Community Connections Newsletter: COVID-19 Update

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Friday, April 10, 2020

COVID-19 Update: We Must Flatten the Curve

Dear Prince Georgians:

Once again, I want to express to all of you my appreciation and admiration for how you are responding to this crisis. You continue to follow the guidelines from the CDC about how to limit the spread of this virus, including staying home as much as possible, remembering to stay six feet away from others when you must go out for groceries or medicine, and frequently washing your hands.

You are reaching out to your neighbors to see if you can get anything for them at the grocery store. You are even calling into County offices to offer donations and support to those in need. Thank you, Prince Georgians, for your resolute response, for your kindness and for your compassion. While these are difficult times, we will get through this together.

However, I want to recognize that we have already lost Prince Georgians to COVID-19. To date, 42 Prince Georgians have lost their lives and more than 1700 have contracted the virus. This is personal for us because these are real people, invaluable members of our community. Their suffering is our suffering, and their loss is our loss. I express my heartfelt condolences to all of the people who have lost family members, mentors, and friends. For those of you sick with COVID-19, we are with you. I promise you that our County is doing everything we can to care for you and to slow the spread of this terrible virus.

Yesterday I announced some of the measures we are taking in Prince George’s County to prepare for a surge in positive cases. We have requested additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies from the Governor to ensure our doctors, nurses, and first responders can safely treat patients. We have set up triage tents at three of our area hospitals and have requested additional tents with beds and resources so that, if needed, we have the extra space to adequately care for patients. The Governor has also sent the Corp of Engineers to the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover to assess turning it into a large alternate care facility.

In addition, because we recognize the risk to first responders and their families, we have set up a quarantine facility for first responders. This facility ensures they will not take the virus home to their families should they be exposed. We are also working to cross train public safety employees, which will allow employees from one public safety agency to fill in for another in the event there becomes a shortage of personnel in an agency due to COVID-19 exposure.

I’ve said many times that this virus is rude and indiscriminate. It doesn’t care how rich or poor you are, if you are famous or not, or about your race. We also know, however, that this virus hits hardest those with pre-existing health conditions – individuals with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and kidney disease – and these health problems disproportionately impact Black and Brown people and those who are impoverished.  

That means our County - with its rich diversity, well-established African-American neighborhoods, and vibrant immigrant neighborhoods - is at higher-risk for difficult or negative outcomes from this virus. That has already proven to be true for us, as we are the jurisdiction with the highest number of cases in the State of Maryland.

COVID-19 has highlighted a very challenging health issue that we have, but I want to be crystal clear that when we get through this, we are all going to get healthier together. Together, we can and will take steps to decrease our vulnerability and serve as a model to the nation. Even in a wealthy County like ours, where we have struggled to attract quality restaurants and grocers, we hope that when the coronavirus leaves, that we never go back to business as usual.

We must continue our diligent fight to protect our neighbors, friends, and ourselves from COVID-19, and we must work to increase the health of all of our communities going forward. From attracting and maintaining quality grocery stores to ensuring healthcare is available and affordable, our County will fight to ensure that never again will we be disproportionately impacted by a virus like this.

I said earlier that I have been heartened by the offers of help we have been receiving from all parts of the County. Many of you have non-perishable food items, paper products, PPE like gloves or masks, or hand sanitizer that you would like to donate to those in need or on the front lines. For those of you hoping to help in this way, please visit our County’s COVID-19 donation webpage. We will be sure to get your donations to those in need.

I also wanted to provide some new guidance handed down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC now recommends that all people wear cloth face coverings when out in public settings where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. This can be done with items that you already have at home, making your own cloth face mask or wearing a bandana or scarf. The important thing is to cover your nose and mouth to ensure you don’t accidentally infect anyone with COVID-19 when you are out in public.

One of the things we know about this disease is that people can carry this virus and be contagious even when they are not showing any symptoms, so we ask that you please follow these guidelines. For those of you who have not yet adopted social distancing, who perhaps are still visiting with friends and family, I want to remind you of the importance of making this sacrifice, as hard as it is. Staying home ensures you do not get sick and that you do not inadvertently spread the virus to your fellow Prince Georgians. So please stay home, and social distance when you go out for essential trips.

Finally, your County Government has had a number of changes in operations. We have provided a list of some of these changes below, and you can also see a full list of how your Government is providing services in the midst of this pandemic online.

Prince Georgians, this epidemic is taking a toll. You may feel exhausted, stressed, scared, or angry. Please know that you are not alone. Do what you can to care for yourself, including resting, meditating, taking a walk around your block, and most importantly, reaching out for support. If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of depression, anxiety or substance misuse, please call 211 and dial option 1, which will direct you to the Maryland crisis hotline. You can also text for help or support simply by texting HOME to 741741.

On a personal note, I want you to know that every morning and every night, I pray for each and every one of you. While there are tough times still ahead of us, I promise that we will get through this crisis together.

Yours in service,

Angela Alsobrooks

Prince George’s County Executive

County Government Updates

The Economic Development Corporation reports that the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan and Grant Funds are at capacity and will not accept any more applications. They encourage businesses to apply for federal Small Business Administration opportunities. Links and detailed guidance can be found here.

In addition, Prince George’s County has allocated $15 million for grants and loans to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19. The Relief Fund can be used to support cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other business critical cash operating costs. The County will begin accepting applications on April 13.  Information about the Fund is available at

The Revenue Authority will be closed to the public until further notice. Employees conducting essential operations are telecommuting. All other staff are on administrative leave. The Abandoned Vehicle Unit and the Residential Parking Unit resumed limited enforcement on Monday, April 6, 2020. General Parking Enforcement Supervisors will continue to follow-up on 311 complaints.

The Office of Central Services has posted emergency procurement opportunities in response to COVID-19. Vendors are encouraged to view the forecast listing and contact the Contracts Administration & Procurement Division in order to respond to solicitations. A list of opportunities can be found here.

The Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission continues its mission to ensure Prince George’s County is a welcoming place for all who live, work, and play here. We stand resolute against acts of hate, bias, violence, and discrimination and celebrate all the residents of the County who do so much to be welcoming, kind, and compassionate in these troubled times and always. We are Prince George’s Proud of our collective neighbors for your caring response in the face of crisis. To learn more about our office, the work we do to combat human trafficking, if you need to report an incident of hate or bias, or if you would like to schedule an intake appointment if you have experienced discrimination at your job, at a business, or in housing, please visit our website.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has announced a number of changes in service. Nineteen of its ninety-one Metrorail stations are closed with Metrorail hours from 5:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Red Line trains operate every 15 minutes, while Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Green line trains operate every 20 minutes. Stations served by multiple lines have more frequent service. Metrobus operates from 5:00 AM until 11:00 PM on a modified Sunday schedule. More information about WMATA’s schedule changes in response to COVID-19 can be found here.

The Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) has updated coronavirus operational changes. Starting April 6, TheBus will operate a modified hourly service on routes 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, and 37. TheBus service will begin at 6:00 AM and will also end earlier each day, with last trips departing at or before 6:00 PM. Buses that enter service at or before 6:00 PM will continue to the end of the route before going out of service. Remaining County bus lines have been suspended. Please visit DPW&T’s County webpage for more information.

Due to construction on the Maryland Transit Authority’s Purple Line rail system, there are temporary closures on Campus Drive. On March 29, 2020, the Purple Line implemented a closure of Campus Drive between Adelphi Road and Alumni Drive for utility relocations. The closure began on Sunday, March 29 at 11:59 PM and will reopen on Monday, April 13 at 7 AM. The detour can be viewed here. Beginning on or about April 19, 2020, the Purple Line will close a segment of Campus Drive between the Paint Branch Trail and River Road for construction. The closure will be in effect for approximately 15 weeks. The detour can be viewed here.

FSC First strives to put small business needs first. The novel COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses of every size, and it is part of their mission to assist in providing you with alternatives to relief resources during this time. To that end, please take this survey that will only take 6-8 minutes of your time. This will help us find the right solution for you.

FSC First has created a COVID-19 Business Relief Financing Programs Matrix. This chart lists all of the current financing program options for the business community. In this matrix, you will find loan and grant opportunities from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), The Maryland Department of Commerce, and Prince George's County.

The Prince George’s County Department of Social Services (PGCDSS) is still out in the community, working together! PGCDSS Child Advocacy Center's (CAC) Child Protective Services Unit (CPS) has continued their investigations related to allegations of child sexual abuse, using video conferencing technology to conduct forensic interviews remotely. PGCDSS is offering virtual Stewards of Children sessions to educate residents on child abuse prevention. Video conferencing technology is also being utilized by our County's Court system to conduct shelter care hearings. PGC Health Connect navigators have transitioned from serving residents at the enrollment locations across Prince George’s County, to remotely operating three local call centers, providing over-the-phone assistance. In addition, our Community Schools Network team has been physically supporting recent efforts of principals and teachers at schools within the district through laptop distributions, grab-and-go meals, outreach, case management, and other initiatives to ensure quality virtual learning experiences during this time.

The Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) has added new weekly Spanish and bilingual English/Spanish virtual programs for children. Biblioniños Spanish read-alouds are presented Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 AM. Bilingual English/Spanish read-alouds are held Saturdays at 9:30 AM. Board of Library Trustees member Dr. Hiram Larew will host Poetry of Hope: An Open Mic Online Poetry Reading for National Poetry Month on Wednesday, April 15 at 7 PM. The full virtual event lineup is available here. Free streaming movies and television programs are available with your library card or LINK card number (for PGCPS students) through Kanopy, Hoopla, IndieFlix, and Pongalo (Spanish). Updates about the Library's construction projects, which remain in progress during the closure, are available at the PGCMLS Builds website.

The Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) is working to serve customers utilizing enhanced online services, however some functions have been modified due to social distancing requirements established in response to COVID-19. In an effort to keep County residents and employees safe, DPIE’s Enforcement Division has curtailed some inspections and is now performing essential operations only. As a result, some property maintenance inspection and investigation cases have been temporarily placed on hold. Inspectors will continue to monitor complaints. When information is available, DPIE will contact complainants to advise actions that can be taken in lieu of onsite inspections. For more information, contact the Enforcement Division at 301-883-6168 weekdays from 7:30 AM to 4 PM.

The Office of Community Relations invites you to join What’s the 311! Do you really know how your government operates? Join us on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 10 AM and 6 PM to get the 311 on your government resources and services! The dial-in number is: 301-883-6600. The access code is: 803905#

For all the latest updates from your County Government, and for more information and resources about COVID-19, please visit our website at

April 9 Press Conference

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April 9 Presser

Additional Resources

Stay-At-Home Order

Stay Home EnglishStay Home Spanish

Protective Waste Collection Measures

Waste Collection EnglishWaste Collection Spanish

CDC Guidance on Masks

Masks EnglishMasks Spanish

Resources for Nonprofits


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