Poughkeepsie, NY… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro hosted his 24th COVID-19 online Town Hall, highlighting the County’s continued success in the fight against COVID-19; discussing the latest updates in the “Restarting Dutchess” reopening process; and answering questions from residents as they viewed the event on the County’s Facebook page. The full online discussion can be viewed on Dutchess County Government’s YouTube page.
Highlights from today’s online Town Hall discussion included:
• County Executive Molinaro reviewed Dutchess County’s most recent COVID-19 data posted on the County’s COVID-19 data dashboard:
o 4,207 total confirmed cases
o 59,637 tests completed
o 180 current active cases
o 7 hospitalizations
o 151 deaths
o 3,876 recoveries
• The County Executive also shared that the drive-through COVID-19 specimen collection site at the Intermodal Center at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill will be closed effective Thursday, July 2nd, as Nuvance Health, which operated the site, transitions to offering COVID-19 testing at its primary and urgent care facilities including Nuvance Health Medical Practices’ urgent care centers on Route 55 in LaGrange and on Route 9 in Wappingers Falls. Since mid-March, Nuvance’s four drive-through sites, two of which were in Dutchess and Ulster counties, collected over 47,600 specimens. For a complete list of Nuvance facilities and FAQs on testing, visit the Nuvance Health website. For other COVID-19 testing sites in Dutchess County, visit dutchessny.gov/coronavirustesting.
• The Dutchess Responds Food Connection, which provided critical connections to food resources during the peak of the pandemic, concluded its vital mission earlier this week, having delivered more than 14,000 meals over the last 14 weeks, as the demand for the program has waned. A collaboration between Dutchess County Government, Dutchess Outreach and the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County, the program completed its successful service to families throughout the County adversely impacted by the pandemic. More than 660 inquiries were made to the Food Connection’s hotline, with nearly 600 households served by the program.
Demand for the Food Connection has recently diminished as Dutchess County Government has connected residents to the Department of Community and Family Services for benefits, including unemployment; Dutchess County Public Transit buses have resumed full service, enabling more residents to shop for themselves; and as the countywide infection rate has decreased, residents are more comfortable shopping in public.
• County Executive Molinaro, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights and the Northern Dutchess NAACP are hosting “A Listening Town Hall: People of Color Sharing Their Stories in Dutchess County” on Tuesday, July 7th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Special guest Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security for President Obama, will join this Zoom town hall to talk about his experience growing up in Dutchess County and the importance of fostering open conversations like this one. Elected representatives from every town, village and city in the county will be on the call to hear testimony. Those who want to speak during the town hall will be given 3 minutes and must register prior to the event’s start at http://www.DutchessNY.gov/ListeningTownHall.
• To help address the financial challenges the County is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County Executive also announced Dutchess County Government has developed a separation incentive program to provide employees with an opportunity to separate from County service with a choice of incentives. Through this incentive, the County will seek to find savings by either holding vacant or deleting the vacated position, or a similar position within the department. This voluntary workforce adjustment, which includes incentives for retirement and separation, follows dramatic reductions in sales tax revenues—the County’s largest single source of revenue—as well as delayed State aid and no Federal aid yet approved to offset these losses.
• Following the announcement yesterday that the 2020 minor league season has been canceled by Minor League Baseball, including the New York-Penn League’s Hudson Valley Renegades, County Executive Molinaro reminded viewers there’s still a lot to look forward to at Dutchess Stadium, a Dutchess County Park, this summer, including summer sports camps, amateur baseball games, bobblehead giveaways and the “Dutchess County Goes Renegade!” Independence Day fireworks event this Saturday, July 4th.
A collaboration between Dutchess County Government, the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Silo Ridge Field Club, and sponsored by Central Hudson Gas & Electric iHeartMedia of the Hudson Valley, the Mitch Nesheiwat family, and Eastdale Village, “Dutchess County Goes Renegade!” will offer free, socially distant fireworks displays on July 4th beginning at 9:30 p.m. at each of the following sites:
o Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill
o Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck
o Silo Ridge Equestrian Center in Amenia
Gates will open at each venue at 7:30 p.m., and parking is limited at each site. No alcohol will be permitted at this carry-in/carry-out event, and residents are asked to remain near their car for the duration of the event. There are no restrooms available at any venues.
County Executive Molinaro will host the next COVID-19 Town Hall on Thursday, July 2nd at 3 p.m. As with all previous online town hall forums, the July 2nd event will be broadcast live on the Dutchess County Government Facebook page, and American Sign Language interpreters will translate the conversation. For information on how to participate and view past online COVID-19 community conversations, view 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.