Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today the County has received another limited supply of at-home COVID-19 test kits from New York State which have been distributed to each municipality based on population size as well as to select community organizations that serve underserved populations. Municipalities will be distributing test kits to residents over the next few days and residents should check their municipality’s website or call for specific information about when and where test kits will be available for pick up.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Testing facilities across the county have seen exponential growth in the number of residents seeking a COVID-19 test. These at-home test kits are a critical step towards increasing access to testing within our community as we continue to combat the surge in COVID-19 cases following the busy holiday season. We thank both our local and state partners for their cooperation in assisting Dutchess in distributing this valuable resource.”
To obtain a test kit, residents must supply their municipality with proof of residency. Residents may only get the free test kits from the municipality in which they reside (you cannot go to a different town to get a kit). As supply continues to be limited, each household can receive one test kit, which includes two individual tests. Kits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and residents who previously received a free kit are asked to allow others who were unable to get a kit to get one. While supplies are limited, distribution from New York State is expected to be recurring and the County will continue to work with local municipalities to distribute test kits as they are received.
Residents who receive a positive result from an at-home COVID-19 test must:
- Immediately self-isolate, even if they are vaccinated; adhere to current quarantine guidance; and
- take a picture of the positive at-home test result within 24 hours and report the positive case to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) at dutchessny.gov/COVIDpositive
With high active case volume, contract tracers may not be able to contact people in a timely manner, so residents are advised to follow isolation protocols for their quarantine period. If a resident’s symptoms worsen or they have trouble breathing following a positive result from an at-home test, they should consult their physician or dial 9-1-1. Individuals who work in healthcare or other congregate care setting may have different requirements, they should contact their employer and refer to NYS DOH return-to-work guidance for healthcare personnel.
While at-home tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are reliable, it is possible to receive a false negative. If residents experience symptoms and test negative, they’re urged to take another test within 24-48 hours.
Negative test results from at-home tests may not be sufficient to return to work or school. DBCH will not accept negative results from at-home tests for early release from quarantine. Negative results do not need to be reported to DBCH.
The distribution of at-home test kits is part of Dutchess County’s comprehensive efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The County, in cooperation with all municipalities and school districts as well as nonprofit organizations and small businesses, also already distributed nearly 50,000 test kits and over 100,000 KN95 masks. Multiple providers across Dutchess County have been offering rapid and PCR testing and Dutchess County has also been offering no-cost testing at the former JCPenney and has increased hours and testing staff at the site to accommodate increased demand.
Dr. Livia Santiago-Rosado, Department of Behavioral & Community Health Commissioner, reminds residents to use multi-layered prevention efforts to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of COVID including:
- Get vaccinated
- Get a booster shot if already vaccinated
- Wear a mask in indoor public settings
- Physically distance when possible
- Wash hands and avoid touching face including nose and eyes
- STAY HOME WHEN SICK OR HAVE SYMPTOMS to prevent spread of viruses, including COVID and flu
- Adhere to protocols if you test positive.
For comprehensive information about COVID-19, including testing, vaccinations, prevention and more, visit www.DutchessNY.gov/Coronavirus or call the COVID information line at 845-486-3555.