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Article Published March 25, 2020

Branford Closes Playgrounds, Outdoor Courts and Restricts Activity at Parks, Trails, Open Spaces

By Pam Johnson/

Three days after COVID-19-required closures of all Branford playgrounds, outdoor sports courts, basketball, tennis and pickle ball courts became effective March 25; the Parks and Recreation Department furthered the effort to deter gatherings by removing all basketball rims at parks on Saturday, March 28.

Parks and Recreation Director Alex Palluzzi said the rims were removed by 8 a.m. on March 28 to help residents continue the practice of social distancing and to adhere to Governor Ned Lamont's recommendation to limit groups to less than five.

A March 25 community message regarding the closure of the town's playgrounds and courts noted those are also areas that should be "avoided." The Parks and Recreation Department also issued safe social distancing requirements and practices for anyone visiting a park, natural area or trail for the purposes of walking, hiking, biking and running.

While regular exercise and remaining active is still being encouraged, the decision to close the Town's outdoor recreational facilities is due to the fact that "....unfortunately, these activities cannot be conducted while maintaining a safe distance or avoiding repeatedly touching objects touched by others," according to the message.

Those using hiking trails, parks and other open spaces are being reminded to keep 6 feet away from others at all times, including interacting with others in the vicinity.

"If you can't maintain that distance, find another location or come back at another time," the message stated.

Those on trails are required to "...announce their presence to others and step aside to let others pass."

People exhibiting symptoms of any illness should stay home, and those visiting a park, trail, natural area or any other public space should follow Centers for Disease and Prevention guidelines to wash hands before and after their visit.