The City of Hartford is closing its outdoor athletic fields due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the city.
Reservations for use of the fields will be canceled starting Tuesday, October 13. The city also will not be accepting reservations for the spring season at this time.
This does not include school-sponsored sports or Hartford Athletic games, which have enforced coronavirus restrictions and protocols in place.
The move echoes steps taken in the earlier months of the pandemic, when many towns and cities shut down public parks and fields to limit the spread of the virus.
“We have seen significant use of our outdoor athletic fields, and unfortunately, we’ve also seen too little adherence to coronavirus protocols, including mask wearing and social distancing,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement. “It’s not a decision we take lightly, but to help try to limit the spread of the virus in our community, we will be suspending the use of athletic fields and canceling reservations after this Monday. We know how frustrating and disappointing this will be to many leagues and organizations, but our Health Department feels this is a necessary step, and I support their recommendation.”
Earlier this week, officials warned that if the city's coronavirus metrics continued to trend upward, then Hartford Public Schools would move to a hybrid model, with students in grades preK-9 using a hybrid model and students 10-12 all remote. Currently, the district is operating with in-person learning for preK-9 and hybrid for 10-12, with exceptions for families that requested fully remote learning.