Teenagers aged 16 and up can try to get a vaccine appointment now or as soon as they can, but town officials hope to organize a student vaccine clinic for late April or May, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said in her latest COVID-19 update to the town.
Schools Superintendent Alan Addley, in his COVID-19 update to parents and district staff, said the governor and state Department of Public Health have asked vaccine providers to wait until the secon half of April to schedule clinics specifically for high school students.
With anyone aged 16 and older now eligible to get the vaccine in the state, Stevenson said in her Thursday message, “There are over 1 million people in this expanded age group so please be patient as you seek vaccine appointments.”
Stevenson reported that the town has had a “significant increase” in pandemic cases over the past two weeks, with 101 new cases (one hospitalized), and 3.95% of town residents testing positive for COVID-19 (which is a percent lower than the state’s rate — 4.45%).
As of Thursday, Stevenson said, there were 1,397 total cases from 885 unique households. The school district reported 28 active cases, resulting in 289 quarantines.
Almost three hours after Stevenson’s message (received by Darienite.com at 5:14 p.m.), and a couple of hours after Addley’s (at 6:32 p.m.), a third COVID-19 announcement went out (at 8:50 p.m.) to school district staff and parents, this one from Addley and schools Nursing Services Director Alicia Casucci. That third message said four more positive test results had come in for people at Hindley School and Darien High School. Those people would be quarantined for 10 days along with 57 others (staff or students) who had been in contact with them.
In his COVID-19 update on Thursday, Addley said he’s reminded the state Education Department that “most cases of COVID affecting our schools originate from outside of the school setting and that quarantining large numbers of students negatively impacts our students’ academic, social and emotional well-being.”
But the state continues to urge school districts “to ‘Finish Strong’ by continuing to implement mitigation strategies and strict quarantining practices.”
Addley also reiterated the state rules that the school district follows with quarantining: “The district is obligated to implement a 10-day quarantine for those who spend a cumulative 15 minutes or longer in a 24-hour period within a six-foot distance with a student or staff member who tests positive for COVID.
“Only those individuals who are either fully vaccinated (two weeks beyond the completion of the vaccine series), or who have laboratory proof of a positive COVID test in the past 90 days are not subject to the quarantine.” CIAC rules mandate a 14-day quarantine for student athletes.
“COVID spread through social gatherings and within households continues to be the predominant forums for transmission,” the first selectman said. “Up to 40% of all cases in Connecticut could be the B.1.1.7, more highly transmissible variant.”
Full Text of Stevenson’s Message
Good evening. This is First Selectman Jayme Stevenson with a COVID-19 update for Thursday, April 1.
Today is a big day! All people 16+ are eligible to receive vaccine and folks with certain high risk medical conditions will now have vaccine priority. There are over 1 million people in this expanded age group so please be patient as you seek vaccine appointments.
Only Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for folks aged 16 and 17. The Darien Health Department is hoping to partner with regional vaccine providers to organize a student vaccine clinic in late April or May.
Currently, only Alliance District Schools are authorized to arrange for student clinics. Students aged 16 and 17 do not need to wait for dedicated student clinics — you can register beginning today through VAMS, the state’s Vaccine Enrollment Portal or by calling 1-877-918-2224.
Darien Health Department vaccine clinics continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Darien Town Hall. Appointments for our local clinics must also be made through VAMS.
Nearly 700 Darien teachers and staff will receive their second dose of vaccine this Saturday. Darien Clinics do not offer Pfizer vaccine at this time.
There have been 101 new cases and 1 hospitalization during the two-week period since March 19 — a significant increase over the prior two week period. Darien’s positivity rate stands at 3.95%. The state’s positivity rate is 4.45%.
There are 1,397 total cases from 885 unique households. Darien Public Schools report 28 active cases resulting in 289 quarantines. COVID spread through social gatherings and within households continues to be the predominant forums for transmission. Up to 40% of all cases in Connecticut could be the B.1.1.7, more highly transmissible variant.
If you or your children feel sick, please get tested and stay home until a negative test result is received. If you or a loved one received vaccine and had adverse post-vaccine event, please report your experience. This information is also posted on the Town of Darien website.
Your diligence in practicing all COVID safety protocols is more important than ever. Wear your masks, keep safe distances and wash your hands often.
Have a COVID-safe and Happy Easter holiday!
Full Text of Addley’s Message
Dear Families and Staff,
COVID cases in the schools, town and across the State stayed elevated this week.
We continue to share our observations with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) that most cases of COVID affecting our schools originate from outside of the school setting and that quarantining large numbers of students negatively impacts our students’ academic, social and emotional well-being. Despite this message, CT school districts are being urged to “Finish Strong” by continuing to implement mitigation strategies and strict quarantining practices.
The district is obligated to implement a 10-day quarantine for those who spend a
cumulative 15 minutes or longer in a 24-hour period within a six-foot distance with a
student or staff member who tests positive for COVID.
Only those individuals who are either fully vaccinated (two weeks beyond the completion of the vaccine series), or who have laboratory proof of a positive COVID test in the past 90 days are not subject to the quarantine. For high school athletes, the CIAC is requiring a full quarantine period of 14 days for those who meet the close contact criteria.
We are excited that our staff will receive their second vaccine shot on Saturday.
Thank you to Darien’s Health Department, the school nurses and the many volunteers who have made this possible. As of today, all individuals 16 years of age and older are eligible to schedule appointments for COVID vaccines.
Both the Governor’s office and the DPH have requested vaccine providers wait until after April 15 to schedule clinics specifically for high school students unless the high school is an Alliance District.
We continue to collaborate closely with the Darien Health Department to provide a mass vaccination clinic for our students when permissible, and if logistically possible. In the meantime, there are several other avenues that you can pursue to schedule a vaccine appointment for your eligible child or yourself. Please keep in mind that only the Pfizer vaccine can be administered to those who are 16 and 17 years old.
Resources for vaccine include:
● Register in VAMS (Schedule Your Vaccination Appointment in VAMS), follow the
instructions to establish an account and visit VAMS frequently to seek available
● Visit Stamford Hospital COVID Vaccine Website
● Visit Yale New Haven Hospital Vaccine Website
● Visit UCONN Health Vaccine Website
● Visit Hartford Health Vaccine Website
● Visit websites for CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid for more information
As we approach the long weekend and upcoming spring recess, we are fielding many
questions and concerns surrounding travel. On March 19, 2021, Governor Lamont
removed the mandatory travel mandate.
It is important to note, both the CDC and DPH continue to recommend against out-of-state travel during this time; however, for individuals and families associated with K-12 schools in Connecticut who choose to travel in the coming weeks, for spring break or otherwise, the following actions are recommended:
● Continue to utilize all appropriate mitigation strategies while traveling (including
mask wearing, distancing, symptom recognition, etc.) regardless of whether the
policies and procedures in place at your destination mandate them
● Before travel, review the current DPH and CDC recommendations for travel
during COVID-19 and be sure to plan sufficient time for any necessary actions
● Follow DPH and CDC best-practice quarantine and testing procedures upon
— —Quarantining for a full 7 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test result
obtained between days 3-5; or
— —Quarantining for a full 10 days without testing; and
— —Continuing to monitor for symptoms during all quarantine periods
● Individuals or families choosing not to observe quarantine should at a minimum:
— —Get tested for COVID-19 after they return;
— —Stay out of school until they receive a negative test result back from the
— —Be acutely and continuously aware of any symptoms of COVID-19 that
they or their family members may develop in the two weeks after travel;
— —Be prepared to immediately isolate/quarantine themselves if/when
Working together, let’s stay the course and finish strong by protecting each other and
in-person learning for the remainder of the school year.
Enjoy the long weekend,
Dr. Alan Addley, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Full Text of Addley’s and Casucci’s Message
Dear Parents and Community Members:
Today, April 1, 2021, the Darien Public Schools District COVID Response Team was notified about four individuals who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected individuals have been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days from the date of their positive test. All family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.
Last Day in Building
Contact Tracing: Additional Individuals Quarantined
DHS Case #1
DHS Case #2
Hindley Case #1
Hindley Case #2
The details of these cases have been reviewed with the Darien Health Department and our District Medical Advisor. Contact tracing has been completed and it has been determined fifty-seven (57) additional school community members are considered close contacts and will require a 10-day quarantine from the date of last contact.
Your continued diligence with monitoring for symptoms and practicing preventative measures is greatly appreciated. Please keep your child home if they are experiencing symptoms or if they are awaiting test results, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms.
Thank you for your ongoing collaborative efforts in helping to protect the well-being of our greater community.
Dr. Alan Addley, Ed.D
Alicia Casucci, APRN, CPNP
Director of Nursing Services