Today, Madison has 99 confirmed positive cases for the virus and 13 fatalities within our community. This steady rise continues to be primarily linked to difficulties at a local skilled nursing facility. Our thoughts are with those suffering from this illness.
Yesterday, the Governor announced he is extending the cancellation of in-person classes at public schools statewide for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Schools will be required to continue providing distance learning during this period. Early Childhood Commissioner Beth Bye announced that licensed summer camps will be able to open on June 29th with very specific guidelines, which will be available by May 15. The town is cancelling all programming for the month of June, and intends to announce programming plans for July and August once additional guidance has been provided by the state next week.
Many have recently expressed concerns about public safety at our beaches, including increased visitor traffic and possible overcrowding, particularly given our proximity to Hammonasset. Tomorrow, I will be signing a new executive order that restricts access to all three of our town beach parking lots to residents only on Saturday, Sunday and holidays. This policy is intended to reduce visitor volume at our facilities and allow for appropriate social distancing. We will continue to limit available parking spaces at the Surf Club in order to manage beach capacity and ensure the public follows appropriate health guidelines.
This new parking policy on weekends will go into effect this Saturday, May 9th and is anticipated to stay in place until July 31st. Proof of residency must be presented at the gate from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and can include a 2020 beach sticker, a Connecticut driver’s license with Madison address, or a car registration and/or local tax bill with proof of ID. More details on this executive order and hours of operation will be available on the town website by the end of this week.
Please note that beach stickers will be the only acceptable proof of residency starting June 20th. This date may be moved up depending on the finalization and roll-out of in-person and on-line sales programs. In the meantime, we encourage residents to purchase their stickers now by mail in order to avoid any delays at the gates.
We continue to require everyone that uses our town beaches and parks to adhere to social distancing directives and wear a mask while in public. We must remain vigilant and stay the course as long as possible in order to protect our community. Please stay safe, healthy and at home Madison.