NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH)– New London remains on high alert after a COVID-19 uptick and the mayor is now taking extra precautions to try to stop the spread.
Other than a woman walking on the track around the New London High School gridiron, the city’s athletic fields are empty and they will stay that way now that the mayor has banned all organized sports on them.
He says the local health department has traced community spread of COVID-19 to youth athletics.
“Not necessarily the competition, not the field, but the whole process. The car pooling, the parent participation,” said Mayor Michael Passero, (D) New London.
The city has 26 parks and parklets and this cancels plans by organizations hoping to use them for some friendly competitions.
“About four or five. Would be Little League, be Babe Ruth, as far as Pee Wee, and then all the variety of different… that actually are not leagues but organizations which would come in and request for the usage,” said Tommie Major, the Director of the New London Recreation Department.
He says while disappointed, the sports leagues understand the cooperative effort, which led to the decision to shut down the fields, is for the safety of the community.
“If one person gets it, hundreds of other people also have the capability of receiving this virus,” said Major.
The city has actually had to cancel one of its own sponsored events the ‘Miles for Military’ Road Race which was set to start running on Nov. 14.
“Unfortunately we had to cancel it due to the code red status and just wanting to make sure the community stayed safe and stayed apart,” said Sharon Bousquet, the Assistant Director of the New London Recreation Department.
Last year the race attracted 175 participants along with spectators and volunteers. The hope is they can reschedule it this spring.
“We are definitely waiting to see what can happen so that we don’t have to postpone it again,” said Bousquet.
The mayor says this ban is in line with what surrounding communities are also doing.