Gov. Lamont Announces CT’s Shoreline State Park Beaches will Open Memorial Day Weekend

Gov. Ned Lamont announced last Friday, May 15, that Connecticut state parks that feature beaches along the state’s shoreline will be open Friday, May 22, though with capacity limitations. Visitors are advised to follow social distancing guidelines.

The announcement was part of a multi-state agreement in which Lamont was joined by the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware in declaring their beaches in their respective states will open effective May 22. Connecticut’s shoreline state park beaches were never closed since the pandemic began, and have remained open with capacity restrictions, which will remain in place.

“Our beaches are some of our most beautiful and treasured assets,” Lamont said. “We want to make sure they are enjoyed up and down the east coast in the safest possible way, especially as the summer season begins. Working together as states to make sure they can be enjoyed responsibly makes sense.”

Among the guidelines for visiting beaches:

  • residents are encouraged to select locations closest to home
  • residents are encouraged to consider visiting early in the morning before crowds gather
  • residents must maintain at least six feet of social distancing
  • groups over five people are prohibited
  • residents should recreate with members of their immediate household and not meet up with others

Officials said that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will reduce parking capacity and close beaches for the day if social distancing cannot be maintained, and will make adjustments to operations and consider longer-term closures if the situation warrants.

Updates on closures are posted on the Connecticut State Parks’ Twitter account, @CTStateParks.

Connecticut municipalities will continue to make decisions regarding the local beaches and swimming areas they oversee. DEEP will publish a detailed operations plan this week that municipalities may adapt to their needs, which will be published online.

Recommendations to promote safe enjoyment of beaches include:

  • No public gatherings or groups of over five
  • Face coverings worn when in proximity to others
  • Set parking capacity limits at each beach based on observations of levels needed to maintain social distancing
  • Daily closures when social distancing cannot be maintained
  • Use of social media and other communications to inform the public when capacity is restricted so they can plan to go elsewhere
  • Spacing of 15 feet or more between beach blankets

Currently, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that there is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission through recreational freshwater or saltwater swimming.

Governor Lamont Announces Distribution of Infrared Thermometers to Eligible Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Places of Worship

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the State of Connecticut will be distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers it has secured for small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship to support safe reopening activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship that would like to request equipment from the state’s supply of infrared thermometers should fill out a form online to indicate their request. The state has partnered with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and its affiliate CONNSTEP to distribute the thermometers. They will be delivered to the municipalities in which the organizations are located, and then the municipalities will contact the recipient entities to inform them of a time and location they can pick up their requested equipment.

“We’ve secured these infrared thermometers for our businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship because having adequate screening measures is an important step in keeping people safe,” Gov. Lamont said.

Entities that would like to request a thermometer can fill out online forms, or through the links provided below:

  • Small businesses:  Any small business in the state that has between 2-100 employees are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. Eligible businesses seeking to request thermometers should click here.
  • Nonprofits:  Nonprofits located within Connecticut are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. To request thermometers for nonprofits, click here. Social services and direct care nonprofits may request a thermometer through the process outlined in this memo.
  • Places of worship:  Places of worship are eligible to receive one thermometer per physical address. To request thermometers for places of worship, click here.

This distribution will continue while supplies last.