A total of 629 Darien households have had at least one resident with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and there are a total of 921 in town who tested positive, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said in her latest pandemic update.
Schools Superintendent Alan Addley also released a message to teachers and parents to update them on pandemic developments for the school district.
In addition, a recording of a public, hourlong discussion Thursday about the state’s vaccine rollout has been posted. It features the Stamford Hospital CEO, the state director of economic development and an area business leader.
Here are both Darien messages, along with a description of the video and link to it:
First Selectman’s Announcement
Here’s her full statement:
Good evening. This is First Selectman Jayme Stevenson with a COVID-19 update for Thursday, Jan. 21.
Ninety-five cases and one new hospitalization have been reported in the two-week period since Jan. 8. There are 921 aggregate cases from 629 unique households, 27 hospitalizations and eight deaths since the beginning of the pandemic here in Darien. Darien Public Schools report 37 active cases resulting in 168 quarantines. The prohibition on team sports expired on Jan. 19. Darien Public Schools and the Darien Health Department are working closely with school district coaches to reinforce all COVID rules for the safe resumption of low and moderate risk sports.
Phase 1b of the State’s vaccine plan began on Monday, Jan. 18. Only Connecticut residents who are 75+ or were part of Phase 1a can register at this time. Darien residents 75+ can register online at the link in the red bar at the top of the Town of Darien homepage or you can call the Darien Health & Human Services Department at (203) 656-7328 for assistance. Additionally, Stamford Health has opened a vaccine clinic at Stamford Hospital. More information and a registration link for the Stamford clinic is available at StamfordHealth.org. Telephone assistance is available from the state of Connecticut at (877)918-2224.
Yesterday, Darien Health Department held its first vaccine clinic at Town Hall for Darien residents only. We plan to hold two clinics each week depending on vaccine supply. Appointments are required. Walk-ins will be turned away. Again, only folks 75+ or those eligible under Phase 1a may register at this time. We will announce when the state expands vaccine eligibility.
As always, I recommend you speak to your healthcare provider to see if the COVID-19 vaccine is right for you.
With the roll out of vaccine, we are beginning to feel hopeful the end of the pandemic is in sight. However, your continued diligence in wearing masks, distancing and washing your hands will help keep our community healthy and safe while we work through the State’s vaccination plan.
Thank you and good evening.
Here’s the full text:
January 22, 2021
Dear Families and Staff,
I hope this message finds your family well. Even though this week was short, it felt full with the launch of a new athletic season, budget meeting, a presidential inauguration, and the daily school challenges posed by the COVID pandemic.
Having all students safely return to in person learning has been our shared goal. During this week’s review of COVID health and safety data, mitigation practices and school operations with our health officials, a plan was developed to gradually welcome all students back to the building for full in person learning. The plan is designed with thoughtfully spaced, incremental increases in student population so health and safety data can be monitored.
Since health and safety practices in schools continue to mitigate virus spread, we are hopeful this plan will maximize in person learning with a measured approach to ensure health and safety for students and staff. While we recognize all students benefit from full in person learning, the transition plan for different grades to return to school was also based on transition readiness. Principals will share further explanations and building schedules for next week.
DHS & MMS In Person Learning Plan
Monday, Jan. 25
—DHS Grade 12 resumes full in person learning (9-11 hybrid)
—MMS Grade 8 resumes full in person learning (6-7 hybrid)
Monday, Feb. 8
—DHS Grade 9 resumes full in person learning (10-11 hybrid)
—MMS Grade 7 resumes full in person learning (6 hybrid)
Feb. 15 to 19
— VACATION WEEK
Monday, March 1
—DHS Grades 10 and 11 resume full in person learning
—MMS Grade 6 resumes full in person learning
While we hope you find the plan helpful, this plan is subject to change. Success in implementing the plan and having our students return to in person learning is dependent on your partnership in exercising health and safety practices.
If the increase in student density at Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School contribute to significant virus spread and/or operational disruptions, the plan will be revisited for possible revision.
Closer to the time, the District will evaluate the best learning mode (remote, hybrid, in person) for the week after vacation (Feb. 22-26).
This week, Governor Lamont announced a tiered approach to distribute approximately 1.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1b based on the level of risk of adverse health outcomes from the virus.
Currently, vaccination is focused on inoculating those most vulnerable to COVID-19, individuals who are at least 75 years of age.
The next tier, likely to begin in February, will be open to individuals who are at least 65 years of age. School staff will be included in the third tier of Phase 1b, which is anticipated to begin scheduling in late February or early March. We will continue to communicate updates as they are available. Thank you for your patience in this process.
The winter athletic season commenced this week. As shared with you last week, safely integrating athletics back into the school experience will be critical to the success of the transition plan to in person learning.
The administration and health officials met with coaches to convey the critical importance of adhering to district health and safety practices.
The associated activities with athletics (carpooling, gatherings, celebratory recognition and dinner etc,) can be a significant source of community spread. We ask parents of athletes to partner with us in modeling good health and safety decision making.
The need to quarantine teams can impact large numbers of students not having access to in person learning.
If you plan to travel, please remember that every Connecticut resident, adult or child who ventures beyond the states of New York, New Jersey or Rhode Island is subject to the CT Travel Advisory.
Please do not send your child to school if they have traveled outside of CT, NY, NJ or RI for more than 24 hours, unless they have tested negative for COVID-19 or completed a 10-day quarantine.
Please submit the negative COVID-19 test results directly to your school nurse prior to sending your child to school. Also, do not forget to fill out the Connecticut Travel Health Form before returning to Connecticut.
Social gatherings continue to be the greatest source of positive cases reported in our schools. Please evaluate the necessity of any social gathering. If a gathering must take place, be mindful of all mitigation measures when socializing with those who do not live in your home.
Remember to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance, wear a mask and perform frequent hand hygiene.
Most importantly, if you are not feeling well, even with mild symptoms, remain home and seek the advice of your healthcare provider and testing for COVID-19.
Thank you for helping us to provide the necessary health and safety conditions to welcome more students back to school for full in person learning over the next month.
APRN, CPNP, director of nursing services
Discussion of Vaccine Rollout & Impact on Businesses
Connecticut’s vaccine distribution and its impact on the state’s economic recovery was the subject of an online discussion Thursday between Stamford Hospital’s chief executive officer, the head of the state’s economic development department and a business leader.
You can watch a video of the online event on the Zoom website, here.
State Rep. Terrie Wood emailed constituents on Thursday with this message, describing the discussion:
Today, Kathleen Silard, CEO of Stamford Hospital, Commissioner David Lehman of the Department of Community and Economic Development, and Women’s Business Development Council President Fran Pastore held a highly informative virtual town hall to discuss Connecticut’s current vaccine distribution program.
The vaccine rollout was addressed in detail and pertinent questions answered. The discussion also covered how the rollout will impact the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
Below is a link to the program. It runs just under an hour. I encourage you to watch this to learn about the local/state rollout of our state’s vaccine program.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about these updates or any state government issue.