Dutchess County Grateful for Surge in Volunteers during COVID-19 Pandemic

MRC volunteers bring much needed help to Dutchess County Coronavirus efforts

Poughkeepsie … In honor of National Volunteer Week, County Executive Marc Molinaro expressed enormous gratitude to everyone who has donated their time and efforts to supporting Dutchess County’s coronavirus efforts. Through #DutchessResponds or the Medical Reserve Corps, county residents have volunteered thousands of hours of time to support their community. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County (MRC) already boasted one of the most robust and active volunteer ranks in the entire state of New York. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the MRC has seen a dramatic rise in its’ already active membership.

Dutchess Responds

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “This is a testament to who we are as a community. I have often said that in Dutchess County, we care. During this global pandemic we have seen so many people step up to face these new dilemmas, but few have risen to the challenge in the way our Medical Reserve Corps volunteers have. We are overwhelmed by their dedication and commitment to service. To all of the MRC volunteers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I thank you on behalf of all the residents and your neighbors in Dutchess County.“

Last year, Dutchess County MRC Coordinator Joe Ryan announced at the annual MRC Thank You Banquet that MRC members recorded more than 4,000 volunteer hours. As of mid-April this year, MRC volunteers have logged more than 3,250 hours. If this pattern continues, the MRC will shatter records in training, volunteer hours and recruitment.

The MRC of Dutchess County has over 700 active members, 200 of which have joined since March 2020. The time and effort these members (both with and without formal medical training) have put in so far has helped to keep Dutchess County residents healthy and safe. The MRC is active in multiple Coronavirus endeavors in the county, including:

  • Staffing more than 230 shifts at Dutchess County’s Coronavirus Call Center totaling nearly 1,000 hours,
  • Delivering groceries and/or medication orders to those in isolation,
  • Assisting in monitoring and testing hundreds of individuals exposed to COVID-19,
  • Over 70 volunteers trained to staff Dutchess County’s Recovery Center at Dutchess Community College,
  • 15 MRC members trained to assist in the Medical Examiner’s Office,
  • Providing medical assistance to guests at the homeless shelter currently located at the Dutchess County Jail and Law Enforcement Center campus,
  • Assembled hundreds of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits, and
  • Assisted with a number of other logistical operations and in the Emergency Operation Center.

Assistant Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health Catherine Tegtmeier said, “I don’t know where we’d be today without our MRC volunteers. We owe them a debt of gratitude that, quite frankly, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to repay. As the former MRC coordinator, I have been blown away by the outpouring of support given by these individuals. It’s a tremendous privilege and relief for our public health employees to be able to lean these volunteers and the collaboration between the MRC volunteers, county employees, and community partners has been nothing short of fantastic.”

The Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County is part of a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers dedicated to supporting public health infrastructure as well as disaster preparedness and response in the community.  Both medical professionals and non-medical volunteers are needed in Dutchess County’s Coronavirus relief efforts. If you’d like to volunteer your time as a member of the MRC, or you’d like to donate funds to our efforts, visit http://www.DutchessNY.gov/DutchessResponds.

Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information and guidance on its website, dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, its COVID-19 Impact Dashboard, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.