Coronavirus in Darien—Update on April 6
The first Darien resident has died of the coronavirus, according to an announcement from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson Sunday evening via Facebook live. Watch here.
Stevenson said she addressed the community in person on Sunday night to share the “sad news.” She said she could not add any further information due to privacy.
She added that “it hits home for me because this individual was about my age and the age of my husband, so the virus isn’t sparing anyone at this point.” She said the person who died was between the ages of 50 and 59.
Currently, 101 people in Darien have been diagnosed with the coronavirus as of April 4, from Friday. The split is 50/50 between males and females. Stevenson said the most impacted have been the ages of 40 to 69.
The full numbers as of Sunday, April 5:
There were 5,675 (+399) cases, 1,142 (+109) hospitalizations, and 189 deaths (+24) in Connecticut. Of those, 3,050 (+96) cases, 531 (+56) hospitalizations, and 96 (+10) deaths were in Fairfield County.
There were 23,270 (+1,241) patients tested.
Stevenson also said Monday a new nurse has been hired in the town to be dedicated to specific data, especially with regard to discharges. Only 8.4% percent of Murphy Medical Associates tests have come back positive, she said.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced 24 new deaths associated with the coronavirus on Sunday, raising the state’s death toll to 189 and surpassing the number killed by the worst flu season on record.
The state saw 399 more people test positive for COVID-19, increasing the total number of cases to 5,675 as of Sunday afternoon.
The death toll surpasses the 2017-18 flu season, when there were 184 Connecticut flu-related deaths.
On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported daily deaths in his state decreased, though he tempered optimism by saying it was “too early to tell” if the state had reached its peak. New York has seen nearly 4,200 people die since the outbreak began, according to the Associated Press.
Related Stories Coronavirus in Connecticut: Live updates, hour-by-hour
The news comes as states are preparing this week for what is expected to be the peak of the virus’ strain on resources, according to projections by the researchers at the University of Washington.
Latest restrictions require retail and grocery stores to limit capacity to half of their legal occupancy, and must take measures to keep customers apart and enforce social distancing. That includes restricting aisles to one-way where possible, maximizing space in checkout lines and high-traffic areas, and using plexiglass shields to separate employees from customers at checkout lines, “where practicable.”
Testing in Darien continues on Mondays at Darien High School from 1 to 4 p.m. On Sunday, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson announced an additional day of testing on Fridays from 9 to 12, starting this Friday.
Dr. Steven Murphy said Murphy Medical Associates hopes to continue to add dates as staff and supplies are available. He said Stevenson has been a “essential, a great leader for the town and wants testing every day.”
“We wouldn’t be in Darien without her,” she said. On Sunday, 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.
On Monday, March 30, 46 people were tested in Darien. The previous Monday, March 23, the first test set up. While 50 appointments had been made, only 22 were tested. There was a snowstorm, which may have impacted those scheduled to show up.
Darien school nurses have volunteered to help. Read more here.
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.
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 said on Wednesday, 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.
Closed to vehicles
The parking lots of Darien’s beaches and parks are closed to vehicular traffic, per a Sunday evening update from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson.
No parking is allowed on access roads around Darien’s parks and beaches, and Darien police will be strictly enforcing these parking laws.
Stevenson reminded the town Monday that social distancing should be in effect if residents are outside and said Darien Police are spending too much time reminding residents to stay off school fields which are closed.
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.
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’s Public Works department recently canceled the spring bulk pickup program and offers online dump permit services. 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.
GoFundMe campaigns have been established for employees of the Sugar Bowl and Neat. Read more here.
Locals have taken to celebrating children’s birthdays with drive by, safe distance parades. Watch a video of a birthday parade for seven-year-old Lala Doherty here.
First Selectman Jayme Stevenson issued an executive order to relax Darien’s plastic bag ban ordinance during the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. Palmer’s Market has announced they will not allow to use resuable bags and Stevenson has given them permission to do so. Read more about bags here.
Schools remain closed in Darien and the rest of the state and eLearning continues. Gov. Lamont recently ordered schools closed through April 20. Darien’s Board of Ed recently approved the graduation date of June 11, which will likely be the last day of school.
For the duration of the coronavirus shutdown, school districts will continue to receive state funding and must continue to pay school staff they directly employ.
The board also approved to add spring break back to the calendar to give days back to the year. Read more about that recent vote here.
Those in need
Corbin Cares launched last weekend 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. Read more 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.
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 seeks donations for those in need and seeks volunteers. Virtually volunteer here. Volunteers are Needed at their Locations in Norwalk, Darien, and Stamford Email Juri Garone to get involved. 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.