The Glass Gazette: April 2020

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April 2020

Wear Face Coverings While Out

To help curb the spread of COVID-19, all Montgomery County shoppers are now required to wear face coverings while shopping at grocery stores, pharmacies, farmers markets and other stores. The Chief Medical Officer’s health order also requires that retailers enhance social distancing by taking actions that limit the number of customers in a store, establish one-way shopping, and ensure that lines outside a store promote physical distancing spaces for customers while waiting. 

Cloth masks are an acceptable alternative for face coverings, and can be a homemade cloth mask, a scarf or a bandana. The CDC’s website has instructions for making a mask -- you don’t need to know how to sew or have a sewing machine to make a face covering that protects you and others. Please note, masks are not advised for children under two years of age, or for people who have difficulty breathing.


Economic Stimulus for Businesses and Nonprofits

I was proud to join my colleagues in sending a united message to small businesses and nonprofits: Montgomery County has your back. We moved swiftly to allocate $20 million for small businesses and nonprofits most impacted by COVID-19. This funding is now available and will allow for small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees, including sole proprietors and independent contractors, to apply for grants of up to $75,000. 

The application will be available here mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

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Opening Roads for Pedestrians & Bicyclists

The pandemic has changed our day to day interactions and shut down much of civic life. This has forced people outside as solo recreation becomes the last reprieve from our stay-at-home orders. We know that exercise and being outdoors helps promote mental and physical health. 

I am proud to share with you that I have spoken with the Parks Department and they will be closing sections of Sligo Creek Parkway, Beach Drive and Little Falls Parkway, from Friday at 9 a.m. through Sunday at 6 p.m. These roads will be closed to automobile traffic, and open to walkers, runners and bikers.

But please be advised that with the opening of these roads come responsibilities, such as social distancing and wearing of face masks. We want everyone to be safe outside, which means adhering to our current medical directives.

You may be interested in reading this National Public Radio WAMU story, in which I share my thoughts about opening more roads for residents.

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Councilmember Tele-Town Hall

Join me and my fellow At-Large Councilmembers for a tele-town hall on Friday April 17 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. We will be joined by Congressman Jamie Raskin, who will  provide us with an update on the federal government’s response to the pandemic. Montgomery County’s Chief Health Officer and Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will also participate to provide the latest information from on the ground.  

Click here to register and submit a question. 


Making Public Hearings Transparent and Open

Transparency, oversight and public engagement are all signs of a healthy democracy. That is why I pushed for the upcoming public hearings to be open for public testimony. While we will not be able to hold in-person public hearings on the Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget, the Council will be holding two remote public hearings on April 16 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 

There are a number of ways for you to share your opinions with the Council. You can submit written testimony, testify live via telephone, or provide prerecorded audio or video testimony.

If you plan on testifying live via telephone, please call 240-777-7803 by April 14 at 3 p.m. You can also sign up here.


Did You Know...?

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is providing a new community initiative entitled the "File of Life" program. Imagine that you are injured or suffer from a medical condition that temporarily renders you unconscious or unable to communicate effectively with paramedics. Without important information about your medical history, first responders may have more difficulty assessing and treating your condition.

The File of Life packet attaches to your refrigerator or another magnetic surface in the kitchen and enables our fire and rescue personnel to obtain a quick and accurate medical history when a patient or family member is unable to communicate. Free File of Life packets are available upon request to all residents of Montgomery County.