An executive order issued by Gov. Ned Lamont Tuesday allows the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to take action to keep visitors practicing social distancing at state parks.
State parks remain open and the order acknowledges the mental and physical health benefits of getting outside. But DEEP can close or limit visitors at state parks when practicing social distancing becomes difficult.
Reducing community spread of coronavirus is imperative, and DEEP asks visitors to Connecticut state parks and forests to take the following steps to enhance “social distancing” when outdoors.
■If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Signs and symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
■Rather than traveling to some of the most popular spots, for example, Hammonasset Beach State Park, Sleeping Giant State Park, or Bluff Point State Park, try a park you may not have visited before or one close to your home. Because most park and forest facilities do not have open restrooms, visitors are encouraged to plan a trip to a nearby park for a short, local visit.
■If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park or trail, or return another day or time.
■Observe the CDC's minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people, whether you’re walking, biking, or hiking.
Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell, or horn.
■Follow the CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to the park. Wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and equipment.
■Bring water or drinks. Public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
■Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.
Check out these other options for enjoying the outdoors.