Dutchess County has first COVID-19 patient

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro flanked by other county officials.

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro announced on Thursday afternoon that a county resident has been confirmed to have Coronavirus.

Dr. A.K. Vaidan, the commissioner of the county’s Behavioral and Community Health Department, said the unidentified patient presented with symptoms of wheezing, coughing, and a fever.  “The patient is recovering at home,” said Dr. Vaidian.  Currently, 24 county residents are under observation, including the confirmed patient.  “Our focus at this time has always been on containment mainly to identify individuals who may be positive for COVID-19 and to prevent widespread transmission,” he said. “At this time we are confident in putting out guidance that there is no need to panic. This was expected since the identification of the first cases of COVID-19 in our region.”

Molinaro, standing with Dutchess County government officials and State Senator Sue Serino, stressed the need to remain calm and be cognizant of the need for personal hygiene, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding large public gatherings through the end of April.  

“If you are sick, stay home,” said Molinaro.  The county executive did not discourage people from going out to restaurants or grocery stores but advised those that do so to limit contact with the public.

Dutchess County’s Emergency Operations Center is going to be activated on Friday, to maintain a coordinated effort to keep COVID-19 from becoming a widespread problem in Dutchess County.  According to Molinaro, the county is working with and is in constant contact with the NYS Department of Health and Governor Cuomo’s office.

Dutchess County has a dedicated web page where people can obtain information on COVID-19 including precautionary measures that can be taken.  The information can be found at https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/DBCH/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.htm.

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