The Town of Groton is now under a red alert status, joining 18 other towns on the list this week.
Red alert towns are updated on a weekly basis. Towns are put under a red alert when the average daily case rate meets or exceeds 15 cases per 100,000 population. The Town of Groton was added to the list Thursday with an average daily case rate of 17 cases per 100,000 population.
"I think it is going to take all of the towns working together," said John Burt, town manager of Groton. "I just want people to wear masks, social distance, be very careful. I am also worried about the economy and the best way to help our economy is to keep safe, keep the numbers down."
The town will stay in Phase 3 of reopening, not taking advantage of the option for red alert towns to revert to Phase 2 of reopening. According to the town manager, cases are being traced back to social gatherings and some youth sporting events.
"Any place where you have a group of people, it is very concerning and especially going into the holiday season where you are going to have even more of that with families," said Burt, asking all residents to avoid gatherings with people outside of their households.
In response to the alert, the Town of Groton Parks and Recreation Department has suspended all indoor programming until further notice.
“Our number one goal is always to keep people healthy, happy and safe, so this kind of seemed like the right move for us right now," said Jessica Patterson, community outreach coordinator for the department. "We are hopeful that, with everyone's cooperation of wearing masks and socially distancing, we will be able to open to full programming again soon."
The department also canceled the Mystic Irish 5k Road Race. The race was originally scheduled for March, but had to be rescheduled due to the virus. Rescheduled for Saturday, the virus is impacting the race again.
"We want to make sure that we are not doing the wrong thing and keeping everybody safe," said Ben Morse, race director.
The in-person race will not be happening, but runners are asked to still complete the race on their own. More information can be found here. The race raises money for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade and for a scholarship fund.
The list of red alert towns is updated on a weekly basis.