Dutchess County to administer coronavirus testing for nursing home residents

County Executive Marc Molinaro says the gesture is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable population from the outbreak.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2020, 7:04 PM

Updated 1,485 days ago

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In mid-March, the state instructed facilities to presume any resident with flu-like symptoms to be positive for the coronavirus, saying in part, “testing of residents with suspect COVID-19 is no longer necessary."
The two-time county executive believes starting the process now is best and over the next several weeks, rapid testing should be made available in the county.
News 12 is told the proactive measure was made after several cases surfacing in Ulster County facilities showed no symptoms.
"While we know you can be asymptomatic and still carry the disease, in a population like seniors at a nursing home, that really compelled us to take the next step,” says Molinaro.
Wingate at Beacon is the first home to begin testing next week.
“We can more effectively test more quickly and also identify in every population cases quickly and isolate and keep from the transmission of the disease,” says Molinaro.
Over the next several weeks, 13 facilities will be tested. The county will also assist in providing PPE and supplies necessary for testing.
When asked if Rockland and Westchester counties planned to follow suit, a representative from Rockland County said not at the moment. Westchester County has yet to respond.
Molinaro believes every county should. “Regular testing of vulnerable populations, in particular those living in assisting living and nursing homes, makes sense,” he says.
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