Thousands Take Part in Molinaro’s Latest
COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Forum
Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro Wednesday evening continued his months-long series of virtual discussions with the community about Coronavirus/COVID-19, informing residents about the pandemic, its local impact and the County’s efforts at “Restarting Dutchess,” as well as answering their questions.
Several thousand residents took part in the telephone town hall component of this latest conversation, while hundreds more watched the dialogue on Dutchess County Government’s Facebook page. County Executive Molinaro has hosted more than two dozen such online forums since mid-March, all of which are archived and can be viewed on the County’s YouTube page.
Among the highlights from Wednesday evening’s discussion:
• County Executive Molinaro reviewed Dutchess County’s most recent COVID-19 data posted on the Dutchess County COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard:
o 4,380 total confirmed cases
o 80,236 tests completed
o 222 current active cases
o 5 hospitalizations
o 153 deaths
o 4,005 recoveries
o 1% infection rate*
* The County today added “Infection Rate,” or the percentage of positive test results for the Mid-Hudson region, to the Dutchess County COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard. New York State will use this metric to determine whether school districts in each region may re-open with in-person instruction.
• While the Mid-Hudson region, including Dutchess County, began Phase 4 of the “NY Forward” re-opening process on July 7th, the New York State Liquor Authority has updated its guidance, effective July 17th, for establishments with a liquor license, decreeing such establishments (restaurants, bars, taverns, tastings rooms and the like) shall not serve alcoholic beverages unless such beverages are accompanied by the purchase of a food item, which is consistent with the food availability requirement of the license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced late last week that all restaurants and bars statewide will be subject to new requirements that they must only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food and that all service at bar tops must only be for seated patrons who are socially distanced by 6 feet or separated by physical barriers.
• Following Dutchess County Public Transit’s return to full service on June 6th, fare collection will resume for all services on Monday, August 3rd. Multi- and single-ride passes and tickets are available online. Cleaning and sanitizing protocols remain in place on all buses, and riders are reminded that masks or face coverings, as well as adherence to social-distancing guidelines, are required. The Beacon Free Loop remains free of charge to all riders through a contract with the City of Beacon.
• County Executive announced he has appointed Adam Roche to become the new Division of Veterans’ Services Director, following the departure of Director Marc Coviello at the end of July. Mr. Roche, a United States Marine Corp Veteran, enters his new role having most recently worked at Mental Health America of Dutchess County, leading the PFC Joseph Dwyer PTSD Veterans Support Program, known as Vet2Vet, which brings veterans together in a safe, anonymous environment where they can work jointly to help each other manage the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury. The program has served local veterans by providing advocacy, housing and mental health services to local veterans and has become a trusted resource.
• July 19-25th is recognized nationwide as Pretrial, Probation & Parole Supervision Week, and County Executive Molinaro thanked the dedicated men and women of the County’s Office of Probation and Community Corrections. In 2019, the Office of Probation and Community Connections supervised approximately 2,800 individuals placed on probation, utilizing a variety of evidence-based interventions to reduce recidivism and promote positive outcomes and community safety, while collecting more than $278,800 in restitution for crime victims.
County Executive Marc Molinaro’s next COVID-19 Town Hall will take place on Wednesday, July 29th at 3 p.m. The July 29th event will broadcast live on the Dutchess County Government Facebook page, and as with all of County Executive Molinaro’s virtual discussions, American Sign Language interpreters will translate the conversation on Facebook. For information on how to participate and view past online COVID-19 community conversations, view the County’s Coronavirus webpage.