Poughkeepsie, NY… In his most recent online COVID-19 Town Hall, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today highlighted Dutchess County’s continued success in the fight against COVID-19; discussed the latest updates in the “Restarting Dutchess” reopening process; and answered questions from citizens 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 the online Town Hall discussion included:
• Molinaro reviewed Dutchess County’s most recent COVID-19 data posted on the County’s COVID-19 data dashboard:
o 4,075 total confirmed cases
o 47,245 tests completed
o 421 current active cases
o 18 hospitalizations
o 147 deaths
o 3,487 recoveries
• The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) recently completed the transition to the New York State-wide CommCare Contact Tracing system, phasing out the previously used contact tracing system. In verifying cases to be transferred to the new CommCare system, a significant number of significant number of cases have been updated as “recovered” or have been removed from the active cases count. The active case count will continue to decline over the coming week as cases currently classified under “pending address confirmation” are closed out.
• Dutchess County Clerk Brad Kendall joined Molinaro to share an update on this week’s reopening of the Poughkeepsie DMV office. The Poughkeepsie DMV office is now open for in-person license, permits and non-driver ID transactions by appointment only. More than 125 customers were served on Monday, June 15th, the first day of operation, in addition to the hundreds of mailed transactions that are completed each week.
• The County Executive discussed updates on many issues he has been advocating for, including:
• New guidance permitting visitation at residential group homes and hospitals. Following strong advocacy from County Executive Molinaro to the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to allow visitation for families with loved ones living in residential group homes, the State announced this week visitation would be allowed starting Friday, June 19th subject to state guidelines.
• Following the call from county leaders across New York State, it was announced earlier this week that low-risk youth sports, as well as adult recreational leagues, would be allowed to resume. Teams may resume practice in regions during Phase 3 — the Mid-Hudson region, including Dutchess County, is on track to begin Phase 3 on June 23rd — and games/competitions can begin July 6th.
• Dutchess County anticipates entering Phase 3 of the “NY Forward” re-opening process on Tuesday, June 23rd. Businesses and activities, in addition to the low-risk sports as noted above, that will be permitted to move forward in Phase 3 with limited capacity and proper social distancing protocols include:
o indoor seating at restaurants;
o food trucks and concessions; and
o personal care businesses, including tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement practitioners, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, UV and non-UV tanning, or waxing.
• Additionally, it was announced this week that the size of gatherings can increase from a maximum of 10 people to up to 25 people in Phase 3.
• County Executive Molinaro congratulated Barrington Atkins who was sworn in this afternoon as the newest member of the Dutchess County Legislature representing District 10 in the City of Poughkeepsie. Mr. Atkins was appointed to the seat by the City of Poughkeepsie Common Council following the passing of longtime legislator Barbara Jeter-Jackson in May.
County Executive Molinaro will host the next COVID-19 Town Hall on Friday, June 19th at 2 p.m – the event will be on location in the Village of Rhinebeck, highlighting local efforts to creatively expand outdoor dining space options.
As with all previous online town hall forums, the June 19th 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, http://www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.