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Molinaro Provides COVID-19 Updates during Latest Virtual Town Hall Forum
Pandemic response, vaccine distribution among topics discussed

Published: 1/6/2021

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director


Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today hosted his most recent online Town Hall Forum regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, providing residents updates about the County’s response, vaccine distribution and other topics, while answering their questions.

County Executive Molinaro has hosted more than 50 such virtual discussions since March 2020, and an archive of all such forums, including today’s conversation, is available on the County’s YouTube page.

Among the highlights of today’s discussion:

  • County Executive Molinaro updated residents on the most current data available on the Dutchess County COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard:
    • 376,903 tests completed to date 
    • 13,190 confirmed cases to date 
    • 1,517 current active cases  
    • 156 current hospitalizations 
    • 252 deaths to date   
    • 11,421 recovered to date 
    • 8.26% Dutchess County 7-day rolling average positivity rate, as reported by the New York State Department of Health
  • The County’s Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) held its first point of distribution (POD) of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, January 6th to “vaccinate the vaccinators”  including Dutchess County DBCH employees and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers who will be working at the upcoming PODs, in accordance with New York State’s priority group eligibility.
  • Next week, as vaccine is received from New York State, Dutchess County DBCH will begin operating two POD locations – one in western Dutchess County  and one in eastern Dutchess County -  to vaccinate those currently eligible under the NYS guidelines. Dates, times and locations will be announced soon. Additionally, the County is partnering with Nuvance Health for an additional POD location at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck. These POD locations will be part of the network of vaccination location options in addition to hospitals and other health centers that will continue to expand as more vaccine becomes availability and additional priority groups become eligible for vaccinations.
  • New York State has established priority groups for COVID-19 vaccinations. Priority groups in Phase 1a  who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine include:
    • High-risk hospital workers (emergency room workers, ICU staff and Pulmonary Department staff)
    • Residents and staff at nursing homes and other congregate care facilities
    • Federally Qualified Health Center employees
    • EMS workers
    • Coroners, medical examiners and certain funeral workers
    • Staff and residents at OPWDD, OMH and OASAS facilities
    • Urgent Care providers
    • Individuals administering COVID-19 vaccines, including local health department staff
    • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care
    • All staff who are in direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff)
    • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations
    • This includes, but is not limited to:
      • Doctors who work in private medical practices and their staff
      • Doctors who work in hospital-affiliated medical practices and their staff
      • Doctors who work in public health clinics and their staff
      • Registered Nurses
      • Specialty medical practices of all types
      • Dentists and Orthodontists and their staff
      • Psychiatrists and Psychologists and their staff
      • Physical Therapists and their staff
      • Optometrists and their staff
      • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Aides
      • Home care workers
      • Hospice workers
    • Staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program
  • The next phase, 1b, will include the groups below. The State has not yet authorized a specific date for these groups to begin receiving the vaccine.
    • Teachers and education workers
    • First responders
    • Public safety workers
    • Public transit workers
    • People age 75 and older
  • More information about vaccine distribution, including links to New York State’s “Am I Eligible?” online tool is available at
  • County Executive Molinaro also reminded residents who test positive for COVID-19 to follow the proper protocols and immediately isolate when notified of a positive COVID test result as well as notify any close contacts so they can quarantine. Those who test positive may not receive a phone call from a contact tracer immediately, due to strains on the overwhelmed case investigation system. Those who test positive will begin receiving a text message from DBCH staff which will include a link to important information and resources regarding isolation/quarantine requirements.

County Executive Molinaro will host his next online town hall forum on Wednesday, Jan. 13th at 3 p.m. and can be viewed on the Dutchess County Government Facebook page. As with previous virtual forums, American Sign Language interpreters will translate the live conversation.