A private party led to a COVID outbreak in Dutchess County which has impacted summer school, summer camps and pools.

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The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health is currently investigating multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Town of Red Hook that are believed to be related to a party at a private residence.

There are currently 8 confirmed cases, including children and adults, officials say. The cases have impacted the Red Hook Central School District summer school program as well as the Red Hook Recreation Summer Camp and Pool programs, with health officials working with each organization for contact tracing, quarantines and other precautionary mitigation efforts, according to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health.

There was a limited impact in the Red Hook Central School District. The district has been in communication with DBCH and all impacted families. Summer school is otherwise operating on a normal schedule with all appropriate precautions. The Red Hook Recreation camp and pool programs are expected to return to normal operations in the next day or two, as there was minimal exposure risk for participants, officials say.

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“This is a critical reminder to our community that the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much here and it is as important to be vigilant and continue to take steps to protect yourself and your family,” said DBCH Commissioner Dr. Anil Vaidian. “Those who are unvaccinated remain a vector for the virus. Getting vaccinated is the most important protection you can take, as the more people who are vaccinated, the less chance the virus has to spread.”

Several of the individuals confirmed as positive for COVID-19 in the Red Hook outbreak had been previously vaccinated, however, most are only experiencing mild symptoms, if any, according to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health.

Residents should be alert for symptoms and in the event they do experience symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell; get tested for COVID-19 and stay home to rest and recover.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, continue to practice smart health and safety measures including:

  • Washing hands regularly with soap and water; or using hand sanitizer when necessary
  • Practice physical distancing – particularly in congregate settings
  • Stay home when sick! If you are experiencing cold or COVID-19 symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, loss of taste or smell - stay home to rest, recover, and help prevent the spread of virus and disease
  • Carry a mask and wear in crowded settings, particularly when you may be in contact with people who you do not know their vaccination status or are experiencing symptoms.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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