Six governors on Monday began plans for slowly reopening the region as the coronavirus pandemic plateaus.

They will establish a regional collaboration to balance the needs of the economy with the evolving public health landscape. On Monday New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the pandemic seems to be plateauing, even though 671 New Yorkers died since Sunday.

Connecticut’s group will be led by Indra Nooyi, the former CEO for PepsiCo. Read more here.

Numbers

Deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Connecticut surpassed 550 Sunday, while the number of new cases fell from the previous day. An additional 60 people across the state have died, putting the death toll at 554.

The state recorded 525 new cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon, the governor’s office said, bringing the statewide total to 12,035.

The number of newly reported cases fell by nearly half from the day before, down from 972 cases reported Saturday afternoon.

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 139 Darien cases, eight hospitalizations and two deaths as of Sunday, April 12.

Honoring the front line

The Town of Darien held a bell ringing, pots and pans banging, clapping and sounding of sirens on Saturday night at 7 p.m. View video here on Twitter or here on Facebook.

Testing

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

Other locations:

Bridgeport Hospital - Ahlbin Center garage, 226 Mill Hill Ave., Bridgeport, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital - Parking lot A of the hospital, 365 Montauk Ave., New London, Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., weekend times to be determined.

Yale New Haven Hospital - 150 Sargent Drive, New Haven, Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Greenwich Hospital - located on hospital property in the lower level physician parking lot off of Lake Avenue (hospital address is 5 Perryridge Road). Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

If residents or providers have any questions, please call the Covid-19 Call Center at 203-ASKYNHH.

Related: “Absolute agony:” Darien woman recovering from coronavirus urges all to take it seriously

The budget and tax deferral

Darien’s Representative Town Meeting is set to meet virtually Monday night at 7:30 p.m. TV79 will record and post to Vimeo ASAP. View TV79’s Vimeo site here. The public can listen to the meeting by calling 1-571-317-3122 access code 616-598-453.

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.

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.

As the Rules Committee sets the RTM’s agenda, it is likely both the topics above will be addressed Monday night.

School

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: public@darienps.org and use password: boardmeeting414.

Closed/businesses

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.

Related: You’re our hero! Neighbors surprise Darien nurse with messages of support during pandemic

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.

Here’s our ongoing list of what is closed and what has been canceled.

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 susan@darienctchamber.com with a Business COVID-19 Update Section and she will contact you on how to be listed.

GoFundMe campaigns have been established for employees of the Sugar Bowl and Neat. Read more here. A GoFundMe has also been created for the bartenders of Chéz Ernie’s. Read more here.

Domestic violence

Experts have weighed in that those who are domestic violence victims or who are living in a dangerous environment might have those situations exacerbated by quarantining. Courts have allowed victims to file for restraining orders online. The Darien Times spoke with several experts and provided resources for victims here.

Giving back

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 aramsteck@darienct.gov 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.

Resources:

Murphy Medical Associationscoronatestct.com

Town of Dariendarienct.gov

Center for Disease Controlcdc.gov/coronavirus

State health departmentportal.ct.gov/DPH