Town officials plan to open Compo Beach parking lots, and the Longshore golf course, on May 15.
Not so fast, warns Holly Maybruck
The Westport resident thinks that’s too early. She shared her concerns in a letter to the 1st selectman, Parks & Recreation staffers, RTM members and others.
She also created a Change.org position. As of 9 a.m. today, it had received 112 signatures. She hopes for 200.
The petition says:
We are asking for the Compo Beach (parking lots) and Longshore golf course not to be opened on May 15, 2020. Please see our signed petition.
We are very concerned about the opening up of the parking lots and beach area even at 50% capacity. It is apparent to myself and others that we can’t trust people to be compliant with social distancing on the boardwalks, paths and beaches.
Just this past weekend there were clusters of teenagers and people, who were clearly not immediate family, together on the beach. People were not wearing masks and walking way too close together on sidewalks and boardwalks on the beach.
I know people are anxious to get to our beautiful beach but this virus thrives in social settings and people are less likely to wear masks in outdoor public spaces.
I feel that more needs to be done before opening these public areas to large groups of people. There is so much unknown about this virus. I know that the beach stickers, restaurants and golf course brings revenue to the town, but I strongly feel that lives and safety should be the focus.
Anyone can be a carrier and takes this virus with them wherever they go. I have photos from last weekend of the beach area and it was disturbing to see the large numbers of people not social distancing. Aside from adults and teens not complying, young children cannot understand the concept and can infect others as well.
It just took one party in Westport to get the fire started. I ask you to please consider delaying the opening up of these until we have the following:
Key elements for safely re-opening:
- Capacity/capability to execute and perform contact tracing.
- Provide adequate resources and means for those who need to self-isolate.
- Monitor and reinforce social distancing.
These are the 3 elements that the community at large can contribute towards a safe re-opening.
Compo and other public gathering places of similar nature pose the 3 biggest risks to community transmission (hence, a larger 2nd wave):
- Ability to distance at a minimum of 6 feet.
- Duration of social gathering (hours vs. seconds/minutes)
- Number of individuals that will exposed to others (infected or not).
Thank you in advance for the consideration of the health and safety of our community.