Dutchess County Ready with Additional Care Capacity at Dutchess Community College

Dutchess County’s Recovery Center stands ready as needed should local hospitals exceed their capacity to care for those impacted by COVID-19. This past Saturday, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro joined Assistant Commissioner Cathi Tegtmeier and other representatives from the Department of Behavioral & Community Health as nearly 50 Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers, who will assist in staffing the Recovery Center, were trained in the facility’s operational structure. Although staff is trained and prepared and the facility is ready for patient admission, it is not expected it will be necessary to open the facility this week as local hospital bed capacity has remained stable. Hospital capacity is evaluated daily, looking out three days, to determine if it is necessary to open the recovery center.

Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro directed the establishment of the Recovery Center last month to ensure Dutchess County would have enough beds to care for everyone throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as assist the local hospitals meet Governor Cuomo’s order to hospital capacity increase by 50% now, and plan for 100%.

County Executive Molinaro said, “We are grateful to our outstanding team from the Department of Behavioral & Community Health and all of our dedicated MRC volunteers for their diligent work to prepare this Recovery Center. While we hope we will never need to utilize the Recovery Center based on the current trend in hospitalization, it is important to have this resource ready to care for people as we do not yet know when we will reach our apex with this virus. We must all continue to do our part – stay safe, stay home and if you must go out, social distance with a face covering to stop the spread of this disease.”

Recovery Center

County Executive Marc Molinaro joins DBCH Assistant Commissioner Cathi Tegtmeier for a tour of Dutchess County’s Recovery Center at DCC and offers thanks to the MRC volunteers staffing the center. Click above to watch a short video of the tour.

In the event local hospitals have limited bed capacity, the Recovery Center will be available to serve individuals who can be discharged from hospital care but still need appropriate support service to continue their recovery before returning home. The Recovery Center will provide safe housing and/or support of activities of daily living for individuals discharged from acute care.

Dutchess Community College’s Conklin Hall Dormitory serves as the location for the Recovery Center, with 176 rooms and 457 beds on 4 different floors. Total capacity will vary based on number of guests requiring single room and/or access to private bathroom per their care plan.

Staffing for the Recovery Center consists of approximately 50 medical and nonmedical professionals from multiple disciplines, primarily MRC volunteers. Housekeeping and security services are jointly provided by DCC staff and MRC volunteers.

In the last month, more than 200 additional people have joined the volunteer ranks of the MRC of Dutchess County, many of them nurses and other healthcare professionals. These volunteers have been instrumental in the response to COVID-19 in Dutchess County, assisting with monitoring those quarantined, staffing the Coronavirus hotline, making deliveries and now staffing the Recovery Center as needed.

Cathi Tegtmeier, Assistant Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health said, “Under the leadership of County Executive Molinaro, Dutchess County has been proactive in establishing this Recovery Center that, if needed, will reduce the stress our local hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients. This facility, staffed by a dedicated contingent of medical professionals and trained volunteers, will provide a venue for those still recuperating from COVID-19 — but not needing hospitalization — to do so in a safe, contained building before being released home. Having this resource offers our healthcare community some peace of mind that there is a relief valve available to them if needed.”

Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has worked in cooperation with Nuvance Health on the establishment of the Recovery Center. DBCH and Nuvance Health coordinate each day to assess current hospital capacity and determine if there is a need to utilize the Recovery Center within the next three days. Currently, hospital census numbers remain stable and it is not necessary to house guests at the Recovery Center.

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