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Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County initiative to test nursing home residents for COVID-19 has now been completed, with the final seven nursing homes facilities reporting lab results. A primary goal of the initiative was to identify any asymptomatic cases to prevent potential spread of coronavirus. All 13 nursing home facilities in Dutchess County participated in the initiative. More than 1260 residents were tested, with 29 cases identified.
The results from the final 7 facilities are as follows:
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Nursing homes care for our most vulnerable citizens and we are fortunate to have exceptional facilities here in Dutchess County dedicated to the health and safety of their residents. Nursing homes staff have been working around the clock to provide quality, loving care to their residents and that hard work has paid off. The tests we were able to secure have provided us with a more accurate picture of what’s going on in nursing homes, and we’re thankful for that.”
Nursing home safety has been a top priority for Dutchess County throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Although nursing homes are under the authority and oversight of the New York State Department of Health, County Executive Molinaro established Dutchess County’s Nursing Home Task Force, under the direction of DBCH, to be in regular contact with nursing home leadership.
The Dutchess County Nursing Home Task Force has overseen the testing initiative since it was announced in April and has worked collaboratively with all of Dutchess County’s nursing home facilities to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff. Dutchess County coordinated the administration of thousands of diagnostic test kits, provided necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent testing cross contamination, and the delivery of COVID-19 test kits to laboratories.
The Nursing Home Task Force has also worked with local facilities throughout the pandemic, assisting with PPE needs including distributing isolation suits and gowns, eye protection, N-95 respirators, surgical masks, as well as hand sanitizer. The Task Force convenes weekly conference calls with nursing to help address concerns and emerging issues, such as staff stress concerns which the County assisted with by coordinating mental health support resources.
Assistance was also provided following Governor Cuomo’s executive order requiring all nursing home facilities staff be tested twice per week. The Nursing Home Task Force helped local facilities acquire access to testing and develop plans to safely and effectively administer these tests. Last week, the executive order reduced staff testing to once a week. Nursing homes in Dutchess County are reporting less than .01% infection rate among staff.
Behavioral & Community Health Commissioner Dr. Anil Vaidian said, “We thank the local nursing home facilities for their cooperation with this initiative and throughout this pandemic. We are proud of the collaboration we have established, which has provided a great deal of reassurance for the families of those being cared for in nursing homes. We are also grateful for County Executive Molinaro’s leadership throughout this pandemic – recognizing that while nursing homes are not under the purview of the County, they are a critical part of the healthcare system and it was necessary to support them to help protect the health and safety of our entire community.”
Dutchess County Government continues to provide residents the most current information and guidance on its website, www.dutchessny.gov, its Coronavirus hotline, (845) 486-3555, and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.