DARIEN — A staffing shortage prompted Middlesex Middle School to go remote Thursday, Superintendent Alan Addley said.

In an email to parents early Thursday, Addley said the temporary closure was “due to teachers absences and the inability to cover classes.” He said all after-school activities were canceled.

At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Addley noted that staff absences had caused principals and school administrators to have to cover classes when teachers were out.

Addley notified the Tokeneke School community on Wednesday about one of their members testing positive for COVID-19.

Addley also notified Darien High School families on Wednesday about another one of their members testing positive. Darien High went fully remote Tuesday after a case was reported too late to safely perform contact tracing.

There are 27 active COVID cases in the district and 348 people quarantined.

At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Addley implored the school community to use good judgment outside of school if they want in-person learning to continue.

“What we are seeing right now, the spread is coming from community gatherings,” he said.

“It is exactly working against keeping the children in school, and not being supportive of the teaching staff,” he said.

Addley said he was imploring residents who prioritize in-person learning to take proper precautions.

“I know sometimes we can’t help ourselves, but we really need to try,” he said.

His comments were echoed by Dr. Timothy Kenefick, district medical advisor.

“We are seeing that schools are not a driver of cases. I urge all families to be mindful of their activities if they value in person learning,” he said. “These cases are just going to increase.”