“There’s lots of happy golfers in town now,” said First Selectman Fred Camillo on his Thursday press conference call.
The Griffith E. Harris Golf Course, “The Griff,” will reopen at 8:00am Monday, May 4.
Operational and playing protocol changes include one person per cart, and tee times that are by reservation only (made online). The putting green, practice bunker and chipping green remain closed.
Per the new rules, anyone caught in violation will be asked to leave immediately and may be subject to a loss of golfing privileges for the season.
Everyone must wear a face covering at all times when entering the golf course property and while playing golf.
Social distancing of at least 6 ft must be maintained at all times when on the property including in the parking lot, driving range and on the golf course. One restroom will be open next to the pro shop.
Golfers must immediately leave the property after their round and not congregate in the parking lot.
As of Thursday 33 Greenwich residents had died from Covid-19, and 676 residents have tested positive. That reflects an increase of three more than cases than Wednesday.
“We do still have 69 Covid-19 positive patients in house,” said Greenwich Hospital COO Diane Kelly. “That’s a lot of patients with one diagnosis in any hospital.”
The hospital has discharged 367 patients to finish recuperating at home.
Kelly said the Yale New Haven Health system has put on hold all construction projects, including the Smilow project in Greenwich, which was in the pre-application phase with Planning & Zoning.
The hospital purchased a row of properties between the traffic circle at Perryridge and Lafayette and the bottom of Lake Ave.
“This really is so we can care for patients impacted by the Covid pandemic,” Kelly said. “These type of projects take considerable resources, both human capital and monetary resources.”
Kelly said the hospital will loop back to the project.
“We will re-look at it and evaluate it, and do what’s best for the organization and the community,” she added. “When you have an international pandemic everything changes quickly.”
The hospital was talking to P&Z about an 80,000 sq ft building, three stories high. The idea was to replace a parking lot and a row of buildings along Lake Ave.
Ms Kelly said the hospital has adequate PPE, but seeks additional isolation gowns.
“We’ve been able to secure some more, but not what we were hoping for,” she said, adding that the hospital is monitoring supplies carefully. “We’re trying to see if there is something different we can do in that arena,” she said.
During his daily press conference on Thursday, Governor Ned Lamont said his team is developing a reopening strategy for the state.
The four-phase plan to reopen state businesses, starting tentatively May 20, will move forward as long as Covid-19 hospitalizations decline, testing is available, and a contact tracing program ramps up.
Lamont said testing will be particularly important when businesses reopen, including restaurants.
He said Connecticut has two mobile testing vans that are traveling to test people in homeless shelters and federally qualified health centers, as well as other places where people cannot get to a drive-through test.
“We know certain members of our community are hit particularly hard in terms of infections and fatalities,” Lamont said. “African-American communities, urban communities and those who live in denser populations. It’s the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do to make sure there are no flare-ups.”
Lamont said hundreds of people are making calls to further contact tracing, which will allow for consumer confidence.
As for protective gear, he said a large shipment is due to arrive within the next day.
“We’re getting gowns now. We have a good supply of masks though maybe less of N95, but certainly on surgical masks,” he said. “We’re making those available to small businesses via the CBIA website.”
Lamont said the key to the reopening strategy was to get masks to more and more stores, employees and factories.
The plan will begin with the opening of offices, retail stores, hair and nail salons, restaurants (only outdoors), outdoor museums and zoos. Employees who can work from home will still be encouraged to.
Connecticut will coordinate with neighboring states, and will likely share dates of a phased reopening.
Lamont said decisions on opening schools and gatherings will be announced next week.
In phase one, masks will be required in public.
There will be strict rules about the number of people allowed in stores, as well as rules about sanitizing and cleaning.
Other measures, such as distancing between dining tables, will also be required. Liquor will not be allowed at outdoor restaurants.
The reopening strategy that we’re developing contains several criteria to ensure that we can return to a new normal in the safest way possible, based on scientific, data-driven principles. pic.twitter.com/XAiyZVCQtG
— Governor Ned Lamont (@GovNedLamont) April 30, 2020