An announcement by the state’s Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood Beth Bye regarding summer camps, Wilton’s First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice was able to make her own announcement–that the town’s Parks and Recreation summer programs will happen, although under modified restrictions.

The permission granted by the state applies only to licensed and municipal summer camps. The date they can open is June 29. Summer camps are considered childcare, which is an essential business.

Details and guidelines from the state for how camps will be allowed to operate will not be available until May 15. But Vanderslice said town officials are working to make it happen for Wilton.

Parks and Recreation Director Steve Pierce and his team are already beginning to plan based on preliminary information. This year’s summer camp program will be smaller and different than previous summers. Expectations are that campers will be separated in groups of no more than 10 and swimming at Merwin Meadows will not be included, as it does not allow for proper social distancing,” she wrote.

“Steve and team understand the importance of camp as both childcare and as an opportunity for children to socialize, so they are committed to providing the best experience possible, within the new constraints,” Vanderslice noted.

Town Tennis Courts and Recreational Facilities

Vanderslice also addressed gradually reopening the town’s tennis courts and recreational facilities.

“As the weather warms up, we recognize the need for residents to be able to use town recreational facilities. Our goal is to meet that need in a manner that is safe for residents and town employees while meeting social distancing guidelines and the Governor’s executive orders,” she wrote.

Later this week, Parks and Recreation staff will roll out a plan for restricted use of a limited number of Wilton High School tennis courts. Vanderslice gave an overview of how that will happen.

“Using the department’s e-Trak system, residents will sign up, one day in advance, for one hour of court time, comprised of 45 minutes of playing time and 15 minutes for entering and exiting the court in a manner that ensures the safety of other players. Initially, play will be restricted to singles played between family members. The rules of play, which will be similar to those recommended by the USTA, will be provided upon registration and posted at the courts,” she explained, adding that further details would be forthcoming in the next day or two.

If officials feel that resident use of the tennis courts has proceeded smoothly, Vanderslice wrote that additional WHS facilities–the stadium track, stadium field, and softball and baseball fields–will be made available through registration.

She noted that monitors will be present at each facility and registration will be limited to Wilton residents.

Not So Fast on Hair Salons

Vanderslice responded to questions she’s received from residents and hair salon owners about the possible opening of hair salons. “It is important to remember that Reopen Connecticut has not presented its recommendations, though at today’s press conference the Governor stated he expected to receive guidance on hair salons later this week.”

She did have positive news for dog owners–Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Tuesday giving a 30-day grace period until July 31 to obtain a dog license.

By the Numbers

Vanderslice provided an update on COVID-19 case data and numbers.

“Unfortunately, but not surprising based on the recent higher growth in cases, hospitalizations in Fairfield County increased by 12 patients to 519, ending a 12-day decline in hospitalizations. Statewide hospitalizations also increased by 36 patients to 1,500.

“Today, the CT Department of Public Health reported 30,621 laboratory-confirmed statewide cases, 12,360 in Fairfield County and 163 in Wilton. Today’s growth in Fairfield County slowed versus the higher rate in the last five days; 368 cases have not yet been assigned to a municipality. Statewide, deaths rose by 77 to 2,633 with 935 in Fairfield County.

One reply on “Vanderslice Gives Update on Parks & Rec Summer Programs, Tennis Courts and Hair Salons”

  1. Hi Heather. I think it’s incredibly important to report information regarding the Covid19 cases in Wilton, in particular the number of deaths due to Covid19, and the fact that the majority of deaths are happening in the nursing homes and assisted living residences. It’s tragic! Our local government needs to prioritize the care of these locations as they are the residents who are most effected by the disease. Also, after reading about the accident involving Mr. Pantoliano it’s inevitable that these things will happen more and more if we’re forced to find refuge walking our streets and roads that are not laid out for pedestrians. Lynne Vanderslice needs to open our town, at the very least the fields, stadium and track. She needs to trust that Wilton residents are smart and caring and will act respectfully with regard to the current situation we’re all living through. She needs to lead our town with enthusiasm toward opening up because at the moment her steadfast authoritarian finger pointing method is both scaring residents and enraging them, neither of which bring the town together.

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