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Schools and Colleges Information & Guidance

Dutchess County’s Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has been working diligently with colleges and school districts to provide assistance regarding New York State’s guidelines, COVID-19 testing access, reporting protocols, contact tracing and more. 

School Reopening Plans

Each school district in Dutchess County has submitted a re-opening safety plan to New York State. Visit your school district’s website for specific details on your district’s requirements and safety measures. 

The following is a list of guidance and resources shared with all school districts in Dutchess County to aid in their re-opening planning:



Testing for Schools

Dutchess County has embarked on a four-pronged approach to support the testing needs of local schools as part of their re-opening process:

  1. An online testing site resource guide to connect residents with testing locations
  2. Preferred student and staff testing, including rapid testing at Pulse MD locations through a preferred virtual scheduling queue, 
  3. Evaluating the creation of a supply chain to make rapid test kits available* for schools to purchase, and 
  4. Exploring experimental sample pooling, or pool testing, to help increase testing capacity. 

*At this time, there is limited availability for rapid test kits throughout the state and region, however testing capacity and efficacy is expected to improve in the coming months as Pulse MD expands onsite rapid tests through improved technology.

School Districts are required to report daily data on the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to the State’s Department of Health. You can view these reports on the New York State School COVID Report Card.

College Re-Opening Plans

The State issued guidance for in-person higher education (.pdf) in June and several local institutions have allowed students to begin returning to campus for the Fall semester. The State continues to monitor colleges closely, including launching a new SUNY COVID-19 Dashboard, which includes Dutchess Community College. Many other local colleges have also published online dashboards to monitor student and staff case numbers and testing.

Each college has submitted a plan to the State for re-opening that accounts for, at minimum:

  1. Repopulation of the campus
  2. Monitoring health conditions
  3. Containment of potential transmission of the virus, and
  4. Shut-down of in-person operations on campus in the event of widespread COVID-19 transmission.

Detailed re-opening plans are available on each college’s website.

Additional Information