and onto beaches. The decision to close off trails/nature areas to New Canaan residents does little to keep people safe — rather it stands to further stress and frustrate people. We need action backed by science and reason, not fear.

  5. Another “follow the herd” decision by the municipal leadership. Leadership involves making smart decisions that sometimes involve going against the grain. Research has consistently proven that staying fit boosts the immune system. Rather than enforcing a social distancing protocol, the leadership chose to punish the 99% that are obeying the rule.

  6. Thank you, Mike Handler and all on the emergency team and town government who are working so hard to keep us safe. It’s hard, but public health experts are reporting that our sacrifices are definitely paying off. We’ll get through this together!

  7. Should we be writing to Handler and Moynihan to express our extreme frustration at the blunt instrument nature of their policies when something much more nuanced was indicated? Were they afraid of the optics of implementing different strategies than Norwalk and Darien? From my understanding, teens were really the culprits here- couldn’t we allow adults to use the parks and trails responsibly and threaten them with fines and arrest if they cannot?

  8. I agree, this is going to be counterproductive in terms of the health of local people who generally try to stay as fit as possible through exercise. It looks like the Westchester County parks are still open like Pound Ridge Reservation. The real health threats are with those who have compromised immune systems and lungs, as well as careless infected people who are spreading Covid 19.

  9. It would be great to hear more from our town leaders about their thinking on this issue, and suggestions for alternative outdoor activity. The sidewalks are already overcrowded….maybe closing side streets for pedestrians, or opening trails at certain times.
    It would also be helpful to have a virtual town hall or interview with media outlets to provide more expansive information on this and other local initiatives during this difficult and stressful time. Certainly officials are all working 24/7, but by reaching out with more comprehensive updates than the daily 7 pm call, everyone could feel informed and part of the team. It seems we are missing information to deal with everyday issues all of us are facing. The closing of parks and fields is a good opportunity to start this .
    Thank you to everyone for your hard work….especially our medical personnel, fire and police, postal workers, grocery clerks, pharmacies and other people putting their lives on the line.

  10. I have driven thru the parks numerous times the past few weeks and have seen bigger groups together. The only way to stop it is to close the parks, it’s not forever, and please don’t email the town officials I think they have better things to do.

  11. Why can’t the selectman keep the parks open but have frequent patrols by police, animal control or other people authorized and employed by the town? I never have seen any of them on the trails, why not? Infraction notices can be printed up and used to cite those breaking the rules, this is not that complicated, 6 ft. between people, two arms length. It is a lot safer in the open air than in houses, apartments or box stores!

    I work at Home Depot part time and we have new rules we are following on safe spacing. Covid 19 has been circulating for months now, some people have “herd immunity” soon they should have a test for that as they will have faster tests on those infected and spreading the virus. If everyone who is infected and is spreading the virus are separated for two weeks, etc., that will do a lot to diminish the threat.

    • As I understand it, nobody has ‘herd immunity’ until we have either a vaccine or a very large percentage of people who have had the disease and recovered. That is months away.

  12. I think the reason they closed the park is because right now there is 48 people infected and 5 dead. That means the mortality rate for this town is 10 %. This may mean that for every 10 people infected, one person dies. So although “New Canaan has had limited spread of the novel coronavirus with 34 residents having now tested positive” as Mr.Moynihan says, we still have to consider mortality rate.

    That may have been the reason why they decided to close the parks.

  13. Jeff – The bigger issue I’ve seen first hand is that the surrounding towns have closed their facilities and parks, ours were open.. as such they all end up here. That part is an issue.. assuming we don’t have the staff to guard all parks in town on a constant basis. This hurts my family very much, but in light of what I’ve seen.. I don’t blame the town for making the call. Mike Handler has also done a fantastic job.. I applaud his efforts as well as those within the town ranks who have helped us all deal with this horrible situation. Let’s not point fingers and work together to see this situation improve.

  14. Good morning Jeff. Please rise up and let your voice be heard by me. Call me anytime at your convenience—my cell is (203) 253-2137. Stay healthy, Mike

  15. This article should be updated with whatever signage is there now, indicating that the park is closed (not the ‘Please Practice Social Distancing’ sign above).

  16. In fact, the ignorance (exercise brings immunity!), entitlement (how dare you?), and just plain cluelessness in these comments is a perfect encapsulation of why the correct decision was made. Alas, at least two weeks late.

  17. I also think that Irwin and Waveny might have stayed available for walking. I walked four times last week at Irwin and saw absolutely nobody disobeying the rules. People walking in pairs were obviously spouses or parents with one or two children. The parking lot is a good arbiter for the number of people in the park..plenty of space..people were even leaving a space open between cars. We have town Constables who no doubt are not doing their normal jobs..could they be “enforcers” ? I am a senior, senior and that trail at Irwin is great..the softer surface is “joint friendly” and you don’t have to dodge traffic . Maybe they will rethink this…sunshine and fresh air plus just getting out for and hour does wonders for the psyche….Janet Schmitz

  18. Being outdoor by yourself would be a good thing once in awhile instead of being inside all the time…as long as you keep your distance from someone,don’t see what’s wrong with keeping these places open,it’s all up to us to watch ourselves…

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