Darien COVID vaccine clinic to prioritize school staff, child care providers

Darien teachers and school employees will begin receiving the vaccine next week at the Mather Community Center gymnasium where the clinic is currently set up.

Darien teachers and school employees will begin receiving the vaccine next week at the Mather Community Center gymnasium where the clinic is currently set up.

Susan Shultz /Hearst Connecticut Media /

DARIEN — Town Hall clinics will prioritize school personnel beginning next week as the state expands COVID vaccination eligibility the same week all town students return to in-person learning.

Darien’s secondary students have returned to in-person learning in stages from the hybrid plan, with the last stage returning next week.

Gov. Ned Lamont announced this week that starting Monday anyone between the ages of 55 and 64 can register for the COVID-19 vaccine. School staff, teachers and child care providers will also be eligible on Monday.

The town has been holding vaccine clinics at the gymnasium of Mather Community Center, but will prioritize school staff and child care providers starting next week. The state Department of Public Health sent a memo to local health departments this week, directing them to prioritize this group over the general public.

Due to the town prioritizing vaccine distribution to school staff and child care providers, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said anyone who is 55 or over should should register through a third-party clinic such as Grieb’s Pharmacy, Walgreen s and Stamford Hospital. Residents can also register through the state’s Vaccine Enrollment Portal or by calling 877-918-2224.

After this group, those 45 to 54 will become eligible on March 22, followed by people age 35 to 44 on April 12 and everyone 16 and older on May 3.

“Of course, vaccine supply will determine how quickly you will be able to get an appointment. Connecticut expects to receive 30,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, pending FDA approval. Please be patient as the state expands vaccine eligibility,” Stevenson said.

She said there have been 57 new cases in Darien and one new hospitalization during the two-week period since Feb. 12. There are 1,162 total cases from 759 households.

Darien Public Schools reported 15 active cases resulting in 39 quarantines.

“I’m pleased to report that as of March 1, all Darien school students will be back in the classroom full-time. This is very happy and hopeful news,” Stevenson said.

“Even though spring is coming and more vaccines are being given, we must remain vigilant with our health safety measures,” she said.

Stevenson also reminded residents who travel to states or countries on the Connecticut Travel Advisory list (except for less than 24 hours), must quarantine for 10 days when returning or fulfill the testing requirements and must also complete the travel form found on the state’s coronavirus website.