Both the Town and Village of Red Hook, as well as the Red Hook Public Library, today will be distributing dozens of at-home rapid Covid tests, while supplies last.
The antigen tests, which do not need to be sent to a laboratory, will be distributed at these locations and times:
- At Red Hook Town Hall, in a drive-through arrangement, from noon to 4 p.m. today.
- At Red Hook Village Hall from 2-4 p.m.; buzz the side door at Prince Street. The Village offered a phone number for information: 845-758-1081.
- At Red Hook Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m.; park on Route 9.
Proof of residency is required. The tests are being distributed by the State, according to an email from Village Mayor Karen Smythe. Town Board member Bill Hamel, who was heading up the distribution at Town Hall today with assistance from area resident Hadley O’Connor, said the township received 150 total kits, of which 25 were reserved for library distribution.
Distributions from the State and subsequently to municipalities “are expected to be reoccurring but also unpredictable,” Smythe said. “We will let you know as soon as more kits are made available.”
Late this afternoon, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the State has ordered 37 million free take-home tests so that everyone who wants a test can get one. She did not indicate when or how the tests would be distributed.
Also late in the day, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said that the state delivered 120,000 K95 masks to Dutchess County. In some areas, these masks were to be distributed with the test kits. It was not immediately clear how many K95 masks, if any, were available in Red Hook.
Township personnel asked that people consider whether they need a kit before taking a test kit. “We are asking that you consider whether the test kit will assist in protecting our most vulnerable populations,” the Township states in a note on its website and sent to residents who have signed up for email notifications. The note adds that New York State and Dutchess County have said that the township will be receiving several distributions in the next couple of months for households who have not previously received one.
Both the Town and the Village informed residents by email. To sign up for the Township email list, visit this link from the home page of RedHook.org. To sign up for the Village list, complete the form on the front page of the Village Web site here.
The Town said it was given has enough tests for 5 percent of households. The Township had 3,810 households in the 2015-2019 period, according to U.S. Census data. Hamel confirmed those numbers as he distributed tests.
The distribution follows promises by Pres. Joseph Biden Tuesday that the federal government would dramatically enhance the availability of Covid testing by distributing 500 million at-home test kits; a timetable or distribution mechanism for the release of those tests has not been announced.
Red Hook residents have expressed continuing frustration with the challenges of availability in the 12571 and 12583 zip code areas. The CVS drug store on North Broadway has not been offering Covid testing, either quick-response antigen tests or laboratory tests, for months. Although Walgreen’s in Kingston states on its website that Covid testing is available, no appointment can actually be made there. One of the nearest locations for testing is the CVS on South Road off Route 9 in Poughkeepsie. A Caremount location in Rhinebeck at the Top’s Supermarket Center requires patients to register as a Caremount patient. There are also difficulties for uninsured people to obtain testing at some locations.
“I realize there are shortages of materials and personnel, but this wait for test kits and booster shots is not acceptable,” Virginia Reath, a physician’s assistant who specializes in hormonal health for women, said in an interview today with The Daily Catch. Reath, who lives on Fraleigh Lane, said she has contacted Molinaro’s office to report on the difficulties finding test and booster shot locations. “The whole system for testing and vaccines is so broken, across-the-board. This puts the Red Hook community really at a loss. That seems a failure.”
There are currently 1,745 active Covid cases in Dutchess County, and the trajectory has been steadily upward for the past week. This week, 7.6 percent of Covid tests are coming back positive, a dramatic increase from several weeks ago, according to the Dutchess County Covid dashboard.
Thanks for this info! You may want to add that village residents are not eligible for the distribution at town hall—I found this out the hard way. They are only for township residents outside the village.
It would be helpful if the Town could give us direction where to find information on tests and vaccines. My wife saaw urgent care at Nuvance last Thursday and they ran a Covid test on her because of her symptoms. She did not have Covid. Somewhere i found a site that list where to get Covid Tests by zip Code and there were several locations in Kingston at drug stores and I think Walmart. How about it Red Hook give us an easy to find link on your website to this information and to future availablity of test kits and vaccination in the Town of Red Hook.