Darien test site, social distancing among topics at Board of Selectmen meeting
The first day of Darien’s drive thru coronavirus testing clinic, which was Monday, went smoothly, according to Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson at Monday’s Board of Selectman meeting.
The test site, outside of Darien High School, was run by Murphy Medical Associates.
There were 50 people scheduled to be tested at the site, according to Stevenson.
“In spite of the weather, they worked diligently and things went very smoothly,” she said. “There were no more than three or four cars in the cue at any one time. So, there were no impacts to the neighborhood at all.”
She added that the town is hoping, that as capacity increases with PPE (personal protective equipment) and test kits, that testing days and hours will be able to be expanded.
Stevenson thanked all the people who came to help.
“There was a cadre of nurse volunteers from the town of Darien who were on site assisting with this testing,” she said. Four school district nurses volunteered to work at the testing.
In addition, she said many of the town’s first responders have been working 24-7.
There is a severe shortage of personal protective equipment, which are the gowns, masks and gloves that are required for all those administering the tests, and hospital workers and healthcare workers.
“There’s an all out call for personal protective equipment for acquisition by the state and all other agencies throughout Connecticut at this moment,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson strongly emphasized the need for social distancing.
“It would be a terrible thing us for any one of us to have the virus, not be symptomatic, and transfer it to one of our friends, one of our loved ones, our parents our grandparents, somebody with medical conditions,” she said.
She urged the town of Darien not to gather.
“We can stop this virus in its tracks if we all pledge to ourselves and one another that we are going to follow the appropriate social distancing protocols,” she added.
Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent of Darien Public Schools has reached out to the Darien Police Department to assist with driving by school facilities to break up the clusters of students that are congregating.
“The district closed all of the school fields,” Stevenson said. “There was concerns about kids gathering and playing organized sports. We have called upon the Darien Police Department to do the same in our parks and beaches.”
Town’s plastic bag ordinance waived
Stevenson has waived the enforcement of the town’s plastic bag ordinance.
She said the town’s grocers are very concerned about the potential transfer of the virus from reusable bags. They will therefore make shoppers pack their own reusable bags.
Support for local businesses
Stevenson’s said the town’s local businesses have been “devastated” by the COVID virus.
The governor has determined that businesses fall into two categories: Essential businesses or non-essential businesses.
Most businesses are exempt, according to Stevenson.
The town has been working with the Community Fund of Darien and the Darien Foundation to come up with ways to support local businesses.
“There is an effort called Corbin Cares that is in partnership with Food Rescue USA, that will allow food to be purchased from our local restaurants to help them stay in businesses,” Stevenson said.
In addition, Darien’s Human Services department is providing meals to the town’s public school kids that are on the free and reduced lunch program.
Those who have additional ideas about other ways to support local businesses may contact Stevenson directly.
As of Monday evening, March 23, there were 11 positive cases in the town of Darien. There are 415 cases statewide. There are 270 cases in Fairfield County.
Fifty-four of the 415 cases are hospitalized patients and there were 10 deaths.
Fairfield County is considered to be the epicenter of the COVID virus in Connecticut, Stevenson said.
Additionally, individuals who are testing positive are across all age groups with youngest children being the least number of positive cases but they can still be affected.
The elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are particularly susceptible for severe outcomes.
The bulk of the cases are in the age group of 40 to 69.
This middle aged age group is in fact acquiring the virus more readily than what was originally thought, according to Stevenson.
Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders can be found on the home page of the Town of Darien website or at