Darien officials to residents: Beware of COVID risks

The Veterans Circle at Town Hall.

The Veterans Circle at Town Hall.

Susan Shultz/Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN — As COVID-19 cases increase in town and statewide, local officials sent a letter to residents on Thursday, warning against social gatherings and reminding them of safety protocols.

Read the entire letter here.

First Selectman Jayme Stevenson updated the town Monday that there were 14 cases in the last 14 days. Darien High School students were on remote learning Thursday as officials conducted contact tracing for a COVID case reported late Wednesday.

The letter to residents advised them of several safety practices regarding COVID-19 and a reminder of social gathering practices.

“It will take a conscious town-wide effort to keep our community healthy, and in turn, allow our schools and businesses to remain open. Achieving these goals requires a collective commitment to adhere to public health and safety recommendations,” the release said.

The town officials also said they acknowledge “COVID-19 fatigue is setting in and recommendations made through public health messaging are largely difficult and limiting, but they continue to be necessary.”

Those who have tested positive have exhibited the following trends:

Social events, such as parties and gatherings (all ages)

Exposure to individuals hired for child care, home improvement or other in-home services who may have increased contact points with many communities, including those where infection rates are higher

Youth sports “club” teams comprised of children from different communities

Youth “travel” teams where teams compete with children from other communities

Carpooling and gatherings associated with activities

“We urge everyone to be mindful about the modes of transmission when assessing the risks of participating in activities and travel. Increasing the number of personal contacts and duration of time spent with those contacts can exponentially increase the risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19,” Darien officials said.

Hosting or attending gatherings, especially those held indoors, that do not adhere to state guidelines, are strongly discouraged. officials said. Time spent with asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic, non-household contacts increases the risk of unknowingly transmitting COVID-19, the letter stated.

Gov. Ned Lamont recently announced that the state would roll back its Phase 3 stage to Phase 2.1 as of Friday.

Residents who attend indoor or outdoor gatherings should wear a mask at all times, perform frequent hand hygiene, and maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet when interacting with individuals who live outside of their home.

Takeout meals and not sharing food and beverages is encouraged.

Regarding sports, it is encouraged that families adhere to adequate mitigation strategies, such as distancing and masking when not playing, the letter stated. Traveling to out-of-state tournaments where teams gather from other areas subjects your athlete to unknown risks, in addition to the travel quarantine rules, officials said. The officials also advised against carpooling, team meals and celebrations.

For travel, anyone traveling or returning to Connecticut from a state, other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, or from a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice, are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or country.

Any Darien Public School staff member or student who travels to or from a location on the Connecticut Travel Advisory for more than 24 hours, must either quarantine for 14 days upon return or until provide a copy of a negative RT-PCR test to the nurse at the school they attend (rapid antigen tests are not acceptable).

Symptoms, contacts, quarantine and testing

Those with symptoms or exposure are urged to consult your primary care physician, get tested, and remain home, in isolation, while awaiting results. Those with symptoms who have tested positive, should contact the school and the health department, and enter a 10-day isolation period, or if you have been informed that you are a close contact, you must enter a 14-day quarantine, officials said.

If you or your child have been instructed to quarantine, you must remain home from school and all outside activities, except to obtain necessary medical care, officials said. You can not test out of quarantine. All students on a bus with a positive COVID case will be considered a close contact and directed to quarantine, officials said.

Contact tracing

When people positive for COVID-19, they will receive a call from a public health official in order to begin the process of contact tracing.

What counts as a close contact?

You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period

You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19

You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)

You shared eating or drinking utensils

They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Testing

Appointments for testing can be made at a drive-thru test clinic www.coronatest.com, located at Leroy West train station parking lot, 59 Leroy Ave.

Other test locations can be found at www.211ct.org/covidtesting. For up-to-date information from the state on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus.