Beating the heat and doing it safely: that’s the task facing many people this summer. Many people headed toward the water on Friday to do just that.
The Troutman family was among the many at Fort Hale Pier in New Haven.
“We’re just going to kind of hangout, relax and enjoy the breeze,” said Jennifer Troutman, who was spending time with here husband Cinque and young son Carter.
With temperatures close to 90 degrees, people were either near the water, fishing in it or boating on it.
Not just in New Haven either. The Farmington River was busy today as the weather, combined with quarantine fatigue made renting kayaks the thing to do.
“We’ve had huge demand. People are just pent up and want to get out there and do something fun,” said Sue Warner, President of Collinsville Canoe & Kayak.
Warner explains there’s been a huge shift in their business this year due to COVID-19.
First, they’ve needed to make safety adjustments. Normally, people could show up without a reservation, but now they need to make one in advance through their website.
They are also limiting the number of kayaks and are using about an eighth of what they normally use so they can keep them clean after every use. There are protocols for lifejackets, too. They are disinfected and quarantined for 72 hours after every use.
Now, with a growing desire to find outdoor activities, the demand has increased.
“People really want to be outside. They really want to get on the water,” said Warner.
Outdoor fun though is not exclusive to water sports. Hikers hit the trail today at Talcott Mountain State Park. A shaded and spacious area where hiker Steve Gross says he feels safe to get outside.
“There’s a lot of places where I still wouldn’t want to do it because I still wouldn’t want to take the precautions and wear a mask and do everything you need to do to do things safely,” said Gross. “Here, there’s enough room. There’s enough space.”
As people head outside this summer, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued some guidelines. Social distancing at the beach should be 15 feet between beach blankets and hand sanitizer should only be applied after removing beach sand and sunblock. People are still encouraged to wear masks, except when you’re in the water.