PHOTOS: More reopens during Stage 2, Darien YMCA only one in state to open
Happy Phase 2 Reopen Day!
That was how First Selectman Jayme Stevenson kicked off the day on social media on Wednesday.
Based on the strong turnout of members who showed up early Wednesday morning, the reopening of the Darien Y was clearly a welcome surprise.
“We had people waiting to come in at 6 a.m. this morning,” said CEO Jennifer Gardner, who proudly noted that Darien’s was the only Y in the whole state of Connecticut that opened, with others more likely to follow suit this weekend.
“We’ve taken all the precautions that have been told to us by the state,” she said, explaining that different areas of the facility, including the gymnasium and exercise rooms, are allowed limited numbers so that they can maintain a 12-foot social distance margin for patrons, allowing them to work out without masks if they so choose.
“They seem pleased with what we’ve done,” she said, noting that pool use requires advance reservations.
“It’s nice to have that community back,” said Erika Moeller of Darien, who brought her daughter to the Y to once again start up her work with the gymnastics team.
“And we still have virtual options,” said Tanya Stack, vice president of operations. “That’ll continue ever after we’re open.”
Likewise on Wednesday, several local restaurants that were finally allowed to lift the three-month ban on indoor dining found that—whether for safety or just the allure of the sunny weather—diners preferred to populate the outdoor seating.
“They got used to eating outside and now they like it,” said Robert Mazza, who has owned and operated the Sugar Bowl Luncheonette for 47 years.
“It’s gonna be hard getting us inside,” said Susan Nix of Darien, who found an outdoor table there for lunch. “We never ate outside before and now we love eating outside.”
“It’s nice out,” said Sophia Fredo of Darien.
“Al fresco dining is part of our Italian culture,” she said, lunching with her brother Jake.
“And after being inside the last three months, it feels a little more normal,” she said.
“I think people are still scared to sit inside,” said Chris Berzolla, general manager of Aux Delices, “so they’re all sitting outside.”
“I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t want to be working on my tan,” Fredo said.
For Phase 2, Restaurants will be required space tables 6 feet from one another, or install Plexiglass or similar plastic barriers between dining booths. Menus will have to be either sterilized between uses or eateries will have to use board menus or disposables. Employees will be required to wear masks, and table servers will need to wear gloves. Customers will also be required to wear masks, except when eating.
The Darien YMCA reopened Wednesday with limited hours. Read more here.
Sports and fitness facilities, including gyms and pools; and indoor recreation such as bowling alleys and movie theaters will also be allowed to reopen June 17.Restrictions on gyms include disabling every other or every third locker to promote social distancing, requiring gym users to wipe down equipment after they use it, and adjusting equipment so athletes are 6 to 12 feet apart from one another.
Personal services, such as nail salons and tattoo parlors, as well as amusement parks; hotels; museums, zoos and aquariums; libraries and outdoor events will also be allowed to reopen June 17. The Darien Library is currently open for curbside pick up.