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Molinaro Updates Thousands During Latest COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Forum

Published: 4/29/2021

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro on Wednesday evening hosted his 67th virtual town hall forum regarding COVID-19 since March 2020, updating the thousands of residents who took part on the County’s response, vaccine distribution and other topics, while answering their questions.

The County Executive hosted Wednesday evening’s event on the County’s Facebook page, and thousands of residents listened and asked questions. A full archive of the County Executive’s online conversations, including this event’s virtual event, is available on the County’s YouTube page.

Among the highlights of Wednesday evening’s discussion:

  • County Executive Molinaro updated residents on the most current data, as of April 5th, available on the Dutchess County COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard:
    • 689,733 tests completed to date
    • 29,480 confirmed cases to date
    • 627 current active cases
    • 44 current hospitalizations
    • 441 deaths to date
    • Positivity Rate for Dutchess County (7-day rolling average): 2.34 percent, as of April 26
  • Dutchess County vaccine metrics (as of Wednesday) from the State’s Vaccine Tracker:
    • 138,023 Dutchess residents have received at least one dose
    • 46.7 percent of population with one dose
    • 97,972 residents completed vaccine series
    • 32.4 percent of population with complete vaccine series
  • The County Executive reiterated that, following recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) has resumed the use of the one-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, produced by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), at its Community and Partner Pop-Up Points of Dispensing (PODs). Earlier Wednesday, for example, DBCH collaborated with Dutchess Community College to host a Partner Pop-Up at the school’s Falcon Hall in the Town of Poughkeepsie, where both the Moderna and J&J vaccines were available for residents.
  • As the fifth full month of COVID-19 vaccination in Dutchess County is set to begin, County Executive Molinaro reminded residents that in addition to DBCH PODs, there are numerous vaccination opportunities – pharmacies, doctor’s offices, medical providers, state-run sites and the like – throughout Dutchess County, at which they can receive Moderna, J&J or Pfizer doses. Residents who have not yet been vaccinated, but would like to receive their vaccination at one of the County’s sites have several options:
  • Visit dutchessny.gov/covidvaccine for County-sponsored and partner event schedule, including appointment sign ups and walk in availability;
    • Call Dutchess County’s COVID Information Line at (845) 486-3555 to make an appointment at an upcoming POD; and
    • Residents age 60+ older can call the County’s Office for the Aging at (845) 486-2555, and staff will schedule an appointment for them.
  • New York State announced earlier Wednesday that restaurants and bars throughout the state will be permitted to remain open after midnight for outdoor service, beginning on May 17; they may remain open after midnight for indoor service, effective May 31. Earlier in the week, the state announced capacity at outdoor sports facilities, including Dutchess Stadium, can increase from the current 20 percent to 33 percent, starting May 19. Additionally, on May 15:
    • Casinos and gaming facilities can increase capacity from 25 to 50 percent
    • Offices capacity can expand from 50 percent to 75 percent; and
    • Gyms and fitness centers can broaden their capacity from 33 percent to 50 percent.
  • Local businesses and civic organizations, particularly those with 50 or more employees or members, which are looking to educate their employees/members on the importance of vaccination can contact the County’s COVID Information Line at (845) 486-3555 to set up a presentation by DBCH staff. Those businesses/groups looking to host a vaccination clinic are urged to call the COVID Information Line to be connected to resources to host a clinic, much like hosting an influenza vaccination clinic.
  • County Executive Molinaro reminded residents that Monday, May 7, is the deadline for tenants to apply for the $1.1 million in funding available through a COVID-19 Emergency Rent and Utility Relief program for low- and moderate-income households adversely affected by the pandemic. Dutchess County is allocating more than $930,000 to the program, which aims to promote housing security to all County residents outside the City of Poughkeepsie, and the City is allocating $200,000 to this initiative, specifically for its residents.
  • The County Executive encouraged local small business owners to utilize the recently announced “MicroMarketing” COVID recovery program, a new public-private program to help small, independent Dutchess County businesses expand their marketing reach to increase their foot traffic and boost sales. This program will provide support for small, independent businesses in Dutchess County to learn marketing best practices and funding to promote their business on digital platforms to increase visibility and expand their customer base. Eligible businesses will also receive ad/post placement on digital platforms, such as social media, as well as a one-year Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce (DCRCOC) membership. The DCRCOC will host a webinar on Tuesday, May 4, at 8 a.m. to present details about the program, eligibility and benefits; businesses can sign up for the webinar at dutchessbnn.com.
  • On Monday, May 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., DBCH will host a virtual public forum to discuss mental health services offered in Dutchess County for children and adults. Families, caregivers and local stakeholders are encouraged to attend and can register for the online discussion at dutchessny.gov/forumcomments. All input received at the forum will help shape DBCH’s 2022 Local Services Plan.
  • The Office for the Aging will host free, drive-in Bingo games for seniors on Friday, May 7, at Bowdoin Park in Poughkeepsie; Tuesday, May 11, at Freedom Park in LaGrange; and Tuesday, May 18, at Stanford Recreation Park in Stanfordville. Space is limited for each event, which begins at 1 p.m., and registration is required by calling (845) 486-2555.
  • DBCH will partner with the Dutchess County SPCA to host a free rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Schlathaus Park, 127 All Angels Hill Road in the Town of Wappinger. County residents can vaccinate their dogs, cats and domestic ferrets 3 months of age and older free of charge; proof of residency is required. Appointments are limited and pre-registration is required by visiting the Dutchess County SPCA website at www.DCSPCA.org.

County Executive Molinaro will host his next virtual discussion on Wednesday, May 5, at 3 p.m., emanating from Dutchess Stadium ahead of the Hudson Valley Renegades’ 2021 home opener on Tuesday, May 11. The County Executive will welcome Renegades President and General Manager Steve Gliner and County Parks Director Sandy Washburn to the discussion.

Residents are encouraged to view the virtual town hall forum on the County’s Facebook page. As with each of the County Executive’s previous 67 online discussions, American Sign Language interpreters will be live to translate the conversation.