COVID-19 Update: New Case Numbers Continue to Decline in Prince George’s County
Dear Prince Georgians:
As we continue confronting the COVID-19 pandemic together, I want to provide you with the latest updates for Prince George’s County. Due to the hard work and sacrifices of Prince Georgians, our new COVID-19 case numbers continue to decline in the County, allowing us to continue looking forward to ensuring that our County emerges from this pandemic stronger than we’ve ever been before.
Since March, over 19,900 residents have tested positive for this virus, and unfortunately 696 Prince Georgians have lost their lives. We continue to pray for all those who have been impacted by this virus. At the same time, we are encouraged by our progress, as many residents have made a full recovery from this illness.
In terms of testing, we have increased our testing capacity to around 10,000 residents per week countywide, with the capacity to test more as needed. We are also planning to open an additional testing location at the Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center in Clinton, which will provide more access to testing for our residents in south County.
I am happy to share with you that we have made tremendous progress in our collective efforts to slow the spread of this virus in our community. Our COVID-19 positivity rate for the week of June 28 is down to 6.8%. That is a significant drop from our high of 43% the week of April 19. In addition, we only had 451 new cases for the week of June 28, which is a continued decline from our high of 2,423 new cases the week of April 26.
I want to commend Prince Georgians for following the guidance of our public health officials, because the actions we have taken as a County Government and as a community have helped flatten the curve in Prince George’s County. Due to our collective efforts, Prince George’s County has gone from having one of the highest infection rates in the State to being below the State average.
At this time, Prince George’s County is in a strong position for our recovery. Several weeks ago, I started the Prince George’s Forward Task Force, which will ensure that we are forward thinking and continuously looking to find opportunities through lessons learned during this pandemic as we recover. The Task Force is a group of experts in public health, business, government and other areas that will provide well-reasoned recommendations on how the County should deal with this pandemic going forward. This group will present their first set of recommendations to me around August 1, 2020.
As we look toward recovery, I am excited to say that the economic outlook in Prince George’s is improving. Projects across our County continue to move forward, such as the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Largo and the new Towne Square development in Suitland.
Additionally, we are excited to announce that Amazon has signed leases to bring two last mile delivery stations to the County. One last mile facility will be located in an industrial area on Prince George’s Blvd. in Upper Marlboro, and the other will be in an industrial park on Willow Dale Rd. in Lanham. These facilities will create hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs paying a minimum of $15 per hour and benefits. The delivery stations also offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their own business delivering Amazon packages, as well as independent contractors the flexibility to create their own schedule for delivering for Amazon Flex.
While Amazon is bringing these facilities to our County, they have also already made a commitment to our community. Last month, they announced that they will bring their Amazon Future Engineer program to 132 Prince George’s County public schools. This computer science program is expected to benefit more than 49,000 PGCPS students. All of these new and continuing projects show that our County is well-positioned for a strong recovery.
Another key component of our recovery will be the restoration of certain County Government services for our residents. We have been open for business since the pandemic began, but we have changed the way that business is done by offering a number of County services virtually. At this time, we are making changes to our facilities so we can bring some employees back from teleworking. We are making social distance preparations, marking our buildings, placing screens, and requiring masks to help keep these employees safe. As we bring some employees back and are able to restore certain services, we will be sure to keep our community updated.
Finally, I want to provide some key updates to the community on our Police Department. As you know, we are in the midst of a national search for a new police chief. We’ve retained the services of a preeminent public sector executive search firm to assist us in a national search for a new chief. This firm is highly skilled at engaging with the community, and they are known for their transparent search process.
We are conducting a thorough nationwide search, and the process will include input from internal stakeholders and the community. We will organize stakeholder meetings to gather input, both internally and externally. We will also put together a community survey to gather input from our entire community. When we are ready to launch that survey, we will be sure to share a link and provide ample time for responses.
I also announced last week that we have put together a Police Reform Commission. The Commission is made up of community advocates and public officials with relevant specialties and backgrounds on the issues of policing and police reform, and it will be co-chaired by Retired Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Maureen Lamasney and Delegate Alonzo Washington.
We have made important strides together as a community to build a responsive, transparent and accountable police department, but we realize that there is still more work to be done. After a comprehensive study and review of the Police Department, the Commission will create a recommendation report that I will receive no later than October 30, 2020. They will also provide valuable insight on our search for a new police chief. I am confident that this Commission will help our Police Department truly become a model for the nation.
These past few months have been difficult, but now is the time for us to look forward. COVID-19 is not finished and we must all continue do our part to reduce the spread of the virus. At the same time, the work we’ve done to stop COVID-19 has paid off, and I want to thank all of our residents for continuing to do their part. I am truly excited about the future of Prince George’s County, because we are the Crown Jewel of Maryland.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
Stand Up & Deliver – Week of July 13
We are continuing to work hard to address food insecurity in our County, and we want to provide information on next week’s distribution locations for our Stand Up & Deliver program. On Tuesday, July 14 at 12:30 PM, we will distribute prepared meals to go at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hyattsville. On Thursday, July 16 at 12:30 PM, we will distribute prepared meals to go at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Piscataway in Clinton and Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville.
Through our partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank and the Prince George’s County Council, we will distribute groceries to go on Friday, July 17 at 12:30 PM at five locations across the County: Creative Suitland in Suitland, Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Capitol Heights, Turner A.M.E. Church in Hyattsville, and Walker Mill Baptist Church in Capitol Heights.
Additional food distribution locations can be found on our website by clicking here. This map is updated weekly so continue to check back to find the location nearest to you.
Grab & Go Meals for Seniors
Through a partnership between our Department of Family Services and the Prince George’s County Department of Parks & Recreation, grab and go meals for our seniors ages 60 and better will be available at three locations on Wednesday, July 15 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. The locations are Beltsville Community Center, Camp Springs Senior Activity Center and Prince George’s Ballroom. Pre-registration is necessary for this meal distribution, and seniors can register online here.
COVID-19 testing through our County Health Department is free for all residents, and no appointment or insurance is needed. If you need a test, please feel free to visit one of our County-operated testing locations. Our Health Department is also operating pop-up testing sites in varying locations in the County on Fridays. Information on permanent testing sites and pop-up testing sites is included on our Health Department’s testing webpage.
The Prince George’s County Health Department also has a testing site locator for residents to find COVID-19 testing sites operated by the County, the State, and private entities. You can access the testing site locator by clicking here.
COVID-19 Data Dashboard
As we continue confronting this pandemic, we continue to provide information and updates to our community. This includes all of our COVID-19 data, which can be accessed through our COVID-19 Dashboard. Additionally, you can always visit our County’s Coronavirus page to find information and links to other resources.
County Government Updates
Prince George’s County Beautification Survey
If you live in Prince George’s County, we want to hear from you! County Executive Angela Alsobrooks invites you to take a short online survey about efforts to make our County cleaner and greener. Your opinion can make a difference. Please complete this survey by July 19 by clicking here (en español aquí).
Department of Social Services Update
Uninsured residents have until July 15 to enroll in COVID-19 health insurance as part of Maryland’s Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period. PGC Health Connect Navigators are available by telephone Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at 301-927-4500 or 240-719-2167. For more information, please click here.
In addition, Prince Georgians may be eligible for Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfers (P-EBT), a program that will provide food benefits to children typically eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school. Due to COVID-19-related school closures, P-EBT-eligible households will receive up to $370.50 in extra food benefits. For more information, please click here.
DPIE IT Modernization on the Horizon to Improve Customer Experience
IT Supervisor Ed Hall works remotely on application upgrades, maintenance projects and hardware/software repair issues.
As DPIE celebrates its seventh anniversary this month, Director Melinda Bolling has challenged the agency’s IT leadership to transform and modernize operations and business systems. The modernization program will consist of upgrading the agency’s business systems for:
- Application submission and plan review
- Records and data management
- Customer complaints and services
- Building and business compliance
- Small business and community outreach
- Administrative hearings and boards and commissions
Transforming the way DPIE conducts business by updating business systems, introducing innovative tools, and changing business processes to fit the department’s current and future goals will allow the agency to continue to fulfill the County Executive’s commitment to effective customer service delivery.
For more information, visit DPIE’s website.
Modified Bulky Trash Drop-Off Collections
Modified bulky trash drop-off collections continue throughout the nine councilmanic districts through August 1, 2020. Locations for July 9-22 are in the image above, but a complete list of all locations can be found by visiting the Department of the Environment’s webpage. Additionally, the Household Waste and Electronics Recycling Acceptance Sites are open for disposal Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. All other services at the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill remain closed to residents.
Reminder: Virtual Conversation with Dr. Ibram Kendi
Prince George’s County is proud to host a timely virtual conversation with Dr. Ibram Kendi, author of the best-selling work, “How to Be an Antiracist,” on July 20, 2020 at 7:00 PM. During this seminal moment in the ongoing movement for racial equity and understanding, Dr. Kendi’s award-winning book provides insight and guidance on our collective abilities to actively be anti-racist. Free registration can be found online here. The event is co-presented by Joe’s Movement Emporium, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS), the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission (HRC), Prince George’s Community College Center for Performing Arts, and the Maryland State Library.
In The News
Prince George’s County Featured in Upcoming BET Short Film Series
We are excited about an upcoming series of short films that will air on BET, as they show the burgeoning film industry in Prince George’s County. Prince Georgian Tressa Azarel Smallwood, a producer, assisted the directors of BET’s Her Film Stories. All of these films were shot in the County, with our very own Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council helping secure the locations. They also worked to find local artists to create sets for the films, as well as local crews to help film. We know that Prince George’s County has it all – location, talent, creativity – and we are definitely Prince George’s Proud of all of our local residents who contributed to these films. We are excited to watch them when the first set premieres on July 25. Learn more here.
Former Sanitation Worker Accepted to Harvard Law School
We want to congratulate Rehan Staton of Bowie for the hard work he put in to graduate from the University of Maryland and to be accepted to Harvard Law School! We are Prince George’s Proud of his commitment and determination to never give up on achieving his dreams. See his inspiring story of working as a sanitation worker while making his way through college from a NBC4 news story.
Prince George’s Proud Moments
Video – Stand Up & Deliver Program
Our Stand Up & Deliver Program has distributed thousands of meals to residents since it launched in late May. This program is an innovative partnership with United Way of the National Capital Area that not only allows us to combat food insecurity, but also allows us to build the capacity of local restaurants and community-based organizations. If you would like to donate to help support this program, please click here. Learn more about this initiative and its impact on the community through our latest video.
Taiwan Donates 10,000 Masks to Prince George’s County
County Executive Alsobrooks accepts a donation of masks from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office. We would like to sincerely thank Mr. Daniel Chou and his team at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office for donating 10,000 surgical masks to Prince George’s County on behalf of Taiwan. This generous support will help our County continue to combat COVID-19 as we navigate our gradual reopening and recovery. We are thankful for your support of Prince Georgians!
Census Completion & Drive-Up Distribution
Census Drive-Up Event
As a part of the 100 Events of Summer initiative, the Office of Community Relations (OCR) is hosting several Census Completion and Drive-Up Distribution events throughout the County. Join them on Saturday, July 11 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Birchwood City Recreation Center. There will be free meals, backpacks, PPE, Census swag items and, most importantly, the opportunity to complete your Census on the spot! Please note there is a limited supply available on a first come, first served basis. Follow OCR on IG (@pgc_communityrelations) and Twitter (@PGCCommunity) for updates on upcoming events and more.