Free KN95 Masks Also Available for Residents, Organizations and Businesses
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today the County is distributing free at-home COVID-19 tests and KN95 masks to every town, city and village throughout Dutchess County. 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.
County Executive Molinaro said, “As we are in the midst of this COVID-19 surge during the busy holiday season, the County’s goal is to distribute these tests and masks throughout our community to help curb this growth in positive cases. We thank both our local and state partners for their cooperation in assisting Dutchess in this critical mission.”
Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
Dutchess County has received a limited supply of at-home COVID test kits, which are being distributed to each municipality based on population. Local 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 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. While supplies are limited, distribution from New York State is expected to be recurring and the County will continue to work with local municipalities to distribute test kits as they are received.
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 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 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 (CDC) 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.
The distribution of at-home test kits is the latest of Dutchess County’s comprehensive efforts in the fight against COVID-19. Multiple providers across Dutchess County have been offering rapid and PCR testing. Dutchess County has also been partnering with ProPhase to offer no-cost testing at the former JCPenney. Recent surge in testing demand have slowed test results, with ProPhase results currently taking up to 72 hours to process results. Testing demand has increased through the county and the state, with over 53,000 tests administered county-wide since the beginning of December alone.
Free KN95 Masks
New York State has also sent a large supply of KN95 masks to Dutchess County. Masks are being distributing to municipalities with at-home test kits. Residents should contact their municipality for pick up information. County Executive Molinaro said, “Governor Hochul had more than 120,000 KN95 masks delivered to Dutchess County today. We are grateful to New York State and the Governor for these resources and we are working to distribute them quickly to residents and organizations to help keep our community protected.” 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.
For comprehensive information about COVID-19, including testing, vaccinations, prevention and more, visit www.DutchessNY.gov/Coronavirus or call the COVID information line at 845-486-3555.