POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro has asked the state to issue new guidance that restores visitation, allows for more flexibility in accommodating visitation for residents, seeks to protect those who may be susceptible to COVID-19 and protects clients and staff in developmental disability facilities.
Molinaro’s letter of June 5, made public on Monday, June 8, points out to Office for People and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Dr. Theodore Kastner that the current state guidance, issued on April 28, keeping visitations suspended at all agency settings, “has become overly restrictive” and should be modified.
The county executive acknowledged that the current guidance was issued at the height of the pandemic in New York State and was meant to protect people served by the agency’s programs. “However, at this point in the crisis, it has become overly restrictive, potentially harming the overall well-being of those being served,” Molinaro wrote. “Connection to family and loved ones is critical for the individuals cared for in these settings and continuing to restrict the ability to connect in-person is placing added strain on them and their families during these already difficult times.”
Molinaro asked that new guidance be created and promulgated to ease the restrictions.