DUTCHESS COUNTY – Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced that the county is distributing free at-home COVID-19 tests and KN95 masks to every town, city, and village throughout the county in response to the current spike in COVID-19 infections. New York State has recently allocated a limited number of at-home COVID tests and masks to Dutchess County as part of continued COVID prevention efforts.
The free, at-home testing kits are being distributed to each municipality based on population. The municipalities are establishing their pick-up sites, dates, and times for distribution of these supplies and residents should contact their local municipality to obtain a test kit. As sites are established, information will also be posted at www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirustesting.
Residents must supply their municipality with proof of residency to receive their free tests; at this time, each household will be limited to one test kit, which includes two individual tests. Supplies are limited and will be distributed to residents on a first-come, first-served basis.
On Thursday, December 23, between 10 a.m. and 12 noon and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Village of Rhinebeck residents can get a kit at the Rhinebeck Police Department,
In the City of Poughkeepsie, Mayor Rob Rolison said the city will begin distributing the kits and masks to the public via drive-thru or walk up from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Public Safety Building, located at 505 Main Street. The city has received approximately 650 kits, and there are two tests in each kit. Kits will be limited to one per car or per walk-up. Rolison noted that proof of residency is required. and distribution will continue from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Friday, December 24, if there are supplies left.
Residents who receive a positive result from an at-home COVID-19 test must:
- Immediately self-isolate, even if they are vaccinated; as part of 10-day quarantine; and
- take a picture of the positive at-home test result within 24 hours and report the positive case to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) at www.dutchessny.gov/COVIDpositive
After reporting the positive result to the county health department, residents will receive a phone call from a contact tracer and are strongly encouraged to answer that call. However, with the current high case volume, it may take a few days before a contact tracer calls. Residents are asked to be patient and continue isolating. If a resident’s symptoms worsen or they experience difficulty breathing following a positive result from an at-home test, they should consult their physician or dial 9-1-1.
While at-home tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Centers for Disease Control are reliable, it is possible to receive a false negative. If residents experience symptoms and test negative, they’re urged to take another test within 24-48 hours.
Negative test results from at-home tests may not be sufficient to return to work or school. DBCH will not accept negative test results from at-home for early release from quarantine. Negative results do not need to be reported to DBCH.
New York State has also sent a large supply of KN95 masks to Dutchess County. Masks are being distributed to municipalities with at-home test kits. Residents should contact their municipality for pick-up information.
The County Departments of Public Works and Emergency Response are also coordinating distribution with community organizations, school districts, houses of worship, businesses and other organizations.
Information about an additional mask distribution location is expected to be online at www.dutchessny.gov/coronavirus starting on Thursday.