Superintendent: No change for schools as Darien enters COVID red zone

Darien has joined the rest of its neighbors and most of the state of Connecticut in the red zone in terms of increased COVID-19 cases. First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said the town hasn't seen such an

Darien has joined the rest of its neighbors and most of the state of Connecticut in the red zone in terms of increased COVID-19 cases. First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said the town hasn't seen such an "aggressive viral spread" since March.

https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Data-Tracker

DARIEN — While the town’s COVID status has been elevated to “red alert” along with most of the state, there are no changes planned for the schools, the superintendent said.

As Connecticut surpassed 100,000 total confirmed COVID cases last week, Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said the town had not seen such “an aggressive virus spread” since late March.

“Our 14-day rolling case average is 26 cases per 100,000, which moved us to red alert status,” she said.

Under the red zone status, Stevenson said those 65 or older or at high risk, should stay home.

In a Sunday email to parents, Schools Superintendent Alan Addley said he and other Connecticut school chiefs met with the state Department of Education. He said Darien’s elevated COVID level will not affect the town’s schools. The high and middle schools will remain in the hybrid model while Fitch Academy and the elementary schools will continue full in-person learning.

In addition, all specialized special education programs will continue to meet in person Monday through Thursday and a half day on Friday during hybrid learning, said Addley, who announced last week he was quarantining because his spouse tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The health and safety of all students and staff continues to serve as the primary drivers of decision making in collaboration with health officials,” he said.

The school district has 11 active COVID cases and 195 people quarantined, impacting all schools and central services, Addley said.

“We will continue to consult our medical advisors on a regular basis. Should it be necessary, the schools are ready to transition to hybrid and/or remote learning models,” he said.

Stevenson noted that “mask wearing is mandatory when in public.”

“Everyone should limit trips outside the house and avoid any gatherings with non-family members. Indoor group activities must be postponed,” she said.

Stevenson also pointed out Gov. Ned Lamont’s order to suspend all youth sports until at least Jan. 19. She said the town will consult with the state DPH “to discuss additional mitigation measures.”

Stevenson said the uptick in cases comes at a difficult time with Thanksgiving this week. She said the governor’s guidance says indoor and outdoor gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people and mask wearing and social distancing are recommended.

“Travel is strongly discouraged and all travelers into Connecticut must follow state health quarantine and/or testing guidelines,” she said.

Both the state and the CDC have issued further guidance regarding holiday guidelines.

“Please remember, if you or a family member is required to quarantine, you must stay home for the duration of your quarantine. There is no option to test out of a quarantine. An individual in quarantine may not participate in any community-based activities,” Stevenson said.

The town recently partnered with Everpoint Health to provide drive-thru testing by appointment with no referral needed.

TESTING LOCATIONS

Everpoint Health, Leroy West parking lot, Darien

203-987-5796

Drive-thru, all patients, appointment needed, no referral needed

DOCS Urgent Care, 677 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk

203-874-3682

All patients. No appointment or referral

CVS, High Ridge Stamford

203-541-3972

Drive-thru, some patients, appointment needed, referral not needed

Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk

203-852-2000

Drive-thru, all patients, appointment and referral required

Walgreens, 54 West Ave., Norwalk

203-925-4733

Drive-thru, all patients, appointment required, referral not required

Community Health, Center of Stamford at Fifth Street, Stamford

203-323-969

All patients, appointment or referral not required

AFC Urgent Care Stamford

203-969-2000

All patients, appointment or referral not required

Community Health Center of Norwalk, Norwalk

203-854-9292

All patients, appointment or referral not required

Physician One Urgent Care, Norwalk

203-856-0005

All patients, appointment or referral not required

Stamford Hospital, Bennett Medical Center, Stamford

203-276-1000

Drive-thru, all patients, appointment and referral required

Testing resources

Darienct.gov

211ct.org

portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus