CHLA - Covid Guidance

May 13, 2020

CHLA Spring 2020 News
Pandemic Edition #1

Your Executive Committee, Tennis Committee and Building and Grounds Committee have spent quite a bit of time and effort this past month planning for a summer at CHLA during this strange time. CHLA provides outdoor recreation opportunities that are important to all of us.  However, the increased traffic of members on our property also increases the chances of spreading COVID-19.

If you visit CHLA, it is at your own risk.  COVID-19 is extremely contagious and can be spread by asymptomatic people.  We cannot keep our grounds free of people or the virus. You must take your own precautions. Wear masks, keep your hands clean, don’t linger, and keep social distance from those not in your family household’s circle.

Tennis:  The Omni courts will be open for play by the end of the week.  The clay courts will be open for play as soon as they are reconditioned, most likely by the end of the month. The current orders from the State allow for outdoor tennis courts to open as long as the guidelines set forth by the United States Tennis Association are followed.  Online sign-up to reserve courts will start as soon as the nets are put up. Be on the lookout for a separate email with all of the necessary information for safe tennis play at CHLA.

Dues:  We do expect you to pay your dues this year.  Our grounds will be open to the extent that we are permitted to open this season.  We are still responsible to pay for insurance, taxes, maintenance, court conditioning, etc.  If we cannot safely have our lifeguards on duty, those funds will be spent on the endless list of repairs to the buildings and grounds.  We will also have some COVID-19 related expenses.  If a member expects to have difficulty paying their dues this year, there are options already established, please email

Clubhouse:  The Clubhouse will remain closed and locked until it is permitted to be opened, and opened safely.  This may not happen this summer.  We are looking into alternative hand washing and toilet options.  Frankly, how to safely open bathrooms is a prominent concern.  We are working on safe solutions.  We have toilet paper, (thanks to Todd Piker), but sanitizing supplies and PPE are difficult to procure.

Waterfront:  Community items are not available for use.  The swim tubes, paddles, and lifejackets have been put away for now.  Please bring your own items for your own use if you plan to use the kayaks or go swimming. We all should assume that the kayaks have contaminated surfaces, so bring wipes or cleaner of some sort as we are not sanitizing them.  

Grounds:  The grills have been put away too, for now.  Connecticut is still under a restriction of gatherings of no more than 5 people, and that will be extended past May 20.  Masks should be worn if other members are around. Please do not bring your dogs.

Finally, please understand that we will be taking guidance for opening from the State of CT, Torrington Area Health District, and our local officials. 

Thank you for coming together to make the most out of a complicated time in history, for your continuing support of our endeavors and for providing us with your good ideas and feedback.

Be smart, stay safe.

The Executive Committee

April 11, 2020

Dear Members:

Yesterday, our governor extended the duration of the executive orders for the restriction on “in-person interactions in social, recreational, athletic, business and entertainment settings” as they “continue to pose a risk of transmission of COVID-19”. The current order also includes the extension of the ban on social and recreational gatherings of more than 5 people, with social distancing to be observed in groups of 5 or less.  These orders are now in place until May 20.

What does this mean for CHLA members?

The Clubhouse will soon be closed and locked, and the bathrooms and changing rooms will be unavailable.  The Clubhouse will not be opened until public health officials determine it is safe to do so.  Life jackets, swim tubes, paddles and other such community items will be taken out of circulation.

The grounds will be open for “solitary recreation”, in the same manner that are the areas of outdoor public recreation in Connecticut and New York.  This means short visits to CHLA, no prolonged intermingling of members, and adherence to social distancing.  

Please wear a mask if visiting the grounds. The combination of the asymptomatic spread of this virus and the majority of our membership potentially traveling from a COVID-19 hotspot is definitely a recipe for unwitting transmission. A mask or face covering can help decrease the spread.  Take care with what you touch, consider any public surface contaminated, don’t touch your face, and sanitize your hands after touching any public surface.  Video

As for tennis, here are the recommendations of the USTA.  The USTA “believes that it is in the best interest of society to take a collective pause from playing the sport we love”.  Their rationale is  “Although there are no specific studies on tennis and COVID-19, medical advisors believe there is the possibility that the virus responsible for COVID-19 could be transmitted through common sharing and handling of tennis balls, gate handles, benches, net posts and even court surfaces”. 

It is unclear what will happen as the summer season approaches.  We will continue to maintain the grounds, the building, and the tennis courts in hope that circumstances will improve and we will be able to open in some fashion during the summer.  Please continue to do your part in mitigating the spread, but remember, as Dr. Fauci said, “the virus makes the timeline.”

Stay safe-

The Executive Committee