Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro hosted his 10th online COVID-19 Town Hall last night, informing residents about the latest news about the local impact of the pandemic, plans regarding “NY Forward” and “Restarting Dutchess,” an update on testing of residents in nursing home facilities for COVID-19, among other topics.
This week’s online event was also a tele-town hall, allowing residents to call in, listen to County Executive Molinaro’s presentation and ask questions; thousands of residents took part in the tele-town hall component, in addition to the online audience.
In addition to answering residents’ questions, highlights from today’s discussion included:
- County Executive Molinaro gave an overview of the Governor’s “NY Forward” plan for reopening and how Dutchess County fits into it. Dutchess is one of seven counties in the “Mid-Hudson Region” and to begin the re-opening process, the region must meet seven criteria. Currently, the region meets five of the seven, and is trending in the right direction. However, the final two criteria the region must meet – 14 consecutive days of decline in new hospitalizations and 14 consecutive days of decline in deaths – will prove extremely difficult for the region, including Dutchess County, to meet. A single day with an increase over the previous day in either category resets the 14-day clock. The County Executive noted that without some adjustment to those metrics, the Mid-Hudson Region could be forced to wait much longer than originally anticipated to enter “Phase 1” even though there is overall improvement in all categories.
New York State’s Required Regional Metrics for ReOpening
Once a region meets all the criteria and receives the green light from New York State – reopening will occur in four phases, with an anticipated two weeks between each phase. Businesses and activities eligible to reopen in each of the four phases are as follows under the NY Forward plan:
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
- Retail – (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
- Wholesale Trade
- Professional Services
- Administrative Support
- Real Estate / Rental & Leasing
- Restaurants / Food Services
- Arts / Entertainment / Recreation
More information about the NY Forward is available at https://forward.ny.gov/
- Following last month’s announcement that Dutchess County would seek COVID-19 testing for every nursing home resident in the County, the Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) successfully procured 3,600 tests, enough to test every resident in the 13 nursing home facilities in the County. The first round of testing began last week at Wingate at Beacon and the Pines at Poughkeepsie, with additional nursing homes beginning testing this week. Nursing home testing is expected to be completed within the next two weeks, and Dutchess County will continue to provide nursing home facilities with supplies, support, guidance, and staff training.
As a result of the County’s efforts:
- 104 residents were tested at Wingate at Beacon, with 13 new cases of COVID-19 identified;
- 157 residents were tested at The Pines at Poughkeepsie with 6 new cases of COVID-19 identified.
- To date, there have been no cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in Dutchess County. The Department of Behavioral & Community Health issued a public health alert to health care providers regarding Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, including signs and symptoms as well as reporting procedures.
- In observance of National Police Week, County Executive Molinaro also recognized the bravery, commitment and sacrifice of the law enforcement officers throughout Dutchess County, including the brave men and women at the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, who serve in myriad ways.
County Executive Molinaro will host another COVID-19 Town Hall on Friday, May 15th at 2 p.m. As with all previous town hall forums, the May 15th event will be broadcast live on the Dutchess County Government Facebook page, and American Sign Language interpreters will translate the conversation. Past online COVID-19 community conversations are archived on the County’s Coronavirus webpage.
Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information on its COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard, as well as guidance on its website, dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.