COVID-19 Drive Thru Testing Program Is Back: Now at High School After Town Hall Cancellation

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Days after the town announced that it was canceling its plan to have drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Town Hall, town officials announced a new outdoor testing site will open this Monday, March 23, at the Darien High School campus.

The testing, still by Murphy Medical Associates, will only be done on Mondays from 1 to 4 p.m., the new announcement said, and those tested will need to fill out an online application and make an appointment first. If demand is high enough, more testing time may be added.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said in an interview that the original testing site at Town Hall wasn’t as good for traffic or logistics in general. Residents living near Town Hall had vociferously complained about expected traffic.

Asked whether the neighbors’ complaints had a role in stopping the Town Hall location, she said, “I’m not going to comment on any conversations I had with neighbors.”

The shutdown of the Town Hall location, attributed to Not In My Backyard complaints in a Darien Times news report, resulted in Twitter users from far and wide excoriating Darien for retreating on an important health measure in the face of NIMBY-ism from this wealthy community.

Asked if she’d seen the Twitter excoriations, Stevenson said she was aware of some Twitter comments and was about to respond to requests for comment from some national publications.

The town’s pandemic flu plan had been to have testing done outside the high school, Health Director David Knauf said in the announcement. It was unclear what led to changing the site to the Town Hall lower parking lot.

Full Announcement

This is the full-text (with Darienite.com’s regular editorial style changes)

The Town of Darien, in cooperation with the Darien Public Schools, is pleased to announce the establishment of a drive-through COVID-19 test site managed by Murphy Medical Associates.

Testing will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. beginning Monday, March 23, at the Darien High School, 80 High School Lane.

Testing will be offered each Monday until further notice. Additional testing times will be considered as demand requires.

It is important to note that those who want to be tested MUST BE PRE-SCREENED and HAVE A PRE-SET APPOINTMENT approved by the testing organization.

Testing is only being offered to those who have doctor’s orders and are approved through an on-line screening process at https://coronatestct.com.

Those who arrive to the site without an appointment will be turned away. Please be aware that results from screening will not be immediately available as specimens need to be sent to a laboratory for testing.

There may be up to a four-day period between testing and receiving your results.

According to Darien Health Director David Knauf:

“When the original Pandemic Flu Plan was developed for the Town, the Darien High School was selected as the site where any necessary vaccines or medications would be provided to the public. The location is relatively isolated from residential areas and the traffic flow can be readily controlled to maintain security.

“The proposed coronavirus drive-through test site at this location is a logical extension of that plan and makes good public health sense. This activity poses no risk to the public at large or the property itself due to the nature of the operation.”

Drive-thru testing will be performed outside. No access to the high school facility will be permitted. For questions, please contact Murphy Medical Associates directly at (203)658-6051 or visit their website at www.greenwichdocs.com.

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