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COVID-19: New Outbreak Of Cases Impacts Area Summer School, Camp

New COVID-19 cases were reported at a Dutchess County summer school program and day camp.
New COVID-19 cases were reported at a Dutchess County summer school program and day camp. Photo Credit: Pixabay

There has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in a small Hudson Valley town, prompting officials to advise residents to continue exercising caution through the remainder of the summer.

An alert was issued by the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) as they continue investigating multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases that were reported in the Town of Red Hook.

Officials said that the cases are believed to be related to a party at a private residence, with eight confirmed cases as of Tuesday, July 20, including both children and adults.

According to health officials, the new cases have impacted the Red Hook Central School District summer school program as well as the Red Hook Recreation Summer Camp and Pool programs.

The Department of Health is currently working with both organizations to contact trace, quarantine, and advise other precautionary mitigation efforts.

There was also limited impact within the Red Hook School District.

“The district has been in communication with DBCH and all impacted families,” officials said. “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 made note that several of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Red Hook had been previously vaccinated, though most are only experiencing mild or no symptoms.

DBCH Commissioner Dr. Anil Vaidian noted that with the Delta COVID-19 variant becoming the dominant strain both in the region and across the country, residents should be prepared and encouraged residents to get the vaccine if they haven’t already.

“Though we have not had a lab-confirmed case of Delta variant to date in Dutchess County, the new, aggressive COVID-19 variants continue to spread, and nationally we are seeing more instances of the variants ‘breaking through’ to vaccinated people,” Vaidian said.

“However, vaccinated individuals generally experience only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The risk of being hospitalized or dying is minuscule for vaccinated individuals.”

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. 

“The mitigations people took to protect themselves over these many months against COVID-19 are as important as ever to staying healthy and safe, not just against COVID-19, but basic illnesses like summer colds which are on the rise.”

There have been no new hospitalizations or deaths reported as part of the outbreak in Red Hook, health officials noted.

“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,” Vaidian said.

“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.”

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