Community Connections - Special Edition

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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

An Update on COVID-19: Prince George's County Confirms First Positive Cases

Dear Prince Georgians:

During the evening of Monday, March 9, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed that a Prince George’s County resident tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  Yesterday morning, prior to hosting our press conference to update the community, we learned that two more residents tested positive for COVID-19.  At this time, Prince George’s County has a total of 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

We are aware that you may be concerned, but be assured that your County Government is prepared and well-equipped to keep Prince Georgians safe and healthy.  We are reaching out to provide our community with an update and let you know what you can do to help prevent the spread of this virus.  

The first confirmed case is a patient who contracted the virus while traveling to Boston, and that resident is at home and in good condition.  The resident is in her 50s, has had no contact with children, does not have children in the school system, and her family members that live with her are self-quarantined at home and in good condition as well. 

The second and third cases are a couple who recently returned from an international cruise.  The couple is self-quarantined at home and in good condition.  This couple also does not have any connection to our school system.  A contact tracing investigation is underway in all of these cases to determine exposure within the County, and we are working with the State of Maryland and our Health Department to take the appropriate precautions. 

In addition, today Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) was notified that an individual affiliated with Eleanor Roosevelt High School and College Park Academy had close contact with someone who traveled to a country under a high-risk coronavirus (COVID-19) warning.  As a precaution, both schools will be closed Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 for cleaning and sanitizing.  The closures affect all programming at the school, including before and after-school activities and all athletic, extracurricular and weekend events.  Students and staff will return Monday, March 16.

As with the confirmed cases mentioned above, the Prince George’s County Health Department is conducting an investigation and gathering important information from the individual to help keep the public safe and healthy. 

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is hosting a COVID-19 telephone town hall tomorrow, March 12, from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  This event will feature PGCPS CEO Dr. Monica Goldson, Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter, and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services and Education Dr. George Askew.

Parents and employees will receive a call at 6:30 PM.  Answer and follow the prompts to join.  Or, you can call 855-756-7520, ext. 56844#, if you don’t receive a call.  Please consider joining this call if you have questions about COVID-19, especially as they relate to our school system.

The County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Joint Information Center (JIC) were activated at an enhanced level on March 4, 2020, prior to any confirmed cases in the State of Maryland.  Yesterday I increased the activation level to a partial activation, which will allow us to continue taking the appropriate steps to respond to this evolving situation.   

The County Health Department is emphasizing that the potential risk of illness to the general public is still low.  Our public health experts, along with emergency management officials, continue to work closely with state and federal health officials on a regular basis.

As residents, there are several things you can do to partner with us to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.  We continue to encourage the public to practice every day, preventative actions such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home except to get medical care.
  • The CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel worldwide.

For those at higher risk, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.  According to the CDC, higher risk people are older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like lung, heart, or kidney disease.  We advise these groups take additional precautions:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies.

Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.  Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.  Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently been in high exposure areas.

I want to thank our County Government agencies and employees who have been working hard for several weeks to prepare for this coronavirus, ensuring we have the proper plans in place.  We always knew it was not a question of if but when COVID-19 would reach Prince George’s County.  If you would like to see all of our preparations to date, please click here.

In addition, we are reviewing all events hosted by the County Government and canceling or postponing events on a case-by-case basis.  Below we have listed several events from our office, as well as our Office of Community Relations, that have been canceled or postponed.  We will be sure to update the community as we make decisions regarding future events.

Again, we want you to know that your County Government is doing everything we can to respond to this rapidly evolving situation.  The health and safety of every Prince Georgian is our top priority, and we will continue to take the appropriate steps and provide the latest updates to protect the well-being of all our residents. 

Information and updates about COVID-19 in Prince George’s County are available at  Residents can also call the County’s Health Department hotline at 301-883-6627 with questions or concerns about COVID-19.

We also ask residents to only call 911 for medical emergencies, not for coronavirus information or questions. 

This is a concerning challenge for Prince George’s County, but I know that by working together, we are fully prepared and well-equipped to handle this situation.

Yours in service,

Angela Alsobrooks

Prince George’s County Executive

Postponed/Canceled Events

Canceled: 311 Day of Action

311 Day of Action

Postponed: Census Fact Check Workshop

Census Fact Check

Canceled: Youth Speaks Forum

Youth Speaks

Postponed: Women's History Month Luncheon


Please note: Tickets already purchased for the Women's History Month Luncheon will be honored when a new date is set.

Postponed: Census Block Party

Census Block Party


COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet Fact Sheet Spanish

How to Prevent the Spread of Germs

InfographicInfographic Spanish

COVID-19 Senior Fact Sheet

Senior Fact SheetSenior Fact Sheet Spanish