Lattins Cove Launch Closed, Squantz Cove Reduced Capacity
Gov. Ned Lamont announced today that the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will close the Lattins Cove state boat launch and limit parking capacity to 50% at Squantz Cove state boat launch beginning Wednesday, August 26. DEEP staff and Environmental Conservation officers will also increase outreach and monitoring to deter and identify gatherings on the water and at state boat launches.
These precautionary measures were developed in coordination with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and local officials in Danbury, which has seen a significant uptick in new infections over the last two weeks. They are being taken in order to provide safe outdoor recreation opportunities while also addressing specific concerns expressed regarding behaviors on Candlewood Lake inconsistent with COVID-19 prevention guidance.
“Over the last several weeks, Connecticut has had one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the country, thanks to the efforts of our residents, health officials, and local leaders to keep themselves and others safe,” Gov. Lamont said. “We’ve seen an uptick in COVID-19 infections in Danbury, and when we see these kinds of upticks, we’re taking swift action to maintain our hard-won progress. We’re doing everything we can in partnership with Danbury’s elected officials and members of the community to mitigate further community spread.”
There have been numerous reports of “rafting,” on Candlewood Lake, where several boats tie-up together in a mass gathering, as well as large gatherings on the islands, which have been closed to the public since August 1. Whether on water or on land, people are reminded of the continued importance of following social distancing guidelines, including wearing masks and limits on the size of outdoor gatherings.
“DEEP is proud to have been able to maintain access to outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the pandemic,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “We’ve been able to do so thanks to the efforts of visitors who take proper precautions when enjoying our state’s beautiful natural resources. We need those good behaviors to continue, and we’ll be monitoring to ensure that everyone has a safe, enjoyable experience in the outdoors.”
These measures will be in place for at least two weeks, but may be extended or increased based on the continued prevalence of behaviors inconsistent with COVID-19 social gathering and prevention guidelines.