Coronavirus update: More Darien residents positive; social distancing emphasized
CLARIFICATION: 6:27 p.m. Darien currently has a total of two positive cases (including Friday’s case).
The individual reported by the hockey association is not a Darien resident but attended Darien hockey events.
Saturday: First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said as of Saturday morning she’d been informed two more Darien residents have tested positive for the coronavirus. One case is a youth hockey parent according to an email sent out by the Darien Youth Hockey Association board on Saturday afternoon.
“We have been informed that a parent member of our DYHA community has tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus. This member attended the PeeWee tryouts on Monday, March 9 approximately from 6 until 7:30pm. He was not present at any other tryout skates although it should be noted that the PeeWee tryout on Monday did overlap with both Squirt tryouts on that evening. The individual has reported limited contact with others while at the rink and that he has notified all those he did come into contact with. The family is currently quarantined in their house and the rest of the family is asymptomatic,” the email said.
“The member’s son attended all three PeeWee skates on Monday (3/9), Tuesday (3/10) and Wednesday (3/11) evenings. Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines at the link below, the boy’s participation in tryouts is likely considered in the low risk category for exposing others,” the email said. The email also said Stevenson and the town’s health department had been informed.
“We are happy to report that the member is feeling fine with only a slight cough and low grade fever,” the email said, and added none of the rest of the family is exhibiting symptoms.
Stevenson said at this point “we are at the stage where the community will learn of positive cases much faster than the Department of Health can tell us.” Stevenson also said she has not ruled out the possiblity of a future mandatory quarantine.
She emphasized it is important to help residents manage their own isolation and quarantine. She also pointed out that someone sitting across a restaurant from someone testing positive is at a low to “no identifiable risk,” but someone sitting in close quarters for hours is at a medium to high risk.
“People can make their own assessment and realize the importance of social distancing,” she said.
While other local communities like Norwalk have declared a local emergency, Stevenson said she doesn’t see the need for that as it “doesn’t provide any further power than I already have.
“Under the state statute, I am provided a very broad, unlimited power ot address the local crisis,” she told The Darien Time Saturday.
“We are now at the point we are not going to be able to keep up with the positive cases. Everyone needs to use personal vigilance and limit any social interactions that put you at risk,” she said.
“It is hard message — no one wants their freedom to interact restricted. People need to make those decisions on their own,” Stevenson said.
She said a “get real scenario” is that maybe Darien families want to have their kids’ friends over, or have some of their friends over for a party this weekend — thinking its just a couple of people.
“Then you get exposed to the virus and your elderly grandparents come over, and now you have unknowingly exposed someone vulnerable,” she said.
Stevenson said she continues to emphasize to the Town of Darien the importance of social distancing, regardless if someone is exhibiting signs of illnesses or not.
Stevenson added she has not ruled out the possibility of a future mandatory community-wide quarantine.
“I have to consider it,” she said.
As of 4 p.m. on Friday, the state Department of Health stats showed 11 cases confirmed in Connecticut out of 136 tested. For more details, visit here.
Click here for a link to guidelines issued by the CDC to determine risk levels for those coming into contact with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19.