State campgrounds, public restrooms now fully open to the public

New Haven

MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — For the past week, RV campers have been allowed in state campgrounds. As of Wednesday morning, tent campers can now join them. The important change being that the public restrooms are now open.

For one Waterbury family, the past two days have meant a dozen people all sharing the bathroom in one camping trailer.

“We’ve been sharing one, and it’s really not ideal, it’s really not,” said Reis Muccino.

It is what everybody had to do for the past week at Hammonasset Beach State Park. It was kind of a soft opening for the park’s campground. You could only come if you had your own, let’s call them “facilities.”

“Up until today, you had to be self-contained,” explained Wallingford resident Garrett Grant. “We have friends who are pop-up campers and tent campers and they’re going to be able to enjoy the place starting today also.”

Opening up the restrooms and showers is good news for all campers. We saw staff cleaning and opening those bathrooms, wearing gloves and masks.

“You know, I’m not sure how they’re going to keep things safe,” said an otherwise relaxed Mike Gilbert of Middletown. “We know the cleaning protocol used in the past, so I’m curious to see what they use now.”

DEEP promises frequent cleaning from a staff that has been trained in COVID-19 protocol. The ban on tents has kept the campground pretty empty, and the beach near the campground even emptier.

Even without the usual facilities, the folks who have been here for the past week say it’s just nice to go somewhere after months of going nowhere.

“It’s just nice to able to get to a location other than your own backyard,” Grant said. “It’s nice to be out enjoying the nice weather and being with family and friends.”

Park workers just hope that everyone will be respectful and keep the restrooms nice and clean now that they’re open, and of course, maintain a safe distance when they’re inside.

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