HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – City of Hartford officials on Thursday announced that use of the outdoor sports fields would be suspended.
As of October 13, all outdoor sports fields in Hartford will be closed.
City leaders have made the appeal following an increased number of COVID-19 cases. They said people did not follow health guidelines when using the fields.
Leagues and local organizations will be impacted by the decision.
It does not include school sponsored athletics or the Hartford Athletic games, as these follow strict safety protocols.
“We have seen significant use of our outdoor sports fields and, unfortunately, we have also seen too little adherence to coronavirus protocols, including mask wearing and social distancing,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “This is not a decision we are taking lightly, but to help try to limit the spread of the virus in our community, we will be suspending the use of the sports fields and canceling reservations after Monday. We know how frustrating and disappointing it will be for many leagues and organizations, but our health department feels this is a necessary step and I support their recommendation. “
Public Health Commissioner Diedre Gifford endorsed the city’s decision and said leaders were wise to take the necessary action.
“It really is something that each of us must take responsibility for in our daily activities, especially with colleagues, friends and family members that we don’t live with,” said Gifford.
Ihab Elgavani and his friends play football twice a week at a West Hartford pitch, less than 2 minutes from the Hartford border.
Elgavani said he understands the need for the neighboring town to close the fields and if West Hartford does the same, he would be happy to oblige.
“If it means people’s health and safety, I’m up or that,” Elgavani said.
Reservations for the use of the grounds starting October 13 will be canceled.
Any organization using the land after this date will not be able to reserve them for the spring season.