COVID-19 Roundup: Winslow Park Rules; Virtual Bingo Helps Non-Profits; Keep Your Distance!; Restaurant, Retail News; More

As of yesterday, there were 89 positive cases of COVID-19 in Westport — the smallest daily increase here since the spread was first reported. Norwalk has passed Westport for the most cases in Connecticut (105).

Social distancing appears to be working. Governor Lamont emphasized that again, restricting all social and recreational gatherings to no more than 5 people.

The Parks and Recreation Department institutes these rules at Winslow Park:

  • No off leash areas. All dogs must be kept on leash.
  • Pets must be kept close to the handler.
  • The 6-foot physical distancing protocol is to be followed for people and pets. 

These protocols should be followed everywhere in town, including Longshore. Park.

Reader Stan Witkow reports that a group of Westporters has started a virtual bingo night every Thursday. The winner chooses a non-profit to get the buy-in pot. This week’s beneficiary is Westport EMS.

Over 20 people played last week, from as far as Florida and California. Most met 20 years ago at New Neighbors, Temple Israel and parents’ night at Bedford Middle School.

Even more signed up for this Thursday. Bingo!

A reader writes:

My wife and I walk on our sidewalks and roads. We’re mindful of the 6-foot distancing recommendation, so we’re distressed to encounter people who seem oblivious or apathetic. Young folks seem most careless, though some are mindful. Some older folks are careless too.

Yesterday, a young man running and breathing heavily came up from behind and nearly brushed my shoulder. That single encounter could easily have spread the virus. Unfortunately it was not our only close call.

A reminder: The virus is in the community. We all must avoid spreading it.

Be careful out there!

Nefaire, JoyRide and Haus of Pretty have teamed up on a “self-care bundle.” It  includes a facial, cycling class and blowout.

15% of proceeds go to retail employees across the 3 businesses: estheticians, therapists, cycling instructors, front desk hourly staff and hair stylists.

The bundle can be purchased at

In restaurant news, Bartaco is donating 100% of all gift card sales to an employee fund.

And although Bobby Q’s moved from Westport to Norwalk, its heart is still here. They always contribute generously to town causes, like Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool. A reminder: Their smoker is open now, with curbside and delivery service.


The Berniker family has had a tough time during this crisis. Jen is now recovered from a bout with COVID-19. Her husband Eric is at home after an encouraging chest X-ray.

The other day, Jen Berniker interviewed her 6-year-old son Max about the ups and downs of family isolation.

That’s today’s Persona interview (below). Download the Persona mobile app to share your own stories, by interviewing family members and answering questions we’ll be sending around. Tag “6880 Dan Woog” in the interviewee field.

Finally, this has absolutely nothing to do with COVID-19. But it has everything to do with the idea that everything we do matters. Bruce Springsteen took a chance and invited a kid onstage. Look what happened next. So cool!


25 responses to “COVID-19 Roundup: Winslow Park Rules; Virtual Bingo Helps Non-Profits; Keep Your Distance!; Restaurant, Retail News; More

  1. Miriam Young

    Sending all our love to you, Berniker’s!!

    The Youngs

  2. Can I join the bingo group?

  3. Jordan Broadbent

    Is this the next step, social distancing between dogs ???

    The 6-foot physical distancing protocol is to be followed for people and pets.
    No off-leash areas. All dogs must be kept on leash.
    Pets must be kept close to the handler.


  5. Alexis Donnerstag



  6. Ralph Balducci

    That’s why Bruce is a legend. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.

  7. I’m not even a Bruce Springsteen fan but … wow! Fabulous video — actually brought tears to my eyes. What warmth and humanity shown by The Boss!

  8. I agree with social distancing and practice it, but I think people really need to get a grip on their fears as well as increasingly creepy demands such as one I read that parents should be required to confine their teenagers at home.

    The likelihood of being infected because a healthy jogger passes by you is probably not very high and certainly not something to write in about in such alarmed tones. Honestly even in non pandemic times I do not recall a jogger getting to close for comfort. Cars, bicycles, party guests maybe.

    Nor do I understand the thinking behind banning the game of tennis, where a maximum of 4 people occupy a 78’ x 35’ space and rarely bump into each other.

    People need exercise and fresh air, and the unintended consequence of closing a public venue is crowding more people into the places that remain open.

    Insofar as the near hysteria when someone posts a photo of a few teenagers playing in a park, once that park is barred, where will the teens go? Inside a car or someone’s basement where they’ll be in much tighter quarters, and in more danger.

  9. My family has luckily been symptom-free and healthy and out of respect for what is happening have sequestered ourselves at home for the last 14 days. I decided it would be OK to go out for a drive with windows up in what I thought would be an empty town. To my surprise, Westport was hopping especially the compo beach area. It seemed like a regular day. Lots of people out and I did not see any social distancing. Is it really that tough to understand the gravity of what we are in the midst of? I think our local leaders are calling on our better natures to quarantine and insolate. I think they will need to take more draconian measures and close the streets. We exercise in our home and it works. If you need to get out take a drive with windows up. Professionals are risking their lives to keep us fed and alive. Our neighbors are sick and dying. This is not going to get better until we all commit to one simple act of humanity to both isolate ourselves and just STAY HOME!

  10. Not sure which days you were at Compo. I cycled there yesterday afternoon – sunny, 66 degrees – and there were less than 50 people spread across the whole 29 acres of the place, or less than 2 people per acre. The only groups I saw appeared to be parents and their children. Is that to be banned? After all, they are together at home too. As for having to drive with the car windows closed, I have never heard any public health authority say such a thing, and cannot imagine “car-to-car” is a likely way for the virus to be spread.

    • Wendy Cusick

      I was driving with ALL windows down and enjoyed all the empty Westport streets! No bumper to bumper traffic in the train station area and zipped right over Bridge St. WooHoo!
      It was like old time Westport before the houses got bigger and the working farm land became housing.
      That goes for Norwalk too. I can’t believe all the new buildings.

  11. Cristina Negrin

    Love this post, Dan!

  12. Joe Greenwald

    Visiting 06880 more and more during the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks for circulating Westport news and keeping us informed on who is making an effort to help, and HOW TO HELP.

  13. Wendy Cusick

    Hey everybody watch through the video. It was put together by the Westport Police Department with some familiar 06880’s faces 😎😁😉

  14. Randi Kessler

    As one of Westport’s biggest Bruce fans (I say that with absolute certainty), I was stunned and so happy to see this post of Bruce and this young man. I have never seen it before and it speaks volumes about who Bruce Springsteen is and why he is a beloved musician, mentor and a great humanitarian. In these very uncertain times, this brought such joy to my heart and I know it will bring a smile to all who love him. Thanks, Dan, for sharing this. It goes a long way! Stay safe everyone!!

    • Thanks, Randi. One of the most memorable nights of my life was being in the 2nd row for his Broadway show. He’s an amazing guy. Glad we share a love of Bruce!

  15. Scott Broder

    In addition to your helpful updates on Covid-19 as it impacts our Westport community. Wonderful people of our town with noteworthyvstories; this music video brought happiness and smiles! So I thank you for a pleasing morning bit of Joy! I hope you don’t mind, I shared it with many friends on FB with reference of my resource at 06880!
    Thanks again Dan🙏🏼

    • Thanks, Scott. I love it when people share “06880.” That’s the whole idea — “where Westport meets the world.” Stay safe!

  16. Janine Scotti

    I am a jersey girl through and through and when I would head down the shore (even once when I cut school to get my tan going for prom) BRUUUUUCE would be Blaring on my car stereo with my cassettes! Born to run the soundtrack of my youth. Thanks for this post! Can’t wait to share it will my family!

  17. Amy Hochhauser

    Thanks for including Westport Strong!