Coronavirus Concerns Prompt Changes to Summer Traditions

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Summer is officially here and so are the hot days.

Now, many people are looking for a place to cool off, including to swim. But coronavirus concerns are prompting some pools not to open and others to implement new rules.

At A.W. Stanley Park in New Britain, families lined up for a refreshing treat as the temperature peaked into the low 90’s on Sunday.

“We had to come to the park because it was so hot just to cool off because there is nothing else open so we could go and refresh ourselves,” said Joanne Ortiz of New Britain.

Ortiz was among those picnicking in the shade.

She and many others are looking forward to the city pools reopening on Saturday, here and at Willow Brook. Though, they will have several new COVID-19 rules.

“You just have to be safe. Use your mask, sanitizer and just be safe,” said Ortiz.

People will need to pre-register for a specific two-hour swim block and a spot on the pool deck. Unless you’re swimming or in your designated area, you’ll have to wear a face covering.

“Just wear a mask, you know. We have gloves. We sanitize,” said Peter Zindros of Two Brothers Ice Cream.

Zindros says they’re taking precautions in their ice cream truck as they travel around New Britain, Waterbury and West Hartford. They started a little later in the season because of the pandemic, but things have since picked up.

“It’s actually very good. Like I’m surprised we’re doing as good as we are,” said Zindros.

As the heat of the day passed, Karla Figueredo and her family came to cool off at the park. Though with COVID-19 still on their minds, they tried to keep their distance from other park-goers.

“You know, we were stuck inside home for a while. The girls, obviously we were afraid, not to get them out and about. But now that things open, we’re just trying to enjoy as much as we can being safe though,” said Figueredo.

Rocky Hill is also opening its pool for residents.

West Hartford, Newington and Berlin are among those keeping theirs closed.

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