Dutchess Coronavirus Cases Increase, Molinaro: ‘Don’t Be Alarmed’
An increase in coronavirus cases in Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill doesn't tell the whole picture, according to the Dutchess County Executive.
As the Hudson Valley prepares to open schools and Governor Cuomo touts the best coronavirus statistics since March, areas of Dutchess County are experiencing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases.
According to the Dutchess County dashboard, which updates cases every day, as of Tuesday morning the City and Town of Poughkeepsie were listed as having over 90 active cases. Just a few weeks ago, the Town and City were both in the low teens. East Fishkill, which was below five cases at one point, now has over 20. What's most concerning for many people who view the numbers is the increase in hospitalizations. Numbers were down to just one hospitalization a few weeks ago and had been holding steady at three to four, but has now doubled to eight in the past week.
(Update: as of Tuesday afternoon there are now over 110 cases in the city and town of Poughkeepsie and there are 12 hospitalizations in Dutchess County.)
When asked about the increases on The Boris and Robyn Show, Molinaro said that he is not alarmed. Pointing to the region's transmission rate of just one percent, the county executive says that a large number of active cases is due to prison inmates. While it's true that of the 255 active cases in Dutchess County almost half of them are prisoners, the over 90 cases in the town and city of Poughkeepsie are not, and neither is the number of reported cases in East Fishkill.
Molinaro says that the county is aware of some "community spread" and increased hospitalization rates and is monitoring the data, but says people should be comforted by the transmission rate which, he says, tells the true story and remains low.
When pressed about clusters of cases in Pougkeepsie and East Fishkill the Dutchess County executive says that he's "moderately concerned," but doesn't think that there is any reason to be alarmed or to believe that these cases will lead to an outbreak like the one Danbury is seeing right now.
Molinaro says the county is being vigilant and watching the impact of college students, gyms, organized sports and other factors. If cases do begin to spike as we head into winter the county executive explained that it will be the Governor, and not the county, that will need to take action in regards to pulling back on reopening. He added that it's important for everyone to continue to follow guidelines, wear masks and practice social distancing so the region can continue to keep transmission rates low.