Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

How Train Conductors, Bus Drivers Cope with COVID-19 Threat: Cameron on Transportation

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“In my 30 years in the transit business I never thought I’d be asking people NOT to take the bus,” says Doug Holcomb, CEO of Greater Bridgeport Transit, the operator of 57 buses carrying 5 million passengers a year. But not this year. Like most transit agencies, GBT is asking people to stay home and to ride their buses only if it is essential. So ridership on those buses has dropped 65%. On Metro-North the ridership is down 90 to 95%.

Letter to the Editor Farming

Board of Ed Chair: Thank You, District Teachers, Administrators and Staff

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To the editor:

As a community Darien has proudly committed to the education of our children time and time again. We debate issues, we research new initiatives and techniques, and we talk about metrics, outcomes and mental health, all with the guiding principle that our children are best served to participate in our society when they are healthy, and have a strong educational framework. In this moment in time, when traditional education models have been re-invented, flipped and reimagined, with an immediacy that no one ever imagined, what has become most clear is that it is our human touch — our teachers, administrators, and support staff who truly play a vital and important role in our children’s education. The importance of their daily interactions with our children, can not be underestimated. And the way in which our staff has stepped up to work to meet the needs of our children is to be commended.

ballot GOP Caucus 2015

Governor: CT Presidential Primary Postponed to August 11

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Gov. Ned Lamont announced Friday that, in coordination with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, he is ordering Connecticut’s 2020 presidential primary election to be postponed to Tuesday, Aug. 11, due to the ongoing public health crisis caused by COVID-19. — an announcement from the Governor’s Office

This is the second time the governor has rescheduled the presidential preference primary due to the pandemic. It was originally scheduled to be held April 28 and then ordered last month to be rescheduled to June 2. The state is already scheduled to hold primaries for other federal, state, and local offices on Aug.

Jim Cameron Jim Cameron 8-2-16

Telecommuting Won’t Replace Train Commuting, the ‘Economic Backbone of Our State’ — McGee: Cameron on Transportation

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When it comes to transportation, Joe McGee is often the smartest guy in the room. If I want a vision of our state’s mobility future, he’s the first man I turn to. McGee served as then Gov. Lowell Weicker’s commissioner of economic development. For years I worked with him on the Connecticut Metro-North Rail Commuter Council. And until recently he was the Fairfield Business Council’s vice president for public policy, specializing in the intertwined issues of transportation and economic development.

AccessHealthCT home page website

Suddenly Need Health Insurance After COVID-19 Dislocations? New ‘Exceptional Enrollment Period’ Announced

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In this exceptional time of a sudden COVID-19 outbreak, an “exceptional enrollment period” for health insurance has been instituted by the state government’s Access Health CT. Beginning Thursday, March 19, and continuing to April 2, state residents without health insurance can apply online here for one of the plans offered by Access Health CT. Coverage can start as early as April 1. If you lose your job due to the economic dislocations of the COVID-19 outbreak, you can check out what Access Health CT offers and if you’re eligible. Even if you’ve got health insurance for a while and want to keep it, you can find out how to be prepared for your future options.

CANCELED: Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing at Darien Town Hall Won’t Be Happening

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Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 won’t be happening at the Darien Town Hall lower parking lot after all, the town announced Wednesday afternoon, not long after first announcing it would begin. UPDATE: 8:44 p.m., Wednesday:

In New Canaan, the program is still expected to start as previously announced, according to a 7 p.m. announcement from Mike Handler, emergency medical director for that town. UPDATE: 4:52 p.m., Wednesday:

The second announcement didn’t give a reason why the program, which was due to start on Thursday, is being cancelled. Here’s the full cancellation announcement:

The Town of Darien will not be providing COVID-19 testing as previously announced. We appreciate the important work being done by Murphy Medical Associates to provide testing to our residents at their other locations.

Darien Senior Activities Center sign

Amid Cancelations and Talk of Closures in Town, Darien Senior Center Events Continue

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Darien Senior Center remains open and as of now plans to stay open and hold events, Senior Programs Director Elizabeth Paris says, although she adds that the program is following directives from local and state authorities. Darien Library announced today (Tuesday) that its events have been cancelled, and Darien Public Schools are opening two hours late on Wednesday as teachers prepare for the possibility they’ll be doing some teaching online if schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Health authorities have said the novel coronavirus spreading across the world and the country is particularly dangerous for elderly people — those over age 60 — and those with certain health conditions. “We’re following everything the CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] suggests, and we’re following everything the state suggests,” Paris said. The Senior Center is also getting direction from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and Health Director David Knauf, she said.

Coronavirus illustration CDC wide for facebook

Discussion on Coronavirus with Darien Health Director, Stamford Hospital Expert Friday, Online Only

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Darien Library is sponsoring a presentation on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Friday, at the library — but don’t go there. You can watch it online. The event will be live-streamed on the library website and a video will be posted for later viewing,  The library announced. The library has canceled all events until further notice in order to protect people from catching COVID-19. The library announced Tuesday that said it has canceled all of its other events.

Jayme Stevenson 2019 SOTT

First Selectman Releases ‘Darien COVID-19 Situation Report’

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Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson released a statement Saturday on what the town is doing about COVID-19 and included related information on the illness, what to do if you may have it and what to do to make yourself less likely to get it. She asked people to avoid public events if they or a family member feel sick and think they might have COVID-19:

“If you or a family member is sick, […] Do be mindful of the health of others by avoiding public events and gathering places. You may ‘feel good enough’ to go on with your regular day but you may risk exposing others and medically vulnerable people to illness.” Without providing further details, Stevenson said the town government Emergency Preparedness Team “convened three times this past week, and members are in regular communication sharing situation updates and reviewing and testing our response and communication procedures.” She also said: “I am confident we have the professionals and policies in place to respond effectively in spite of the uniqueness of this emerging situation.”


Darien School District Superintendent, Nurse Announce COVID-19 Policies for Keeping Students and Staff Safe

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The nursing director for Darien Public Schools sent an email to parents at 6:35 p.m., Friday, announcing policies for when students traveling abroad would have to wait to come back to school, along with several other safety policies related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. In a separate letter sent at 5:27 p.m., Friday, Schools Superintendent Alan Addley told parents that the district would soon unveil an “eLearning Plan” for teaching students over the Internet if school buildings have to close down due to the epidemic. The long email from Alicia V. Casucci, the district’s director of nursing services, touched on several other subjects relating to combatting the spread of the epidemic. It provided more details on: cleaning procedures for schools to protect students against the virus; what teachers are doing to keep students from spreading any virus they might have; and what symptoms nurses would look at in deciding which students and staff would need to stay out of school. — This article was published at 9:05 p.m., Friday.

Darien Public Schools

School District Letter to Families: Here’s What We’re Doing to Protect Students From the COVID-19 Virus

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Darien Public Schools district officials are reviewing ways to provide remote teaching to students if schools have to be closed because of the COVID-19 virus, and “special attention” is being paid to wiping down surfaces frequently touched by people in schools, officials said in a letter to parents on Friday. “The district remains vigilant in monitoring the status and potential risk of COVID-19 for our students and staff,” the letter said. The letter, from Schools Superintendent Alan Addley and the district’s Nursing Director Alicia Casucci, said that the district “continues to follow standard cleaning practices in all schools,” but it also said custodians are paying “special attention” to wiping down frequently touched surfaces. “The district continues to follow standard cleaning practices in all schools,” the letter said. “Our custodial staff is paying special attention to wiping down “touchpoint surfaces” such as door handles, railings, desks and keyboards.