News

11/16/2021 - BOE and Town COVID Press Release

November 16, 2021

Dear Members of the Darien Community:

We hope this finds your family in good health as we continue to face the challenges of living life during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our town vaccination rate is high and we are pleased to offer vaccination clinics for our elementary school aged students.

In the past ten (10) days we have seen a surge in COVID cases across the school district, especially in our elementary school population.  Fortunately, the level of illness of the individual positive cases continues to be mild.  Increases in COVID cases have also been reported in the town.

We are monitoring this situation closely with our public health officials.  Presently, the data continues to show that the spread of COVID among our school populations is happening outside of school, primarily through family and social events. Presently, increases in COVID cases are not attributable to the Screen and Stay Program.

In the schools, we are evaluating and responding to the data from each school and adjusting our mitigation practices where necessary to reduce the density of students in communal areas in order to decrease risk of the spread of COVID wherever possible.  These mitigation strategies further ensure access to as safe an environment as possible. 

As we respond to the increase in COVID-19 cases, the Town of Darien and the Darien Public Schools wish to share some reminders and practices designed to keep our community safe and to keep schools open.  We request that you continue to incorporate the following measures and practices:

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

Gatherings of unvaccinated and unmasked individuals indoors presents a significant risk of infection and have already led to a large number of infected and quarantined students, family members and siblings.  Hosting or attending gatherings, especially those held indoors, should follow State and local guidelines and good health practices.  Time spent with asymptomatic, or pre-symptomatic, non-household contacts increases the risk of unknowingly transmitting COVID-19.  Please be mindful of these facts when considering such activities. 

SPORTS & ORGANIZED ACTIVITIES

If sports and other after school activities are important to your family, please adhere to adequate mitigation strategies, such as distancing, and consider minimizing interactions with team members - avoid carpooling, team meals and celebrations. Leagues, coaches and staff must continue to notify the local Health Department if there is a positive COVID-19 case of any team member.

TRAVEL

While travelling, please follow the Connecticut’s Travel Advisory  and CDC guidelines.

SYMPTOMS AND EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL

Excluding individuals from school, family gatherings, social events and sports, who are experiencing symptoms of, or who have been exposed to COVID-19 is an essential component of containing and reducing further spread of the virus.

If any individual in your home is experiencing any one of the following symptoms, please have that individual remain home and get tested:

 Sore throat, even if mild
New onset headache, even if mild
Congestion, with or without a runny nose
New onset cough, even if infrequent
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fever of 100.4 or higher
Feeling feverish without an increased body temperature
Fatigue
Chills with or without fever
Loss of taste or smell
Muscle or body ache
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Also, if any member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, any unvaccinated individual, or any individual with any of the above symptoms despite vaccination status, should remain at home.  For school aged children, please call your school nurse to discuss your situation and determine the next steps.

VACCINATION CLINICS

Please do not attend school or town vaccination clinics if you are being quarantined or are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

MITIGATION MEASURES

Please continue to employ all mitigation strategies, especially:

  • Frequent hand hygiene
  • Wearing a mask
  • Staying home with any symptoms of illness, no matter how mild

It is critical that we do not become complacent, particularly during this period of increased cases.  Current conditions continue to require a conscious town-wide effort to keep our community healthy, our schools fully open and to reduce the need for quarantining as much as possible.  Following the recommendations can help guide safe decision-making regarding participation in gatherings, sporting or recreational activities, travel and school activities. 

We acknowledge COVID-19 fatigue is setting in and recommendations made through public health messaging are sometimes redundant but they continue to be necessary.  Your continued diligence with monitoring for symptoms and employing all mitigating measures is greatly appreciated. The collaborative efforts to protect the well-being of our greater community is working to keep our schools healthy, safe and open.

For up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, please visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus.  Information about local efforts is available on the Town of Darien webpage.  School information can be found by visiting the Darien Public Schools Safe Return Plan  webpage.

Thank you for partnering with us in our collective efforts to keep our town citizens safe and our students in school.

Monica McNally, First Selectman
Dr. Alan Addley, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Timothy Kenefick, District Medical Advisor
David Knauf, Director or Health
Alicia Casucci, Director of Nursing Services

For more information, please refer to the CDC Coronavirus Web Pages linked below for your convenience.

Coronavirus Disease 2019

Symptoms of Coronavirus

If You are Sick or Caring for Someone Who Is Sick

If You are Sick: Isolation

Close Contact and When to Quarantine

 

David Knauf, Director of Health       Timothy H. Kenefick, MD, FAAP                    Alicia Casucci APRN, CPNP-PC, NCSN
dknauf@darienct.gov                         TKenefick@stamhealth.org                               acasucci@darienps.org

Tel: (203) 656-7320                            Tel: (203) 327 1055                                           Tel: (203) 655-3981 x2304