Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
Update from County Executive Molinaro
November 16, 2020
Dutchess County Dashboard
NY Forward Regional Dashboard
Restaurants, Gyms and Gatherings
Please see the newest Executive Order in relation to SLA licensed establishments and limiting gatherings to 10 individuals at a private residence:
Governor Cuomo released updated out-of-state travel rules in an advisory document published November 3rd. Complete and up to date information is available on the State’s COVID-19 Travel Advisory webpage. The new guidelines include:
If both tests come back negative, the individual is allowed to end their quarantine.
Questions regarding these updates can be directed to the New York State Hotline at 1 (888)364-3065, or you can submit an inquiry online.
New York Micro-Cluster Summary
The designation of micro-clusters by New York State prompted many questions related to the metrics upon which these determinations are being made. Yesterday, the State released the attached document summarizing their micro-cluster strategy. Please see the below summary of the document (provided in large part by a New York State Association of Counties briefing) including relevant details for Dutchess County. It is important to note that Dutchess County Government does not have access to the real-time specific data points that New York State refers to throughout the document, but continues to closely monitor and control the spread of COVID-19 in our county. There are no current micro-cluster areas within Dutchess County, and we continue to maintain one of the lowest transmission rates in the region.
Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Cluster Action Initiative, New York State is using testing data, hospitalization data, and mapping software to detect small outbreaks of COVID-19, known as “micro-clusters”, and implement restrictions based on the severity of spread. Yesterday, the Governor released the metrics used to identify “cluster zone” focus areas, the restrictions for each zone, and the criteria that geographic areas must meet to no long be considered a zone.
Identifying a Focus Zone
Focus zones can receive one of three designations: (1) red zone (“micro-cluster”); (2) orange zone (warning/buffer); or yellow zone (precautionary/buffer). The metrics for entering each zone vary based on the population of the county in which the geographic area is located. See page 5 of the attached guidance for a table with the population tiers and metrics. Geographic areas with in Dutchess County would be considered Tier 2.
Tier 2 Metrics for Entering Micro-Cluster Zones
As a Tier 2 community, geographic areas (by ZIP code, census tract, etc.) within Dutchess County must meet the following criteria in order to be classified as a micro-cluster:
Note: The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health does not have access to all of the data points New York State is using to perform these calculations in real-time. The Dutchess County Dashboard continues to provide County-wide data as well as the regional percentage positive rate updated on a daily basis. The New York State Dashboard continues to provide regional percentage positive results and some county specific data.
Implementing a Focus Zone
After a geographic area has been designated a cluster zone, the State will implement restrictions to limit the spread of the virus. All zones will be subject to the following restrictions.
In addition, there are restrictions on worship, mass gatherings, businesses, dining, and schools for each zone. See page 7 (table shown below) of the attached guidance for the restrictions for each zone.
Type of Activity
(Buffer & Warning)
(Buffer & Precautionary)
10 people maximum
25 people maximum
10 people maximum, indoor & outdoor
25 people maximum,
indoor & outdoor
Only essential businesses open
Closing high-risk non-essential business (gyms, personal care, etc.)
Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table
Indoor and outdoor dining, 4 person maximum per table
Open mandatory 20% weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings.
Congregate Care Facilities
All visitation is suspended (with some exceptions)
Visitation shall be suspended if a staff member or resident in the facility has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days (with some exceptions)
Please see the visitation guidance for congregate care facilities located in the cluster zones. In summary, visitation is suspended for facilities located in red zones with some exceptions, and visitation shall be suspended at residential congregate facilities in the orange zone if a staff member or resident in the facility has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, with some exceptions.
Testing Protocols for Schools in Focus Zone
Please see the interim guidance related to “testing-out” for schools located in “Red or Orange Micro-Cluster Zones.”
In order for a school to reopen in a red or orange micro-cluster zones, schools must:
After a school reopens in a red or orange micro-cluster zone, vigilant symptom and exposure screening must be conducted daily and must follow the below guidelines:
Schools that cannot meet the reopening requirements must remain in remote learning for the duration of the zone designation. If the 25% of the school population random sampling generates a minimum of 9 cases, or if for a sample size of more than 300 weekly tests, achieves a positivity rate of 2% (6 cases or more depending on size) in New York City, or 3% (9 or more cases) outside of the city, then the school will be required to close. Reopened schools that fail to comply with these requirements could be subject to Section 16 orders, or other fines and penalties.
Exiting a Focus Zone
Fourteen days after a geographic area is placed in a focus zone, the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH), in consultation with the local health department and global health experts, will decide whether the focus zone will be extended, modified, or ended. NYSDOH will base this decision on whether the data demonstrates that the area has reduced viral spread to a level able to be contained given testing, contact tracing, and other health system metrics. The target metrics for exiting each zone again vary based on the population of the county within the geographic area. See page 8 of the attached guidance for these metrics. Geographic areas with in Dutchess County would be considered Tier 2.
Tier 2 Metrics for Exiting Micro-Cluster Zones
As a Tier 2 community, geographic areas (by ZIP code, census tract, etc.) within Dutchess County must meet the following criteria in order to re-open a micro-cluster zone:
Currently, there are no cluster zones in Dutchess County. Cluster zones have been identified in Port Chester, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Tioga, Rockland, Orange, Broome, Chemung, Westchester, Erie, Monroe, Onondaga Counties.
Paid Sick Leave & Return to Work
See Department of Labor flyer regarding the Families Frist Coronavirus Response Act.
See New York State flyer regarding COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave.
As noted, if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether the employee is symptomatic or asymptomatic, the employee may return to work upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms or 10 days of isolation after the first positive test if they remain asymptomatic. This requirement is consistent with New York State and local guidance.
If an employee has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is not experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee may return to work upon completing 14 days of self-quarantine.
Dutchess County Government is adhering to a “return to work” protocol for employees. See the protocol attached as well as flow charts that help explain various employee absence and when they can return to work.
More information about how the FFCRA may apply to your municipality can be found on the DOL website, specifically the FAQ questions 52-54.
COVID Exposure or Positive Guidance for Businesses
See this PDF distribution to be used as guidance for your businesses and their employees related to COVID exposure. I encourage you to distribute this to your networks and use caution when attaching or forwarding to ensure the links within the document work. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ron Hicks at (845) 486-2565.