First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, in her latest pandemic update Thursday, reported COVID-19 was found in only two-thirds of a percent of all COVID-19 tests of town residents over the past two-weeks. And there wasn’t a single case in the past week. She was careful in describing how good the shrinkage in the coronavirus is, saying she’s “very pleased and cautiously optimistic” about the low numbers. Stevenson also provided a list of vaccine providers. Her full message is attached, along with the town Health Department’s weekly report.
Darien Library has announced it will return to normal hours, including weekday evening hours, starting Monday, May 17. Various pandemic safety measures will be in place, however, including masks for everybody, limited seating and no indoor events — and late fines will be returning on June 1. Some outdoor events will take place in June. Currently, the library says on its website, the building “is open for quick 30-minute browsing and computer access in addition to our enhanced virtual offerings. The Children’s Library is open by appointment.”
Parents, consider getting your teenager, 16 or older, to a vaccine clinic to join 55% of Darien residents who have already got at least one shot. Community Health Centers clinic at the Long Ridge Road parking lot of the former Lord & Taylor store in Stamford will welcome Darien students, 16 and older, for their first shot on Saturday May 1 and their second on May 22. That’s part of the advice and news update from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson’s message to the town late Thursday. Darien residents of any age older than 16 are welcome at the scheduled Town Hall clinics — Wednesdays in May from 9 to 3 p.m. Again, no appointments needed. And there’s this consideration for high school students: “As we move closer to end of year activities like prom, graduation, performances, sports activities and other town events, we encourage all students 16+, with parent permission of course, to consider getting vaccinated.
All Darien High School students aged 16 and up can now register for the outdoor vaccination clinic in the parking lot of the former Lord & Taylor store, Darien Health officials announced Tuesday. Registration was offered last week to Darien High seniors for the same clinic dates: May 1 and May 22 (both Saturdays) from 1 to 4 p.m. The appointment time selected for the first vaccination will be the time the student will be scheduled for the second, on May 22. The announcement came from Alicia Cassuci, the school district’s director of nursing services and town Health Director David Knauf. When Darien teachers were given vaccines at Saturday clinics, enough of them suffered so many side effects that three schools had to be cancelled for the following Monday. Full Text of the Announcement
This announcement was emailed to Darienite.com at 10:01 a.m., Tuesday:
Dear Darien High School Families,
We are thrilled to announce, in collaboration with the Community Health Center (CHC), a Pfizer COVID vaccine clinic has been scheduled for Darien High School students.
Darien High School seniors can now register to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on May 1, and the second dose on May 22 at the parking lot of the former Lord & Taylor store in Stamford, Darien officials announced. “We anticipate opening the registration link to all students over 16 years of age or older by next week,” the announcement from schools Nursing Director Alicia Casucci and town Health Director David Knauf said. In a separate announcement, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said Darien has had 58 new cases during the two-week period since April 2. “We are tracking information about folks who are fully vaccinated who then contract COVID,” Stevenson said in her regular, weekly COVID-19 update. “Only one such case has occurred in Darien so far.”
three Stamford Hospital physicians will answer questions from the public about the coronavirus in an online event Wednesday evening sponsored by Darien Library. The discussion starts at 6:30 p.m. You can register here for this online, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday event. It is expected to end by 8 p.m.
These will be among the topics covered during the event, according to the library announcement:
—What is the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic: variants, vaccinations, and more? —What are the latest developments in the treatment of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions? —What can you be doing right now to protect the health of your family?
Darien Health Department issued advice Tuesday morning to anyone who took the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, after reports of rare blood-clotting from others who have taken it. “People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.” In another COVID-19 related announcement, three Stamford Hospital physicians will answer questions from the public about the coronavirus in an online event Wednesday evening sponsored by Darien Library. Federal officials have suggested a pause in using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Darien Health Department does not use it, the department said in the announcement (full text, below).
Five more individuals in Darien Public Schools have COVID-19, the school district announced Friday night, resulting in a total of 15 quarantines at Darien High School. Also, Darien Health Department released its COVID-19 update showing 28 new positive cases in town from April 2 to 8, but no new hospitalizations or deaths (the complete 10-slide report is at the bottom of this article). The one person at Tokeneke School who tested positive for COVID-19 was last in the building on April 1, and that resulted in no quarantines. Four of the five new COVID-19 cases at the high school, resulting in 10 other quarantines of people deemed to be in close-enough contact with them. Two of the people who tested positive for the coronavirus were last in the school on April 2, and the two others were last there on Tuesday, April 6.
A total of 63 people in the Darien school district — students, staff or both — were quarantined after eight of them tested positive for COVID-19, district officials announced late Thursday night. The people quarantined include 34 (with five people testing positive) from Darien High School; one from Middlesex Middle School (who tested positive); and 21 from Tokeneke School (which had two people testing positive). The announcement from Schools Superintendent Alan Addley and district Nursing Director Alicia Casucci was received by Darienite.com at 9:15 p.m.
The people testing positive at Darien High School were last in the building April 1, 6, 7 and (in two cases) Thursday, April 8; the one at Middlesex on April 1; the two at Tokeneke on March 31 and Thursday, April 8. Before the Thursday night announcement, the school district said on its website that as of 10 a.m., Thursday, there were 216 school district community members in quarantine, including 26 testing positive for COVID-19. Twelve hours later, at 10 p.m., the “dashboard” page on the website was updated to state that there are now 34 people associated with the district that have tested positive and 248 in quarantine (see image, below).
Be careful on spring break, but just in case, schools will be on remote learning, Schools Superintendent Alan Addley said in a message Thursday afternoon to parents and staff. A survey of the district’s staff showed that so many would be traveling over the spring break (Monday through Friday, April 12 to 16), that they would have to quarantine themselves when they get back — so the district can’t find enough replacements to hold classes inside school buildings. So remote learning will take place from April 19 to 23 (Monday through Friday), the week after spring break. (Friday, April 23, is a professional learning day for teachers at the high school.)
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson also issued a COVID-19 update on Thursday in which she said there have been 66 new cases in the last two weeks and Darien’s test positivity rate is about a percentage point above the state’s. Addley pointed out that even though the governor has removed mandates for quarantining after out-of-state travel, health officials at the local, state and federal level recommend it, and the school district wants it.
Family therapist Moira Rizzo will lead an interactive discussion on Thursday, April 8 at 10 a.m. on “Pandemic Parenting: Strategies to Keep You and Your Kids Sane Through Challenging Times.”
Her presentation includes how to effectively talk with teens about
—social connectedness and
—substance use. The discussion is the fourth in a series of The Community Fund of Darien’s “Our Darien” events this year designed to educate parents about the dangers of substance use, youth mental health and how they can best support their teens. If You’re Attending … Registration for this Zoom webinar, sponsored by The Depot Youth Center and YWCA Parent Awareness, is free and required at www.communityfunddarien.org
Four students or staff in Darien Public Schools tested positive for COVID-19, the district was informed on Wednesday, and contact tracing resulted in 10 others being told to quarantine themselves for 10 days, district officials said. Three of the four people who tested positive are from Darien High School, the other from Middlesex Middle School, and all 10 of the others quarantined are from the high school, according to the announcement sent Wednesday night by Superintendent Alan Addley and district Nursing Director Alicia Casucci. Anyone in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was told to quarantine for 10 days from the time of contact and to get themselves tested for the coronavirus and have their family members tested as well, the announcement said. Recent similar announcements:
Thirteen More COVID-19 Cases in Schools Announced Monday and Tuesday, Total of 71 New Quarantines (Tuesday, April 6)
COVID-19 Found in Four More Individuals in Darien School System, They and 39 Others Quarantined (March 28)
Eight Separate COVID-19 Cases Result in 94 Quarantines at Darien High School, Hindley School (March 25)
Full Text of the Announcement
The email Darienite.com received was sent at 9:30 p.m.:
Dear Parents and Community Members:
Today, April 7, 2021, the Darien Public Schools District COVID Response Team was notified about four (4) individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected individuals have been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for ten (10) days from the date of their positive test. All family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.
Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, is tapping into the power of music to reinforce the continued importance of COVID-19 safety precautions with a campaign featuring original music and choreography. — an announcement from Americares
As vaccines roll out across the nation and states relax restrictions, the music and dance-based public health education campaign puts safety precautions at the center of pop culture. The “Wear a Mask” campaign encourages the continued adherence to COVID safety protocols, pairing an infectious melody with an entertaining dance—and scientific evidence. The campaign targets the 18 to 34-year-old demographic, encouraging the age group to adhere to core COVID-19 health hygiene and precautionary measures, including mask wearing, physical distancing and hand washing. The campaign, which debuts today on World Health Day, includes an original song and choreographed dance.
In the past two days, 13 people in Darien Public Schools, either students or adult staff, have tested positive for COVID-19, and a total of 71 people have had to be quarantined for at least 10 days, school district officials have announced. The vast majority of positive tests, nine, came from students or staff at Darien High School. One came from Middlesex Middle School, three from Hindley School and one from Royle School. On Monday, seven people in the district tested positive, resulting in new quarantines for a total of 46 people. Five of the positive tests were of Darien High students; one from Middlesex; two from Hindley and one from Royle.
UPDATE: Add Royle to the schools closed today, according to a 6:04 a.m. message from the superintendent of schools (full text below). A day after almost 700 Darien school teachers and staff received their second vaccine shot, and with a higher-than-usual number of district staff and students under quarantines, a “high number of secondary school staff absences” has left the district unable to open Darien High School and Middlesex Middle School on Monday, Superintendent Alan Addley announced Sunday evening. Elementary schools will remain open as usual, the superintendent said in a message to families and staff emailed to Darienite.com at 9:35 p.m.
There will be no remote learning or sporting events on Monday, and the school day will be made up at the end of the school year, the same way a snow day would, Addley said. “Given the number of secondary school staff illnesses and the District’s inability to cover classes and intervention services, the high school and middle school will be closed tomorrow,” Addley wrote. The number of positive tests for COVID-19 among school staff and students, and the quarantines of anyone near those who tested positive rose significantly in late March.