Poughkeepsie, NY … Today marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic arriving in Dutchess County and, during this week’s virtual town hall, County Executive Marc Molinaro reflected on the events that occurred one year ago that started the County’s response, as well as how the county, state, and nation have been impacted by these unprecedented times:
- March 9, 2020 - County Executive Molinaro issued a statement that Dutchess County Government was preparing for the emerging situation following the first confirmed case in Ulster County who had connections in Dutchess County.
- March 12, 2020 - The first confirmed case in Dutchess County was announced.
- March 13, 2020 - County Executive Molinaro issued a State of Emergency, suspending large gatherings and closing schools ahead of the State’s order.
- March 18, 2020 - County Executive Molinaro hosted his first Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall.
- March 20, 2020 - Sadly, the first Dutchess County resident succumbed to the COVID-19 virus. Since then, over 400 individuals have died due to COVID-19 in Dutchess County, with the national death toll well over 500,000.
Under the calm, consistent, capable leadership of County Executive Molinaro, Dutchess County has been a frontrunner in responding to the pandemic. From becoming a local resource for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during supply shortages and helping local businesses operate safely, to assisting those isolated and alone receive food and medications through the Dutchess Responds initiative, thousands of County employees and volunteers worked together to ensure residents’ safety and assist those in need. Watch the video online.
During this week’s online town hall forum, the County Executive’s 60th since the pandemic began, County Executive Molinaro shared updates on the County’s progress to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines and answered residents’ questions. The event is available to view on-demand on the County’s YouTube page.
Among the highlights of the conversation:
- County Executive Molinaro updated residents on the most current data, as of Wednesday, available on the Dutchess County COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard:
- 556,773 tests completed to date
- 23,184 confirmed cases to date
- 1,195 current active cases
- 35.3 new cases per 100,000 population
- 47 Current hospitalizations
- 415 deaths to date
- Positivity Rate Dutchess County (7-day rolling avg.): 4.12% (as of March 8)
- Nearly 5,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to providers throughout Dutchess County this week by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), County Executive Molinaro said. Allocations include:
- The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) is slated to receive 1,200 doses of Moderna vaccine from New York State to vaccinate those over 60 years old, individuals with health conditions, and essential workers at the County’s Poughkeepsie and Dover Point of Dispensing (POD) sites, by appointment only.
- Additionally, the County hosted a pop-up vaccination site at John Jay High School in East Fishkill on Wednesday, distributing additional Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine received from New York State. This will be the first of several pop-up sites hosted throughout the county. Upcoming pop-up sites will be offered, including one in Beacon next week, and sites in Pine Plains and Red Hook are being finalized.
- The Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA) has called seniors age 65 and older to attend a clinic at the Community at Brookmeade in Rhinebeck on March 15th in partnership with Rite Aid.
- Dutchess County also continues to partner with area primary care providers to vaccinate homebound and medically frail senior citizens.
- Additional doses have been allocated by New York State to hospitals and pharmacies in Dutchess County. Updates about these vaccine allocations and appointment availability are posted at dutchessny.gov/covidvaccine. Many of these locations already have waiting lists.
- According to New York State, 19.8 percent of Dutchess County residents have received at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine; the statewide average is 20.9 percent. In all, the state reported 58,025 Dutchess County residents have received at least their first shot and 26,497 had received their second shot.
- County Executive Molinaro announced the County is expanding access to its vaccination clinics to restaurant workers (including food pantry workers), taxi drivers, and public-facing hotel employees. Additionally, the State recently announced new eligible priority groups, including: those who are 60 and older and, beginning March 17th, public-facing government and public employees; nonprofit workers who provide public-facing services; and essential, in-person, public-facing building service workers. The State also announced all vaccine providers can vaccinate any eligible group beginning March 17th, except pharmacies, which will still be required to prioritize those who are 60 and older but will be able to vaccinate teachers per Federal guidance.
- Residents who have already been vaccinated and who completed the Dutchess County Vaccination Information Request Form are asked to remove themselves from the County’s waitlist for an appointment by completing the form at dutchessny.gov/GotMyVaccine. Individuals will still receive weekly updates to share with loved ones still waiting for their shot.
- County Executive Molinaro will present his State of the County Address virtually on Tuesday, March 16th. Residents can watch the presentation at www.dutchessny.gov, as well as the County’s Facebook and YouTube pages.