Coronavirus in Connecticut: Update for April 14
Darien and the surrounding area were hit by heavy winds and rain on Sunday, knocking down trees and power lines throughout town.
Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are beginning to help others who are severely ill from the disease. The recovered patients are donating their blood plasma, which contains antibodies that bring at least short-term immunity to the coronavirus, and the recipients are patients who are suffering most. Read more here.
As of Monday, 13,381 cases were reported in Connecticut and 602 deaths. Read a town by town breakdown here.
To date, 1,654 people have been hospitalized for the disease, and 41,220 tests have been performed, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office said in a press release Sunday.
In Darien, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson reported 140 Darien cases, eight hospitalizations and two deaths as of Monday, April 13.
Honoring the front line
Darien is now conducting testing at Darien High School Monday afternoons and Friday mornings. The testing previously scheduled for Monday, April 13 at Darien High School has been moved to Tuesday due to high winds and flooding predicted for Monday.
Dr. Steven Murphy said Murphy Medical Associates hopes to continue to add dates as staff and supplies are available. Stevenson said that those who want a test do not need a doctor’s prescription, they can visit coronatestct.com.
Murphy Medical and the town are also exploring the ability to provide antibody testing in Darien when it is available — it is unclear when that might happen.
There are 42 appointments scheduled for Tuesday, April 14. Last Monday, April 6, 46 tests were administered. On Monday, March 30, 46 people were tested in Darien.
As to how you know if you have recovered from the coronavirus, Stevenson said the patient must be symptom free for 72 hours without the use of fever reducers. Then you will be tested twice within 24 hours and both must come back negative.
More info: darienct.gov
Many of Darien’s non-profit organizations are offering ways to participate virtually.
The Darien Historical Society is offering virtual tours. Read more here.
The Mather Homestead is offering a blog that details what historical treasures are found in its attic. Read more here.
The Darien Community Association is offering ways to reach its community. Read more here.
The Darien Library offers many online resources on its website. Read more here.
The Darien Arts Center is offering online classes that can be taken virtually in drawing, music, and more. Read more here.
The Depot Youth Center is partnering with the Darien YMCA to offer virtual online yoga classes. Read more here.
The budget and tax deferral
Darien’s Representative Town Meeting met virtually Monday night at 7:30 p.m. TV79 will record and post to Vimeo Tuesday afternoon.
In March, Gov. Ned Lamont waived a rule — to ease the burden of passing municipal budgets — by eliminating a requirement that the public vote to approve the annual budget in the roughly two-thirds of municipalities that do so. Earlier than that, he had extended budget deadlines by 30 days for municipalities.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said that because Darien’s budget and mill rate are set by a vote of the Representative Town Meeting, not a town-wide referendum, it is a bit more complicated.
“We are still waiting for guidance on towns with RTM’s. As of this am, the issue had not been resolved so we are moving forward to plan for how to have the RTM “meet” to enable the Board of Finance (Budget Making Authority) to approve the budget as required under Governor Lamont’s EO 7I, Section 13,” Stevenson said Thursday.
The Board of Finance is set to meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. Darien TV 79 will broadcast the meeting live. The agenda, which includes how the budget will be handled, is here, along with directions to submit questions.
Stevenson previously said Lamont issued guidance on tax deferral and a low interest rate program for “eligible” business, non-profit and resident taxpayers.
“There will be further guidance issued by the Office of Policy and Management regarding which taxpayers would be considered ‘eligible.’ We are having our attorney review. From my reading, it looks like we must offer one or both of these programs with RTM approval no later than 4/25,” she said.
The Board of Education has a meeting on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. Agenda here. Gov. Lamont recently extended the closure of the state’s schools through May 20. Given the senior prom and new senior send-off event following was scheduled for May 15, it is likely postponements or additional cancelations will be addressed at the Tuesday evening meeting.
An eLearning update is also on the agenda.
To view the live-streamed meeting, go to stream.meet.google.com/stream/28fcb517-0155-4b13-bc5d-c20cf21ae40c, user: firstname.lastname@example.org and use password: boardmeeting414.
The community gardens at Cherry Lawn park are open, but the park is closed to vehicular traffic. Residents must bring their own tools and not share tools. Read more about the gardens here.
Wee Burn Country Club, Woodway Country Club and the Country Club of Darien have just announced their closure through the extended date issued by Gov. Ned Lamont of May 20 for-non essential businesses. Wee Burn is currently offering some curbside dining picking for for members. Woodway hopes to start curbside as well soon.
Town Hall remains closed to walk-in traffic. Paddle tennis courts at Weed Beach and the tennis courts and Cherry Lawn and Weed Beach are closed until further notice. All park picnic areas in town are now closed.
Darien High School is closed to vehicular traffic but residents may traverse it to get from point A to point B. Read all the details of the current open and closed information here.
A social media announcement from Town Hall said “If we continue to see groups using the closed playgrounds or people gathering in large groups, we have to close all parks.”
Darien Police have reminded those using the roads for walking and biking along with vehicles as open spaces are closed of the laws that govern each. Read more here.
Darien’s Public Works department recently canceled the spring bulk pickup program and offers online dump permit services. Read more here.
Though other towns have canceled their Memorial Day parades, Darien’s committee has not yet made a final decision. Read more here.
Restaurants continue to be closed to in-restaurant dining. Town Hall recently updated the list of restaurants offering delivery, take out, and curbside pickup. Read it here. Gov. Ned Lamont recently closed all “non-essential” businesses. Read the executive order here. Here’s a full list of essential businesses.
Many of Darien’s small retail businesses have adapted their procedures to accommodate clients amid social distancing policies. Read more here.
The Darien Chamber of Commerce is offering a special coronavirus update section on town businesses. Visit the section here.
This info is provided by the business owner and is descriptive. It is open to all merchants in town —retail shops, food related, fitness boutiques, B2B. It is available to non-members and non-members as a service to the Darien community. If someone would like to be listed, email Susan Cator at email@example.com with a Business COVID-19 Update Section and she will contact you on how to be listed.
Corbin Cares was launched as a combined effort of several Darien non-profits and businesses to donate meals to medical front lines, seniors and food insecure families in Darien. In its second week of operation, it donated another 800 meals to medical workers, seniors and families in need. Read more about Corbin Cares here.
The Darien Times recently partnered with Darien artist Nobu Miki, who created a painting to inspire hope during these difficult times. She is auctioning off the painting to benefit Corbin Cares. Read more in the painting’s description here.
The Community Fund of Darien continues to seek donations for their Touch-a-Life emergency fund — that helps those in critical situations. Some examples provided are a single mother who works as a hairdresser in Stamford that is now closed, a single parent who works for a restaurant that is closed, a cleaning person for a building that is closed, and families with children who rely on the schools for lunches. Darien Human Services is also working with this fund. Donate here. Please indicate if your donation is for Darien Human Services.
Chinese Americans recently donated $5,000 of medical gloves, masks and equipment to town offices, Darien EMS Post 53 and Stamford Hospital. Read more here.
The Depot’s Helping Hands Club is seeking financial donations to buy supplies for the Darien Human Services household closet. Read more here.
Darien Human Services is also seeking volunteers to deliver groceries to homebound seniors in cooperation with Palmer’s. There is a critical need for those volunteers in the morning hours. Those interested in helping should contact Marcy Rand of Darien Senior Programming at Mrand@darienct.gov.
Please call the office at 203-656-7328 or email Ali Ramsteck firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your business.
Person-to-Person is now offering home delivery to those unable to shop for their own groceries. More here. Food and monetary donations are also needed. Find out more here: https://p2phelps.org/donate/
Seniors also have specific shopping hours and resources. If you need meals, reach out to Darien Human Services above. Read more about senior resources here. Some seniors still are finding ways to connect. Read more about that here.
Murphy Medical Associations — coronatestct.com
Town of Darien — darienct.gov
Center for Disease Control — cdc.gov/coronavirus
State health department — portal.ct.gov/DPH