Darien school campuses open to public, playgrounds closed, all fields for authorized use only
Darien’s school campuses are now open to the public, in accordance with the governor’s guidelines, according to Schools Superintendent Alan Addley. Darien’s school playgrounds remain closed to the public, and the district’s athletic fields are open to authorized users only, he said.
Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday eased restrictions for social and religious gatherings, allowing faith leaders to bring in as many as 100 worshipers for a service, while private gatherings can now host 10 people inside and 25 outside, if they maintain social-distancing protocols.
The changes take effect Monday, along with the reopening of hair salons and barbershops.
Appearing with a dozen religious leaders from throughout the state in front of the Capitol, Lamont said major reductions in the hospitalization rate and other public health metrics prompted him to revise a previous executive order that limited private gatherings to five.
“I do feel very strongly that we’ve got to be very careful, yet practical, in terms of letting people begin to get back to a life that’s different but more normal,” Lamont said.
Addley’s guidelines follow First Selectman Jayme Stevenson’s Friday announcment she had rescidned her previous executive order, on April 8, to close Darien High School to vehicular traffic, close school campuses, and school and town fields and playgrounds. By rescinding that order, that leaves the management of the school properties and the town fields to the district, and the Parks & Rec Department, respectively.
“First, let me say that virus data in Darien suggests that we are and have flattened the curve here. As of today we have 203 total cases, only 16 hospitalizations and sadly 5 deaths. These numbers have been holding steady for the last 1 ½ weeks,” Stevenson told The Darien Times.
“The decision to lift the local order was made in collaboration with the Superintendent and Board of Education Chair. Planned end-of-year school activities necessitated the action,” she said.
The announcement follows the school district’s announcement that Darien High School will be holding a drive through parade and socially distant individual diploma distribution on the campus on June 11.
“With the local order lifted, the school district will be managing the use of their facilities and must make sure that any uses are in harmony with all of the Governor’s Executive Orders and State of CT ReOpen criteria,” Stevenson said.
“Lifting of the order also returns that responsibility to the Parks & Recreation Department and Commission for our parks and beaches. Enforcement of Executive Orders will be the responsibility of each of those departments in collaboration, as needed, with our Local Health Director, Darien Police Department and me,” she said.
Pam Gery of Darien’s Parks & Recreation Department said the town’s fields are still currently closed until Parks & Rec can get signs to indicate they are for authorized use only.
For more info on Parks & Rec’s facilities, visit here: http://www.darienct.gov/parkrec
For more information on the school district’s facilities, visit here:https://www.darienps.org/
This week, Stevenson also announced plans for Phase I of reopening Darien Town Hall to the public, as well as the institution of summer hours.
Beginning June 1, Town Hall will be open to the public by appointment only. June 1 will mark the start of a trial period for a flexible schedule. Town Hall hours will be 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Town Hall will be closed on Fridays, however building inspections will continue to be available on Fridays.
Residents and individuals needing to conduct business with the Town are encouraged to do so remotely whenever possible. Residents who need to conduct business at Town Hall must contact the appropriate department to schedule an appointment. Everyone entering Town Hall is asked to wear a mask or an appropriate face covering while in the building.
The Town has set up meeting stations that meet required distancing rules in Room 119. Meetings will be conducted in Room 119 whenever possible. If the meeting cannot be conducted in Room 119, individuals will be escorted to the appropriate office and, when done, escorted back to the exit. More info at DarienCT.gov.