Coronavirus count up to 86, Wilton institutes trespassing fines

WILTON — With the count of reported cases of the coronavirus up to 86 in Wilton, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice said she is issuing executive order #4 today, enforcing the closing of Wilton playing fields and recreation facilities by issuing a trespassing ticket with a fine of $92 to any individual found using them.

The order is effective Friday, April 10, at 12:01 a.m.

Vanderslice said recently that residents were continuing to use the fields and high school track despite signs, barriers and police tape telling them the fields are closed. “One resident was discovered climbing up the tennis court fencing. It is not a pleasant task to ask these residents to leave. I know from my own firsthand experience,” she said at the time.

Areas where fines will be in effect include, but are not limited to: Wilton High School and Middlebrook tennis courts, Comstock and school basketball courts, Allen’s Meadow playing fields, Lilly Turf Field, Wilton High School North Field, Guy Whitten Field, Wilton High School Stadium Track and Turf Field, Middlebrook fields, Hurlbutt Street fields, Wilton High School and other town-owned baseball and softball fields, Merwin Meadows playground, Comstock playground and school playgrounds.

Specifically excluded from the order are residents tending their plot at the Community Gardens at Allen’s Meadow and residents walking, jogging or biking through Allen’s Meadow and Merwin Meadows, which are connectors for trails.

“Almost two weeks ago, Gov. Lamont prohibited social and recreational gatherings, other than religious gatherings, of more than five people. This applies to all social and recreational gatherings, including sporting events and leisure. It’s become clear that not all residents are aware of this order. So, from here on forward, everyone is now on notice. The prohibition applies even if you are practicing social distancing,” Vanderslice said in a message on the town’s website.

She asked residents to give a “gift” to frontline medical personnel and “the next patient needing a ventilator” — the gift of a fighting chance, the gift of time.

“Your actions can either help slow down the growth in cases or speed it up. The choice is yours. Please choose to give that gift. Please follow the rules and behave as if you have the virus and as if those around you do as well,” she said.

To date, there have been 7,781 laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Connecticut, with 4,136 or 53 percent in Fairfield County. Stamford has hit the 1,000 mark. The number of cases requiring hospitalization increased to 1,308 with 613 in Fairfield County.