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Over the last week, I was disheartened to learn we had one new COVID-related fatality in Madison and developed three new cases in our community, none of which were associated with a skilled nursing facility. While it is disappointing to see an increase, we can be grateful that the state overall continues to meet its goals for its re-opening plan. These new cases are also a reminder that we are still in a state of public health emergency and all vulnerable to contracting the virus. Please continue to exercise caution and follow state directives when possible on social distancing and mask wearing, especially seniors.
Today we enter Phase 2 of the state’s re-opening plan and welcome back those businesses and activities now allowable under the new guidelines. In addition, the Governor expanded his executive order yesterday on social gatherings to allow for indoor gatherings of up to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings of up to 100.
I would like to assure everyone that the town continually monitors and modifies policies to respond to both community concerns and updated health directives from the state. This weekend at our beaches we will start providing limited access to picnic tables and outdoor grills at the Surf Club, and open up the playgrounds at the Surf Club and Academy School. Hand sanitizer will be available at each play scape and any posted health guidelines, including capacity limitations, must be adhered to. We are still in a public health emergency and expect the public to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear masks when distancing is not possible.
Given the unpredictable visitor traffic at Hammonasset, I will be extending my Executive Order that limits beach parking to residents only on weekends and holidays, to now include Fridays; gates will be staffed at all beaches starting this Friday, June 19th. I also want to remind the public again that starting this Saturday, June 20th we officially start the summer season which will include lifeguards. Beach parking stickers will be required at all three beaches seven days a week. You can now purchase your beach sticker on-line through the Beach & Recreation website at www.madisonct.org/beachstickers . Until you receive your sticker in the mail, you can use your emailed receipt as proof of purchase at the gate. In-person pass purchases will continue at the Surf Club office seven days a week. Non-resident parking passes can be purchased at the Surf Club office and used at our beaches Monday through Thursday only. Non-residents are not allowed to park at any town beach Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. More details on gate hours and pass purchases will be available later this week on the website.
And finally, I want to congratulate once again the Daniel Hand Class of 2020; the Board of Education will be conducting their graduation ceremony this Thursday evening at the high school, followed by a car parade ending at the town green. Let’s all show our support for and incredible pride in this amazing group of young adults who have endured many obstacles, and missed out on so many traditional experiences, during these last final months of high school. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Please stay safe and healthy Madison.
Peggy LyonsFirst Selectwoman