Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro this afternoon hosted his eighth online COVID-19 Town Hall in as many weeks, informing residents about the latest news about the local impact of the pandemic, as well as the County’s measured plan for “Restarting Dutchess.”
In addition to answering residents’ questions, highlights from today’s discussion included:
- Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announcement last week that schools statewide would not reopen for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, County Executive Molinaro advocated for students in special education programs throughout the state. Proud to #ThinkDIFFERENTLY about those of every ability in Dutchess County and beyond, County Executive Molinaro sent a letter to the Governor, imploring the state to provide special education services throughout the summer to ensure these students receive the critical support they need to enhance their lives.
- Work on the County’s “Restarting Dutchess” initiative, a multi-pronged initiative to appropriately re-open County’s economy and Government operations, is underway. Dutchess County is working together with neighboring counties – Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Columbia, Sullivan and Greene – to plan and coordinate a regional approach to responsibly and deliberately reopen the local economy.
- The four executive-level work groups County Executive Molinaro convened to ensure a smooth and orderly transition to a “new normal” for Dutchess County Government and the local economy – the Local Government Team, County Government Team, Economic Development Team and Fiscal/Financial Team – began active work sessions this week.
- County Executive Molinaro also discussed the opening of local summer children’s camp programs this year, with the goal of enabling camps to open by July 1st (and based on state guidance/approval). The Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is developing guidance to assist summer camp programs develop their own health & safety plans – including the measures the facility will be taking to reduce the potential for the spread of coronavirus as well as the facility’s response to any positive cases that may occur. Programs will be required to submit these health & safety plans with their permit applications. Summer day camps will be an important part of reopening the economy as they provide childcare options for many working parents.
In observance of National Nurses Week (May 6-12th), County Executive Molinaro also commended the dedicated men and women of nursing – both within Dutchess County Government and the community – for their devotion to protecting local residents as National Nurses Week (May 6-12th) kicked off today. Never has nurses’ dedication been more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and County Executive Molinaro thanked Vassar Brothers Medical Center nurses earlier this week for their commitment to patient health.
County Executive Molinaro will host another such COVID-19 Town Hall on Friday, May 8th at 2 p.m. As with all previous online town hall forums, the May 8th event will be broadcast live on the Dutchess County Government Facebook page, and American Sign Language interpreters will translate the conversation. Today’s Facebook Live conversation, as well as past online COVID-19 community conversations can be found on the County’s YouTube page.
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.