Community Connections Newsletter: COVID-19 Update

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Thursday, April 23, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Addressing Food Insecurity in Prince George’s County

Dear Prince Georgians:

This pandemic is challenging us in multiple ways. We know that you are worried about your health and the health of your loved ones, and that you are missing valuable time with family and friends. We also know that many Prince Georgians have fallen on hard times, as more than 30,000 residents have filed for unemployment since the beginning of March. Unfortunately, more of our residents are now experiencing food insecurity, but we are doing everything in our power to address this issue and ensure no one goes hungry during these unprecedented times.  

Yesterday I was proud to announce that we have secured $1.2 million in donations to the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) for County residents. The CAFB has received $500,000 from Bank of America, $100,000 from the County Council, $100,000 from Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins, and $20,000 from the Prince George’s County Chapter of The Links, Inc. In addition, I directed $500,000 from Prince George’s County Government to the CAFB. All of these donations will go directly to feeding Prince George’s County residents in need. 

On March 20, we began a partnership with World Central Kitchen, the non-profit of chef José Andrés. Through this partnership, we have been able to provide well over 10,000 meals to residents in communities across the County. I want to thank the staff of World Central Kitchen and chef José Andrés for their incredible work and aid to our residents during this time, and for agreeing to continue expanding this partnership throughout the County.

We have also received an outpouring of support from our community seeking ways to help. We are still accepting donations of non-perishable foods, paper products, baby supplies, and personal protective equipment like gloves and masks. I want to recognize and thank several organizations in our community - Community of Hope AME Church, local non-profit Dreams Works, and local small business Team PMG - that worked together to donate 5,000 masks, 5,300 rolls of toilet paper, 1,000 gloves, and 100 small hand sanitizers. If you or your organization would like to make a donation, please fill out our COVID-19 donation form online.

In addition to food insecurity, some of our residents are also worrying about how they are going to pay rent. To help alleviate this issue, I have directed $1 million to a rental assistance and emergency housing fund for the County. We will release information in the near future on the qualification criteria for this program and how to apply.

Finally, I want to address a troubling trend our Health Department has identified. Unfortunately, we have seen multiple instances where people are either dying at home or waiting to go to the emergency room until it is too late, particularly men. Prince Georgians, I want to remind you of the importance of getting care if you do not feel well, especially if you experience symptoms like shortness of breath or trouble breathing.  Furthermore, if you are tested for COVID-19 and your symptoms worsen, do not wait for your results, but instead seek immediate medical care.

Due to some of the symptoms of this virus, such as shortness of breath and trouble breathing, we are initiating a soft launch of our Text to 9-1-1 program. Now, residents in Prince George’s County will be able to text 9-1-1 for an emergency if they are unable to speak over the phone. If you can talk, call, but if you can’t, then text. This new program will help our dispatchers better serve residents who may be experiencing an emergency, and it will help save lives during this pandemic. A statewide text to 9-1-1 program will be launched in the future.

Please remember that there are steps we all can take to help save lives. Follow the Governor’s stay at home order, except for essential trips like going to the grocery store. Follow my Executive Order that requires the use of face coverings when out in stores or on public transportation. You can use a scarf, a bandana, or even a t-shirt to cover your nose and mouth. Finally, when out in public, keep six feet of distance between yourself and others, even when wearing a face covering.

We will continue to pray for the 152 Prince Georgians who have lost their lives to this deadly virus, and for those currently hospitalized and battling COVID-19. These are not just cases and numbers, but real people and members of our community. While these are difficult and trying times for many of us, what this virus has proven is that Prince Georgians know who we are, and we will continue to support and care for each other throughout this crisis.  

We are in this together, and you have my promise that I will continue to fight for you, your loved ones, and all Prince Georgians each and every day.

Yours in service,

Angela Alsobrooks

Prince George’s County Executive

County Government Updates

County Government Updates

The Department of Social Services announces that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to enroll in health insurance has been extended to June 15, 2020. To enroll over the telephone in Prince George’s County, call 301-927-4500 Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 3 PM. Bilingual specialists are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM, at 240-719-2167. To enroll online, click here. Free consumer assistance is available by calling 1-855-642-8572, or Relay 711 from 8 AM to 6 PM on weekdays. Individuals can also download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app.

Employ Prince George’s will close applications for the COVID-19 Hourly Employee Relief Fund at the end of this week due to a large number of applications and limited resources. For more information and resources on unemployment during COVID-19, please visit the Employ Prince George’s website. If you are able to make a donation to the Relief Fund so we can serve more residents, please click here.

The Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) offers a wide range of online classes, employment, and career development resources, all accessible for free with a PGCMLS library card or LINK card number (for PGCPS students). Library offers 4,000 courses and certifications. Brainfuse VetNow provides support for veterans, from navigating the VA to finding jobs. Brainfuse JobNow offers career assessment tools, resume support, interview tips, and coaching. Career Transitions provides step-by-step guidance to discovering your interests, choosing a career, finding schools and programs, searching job openings, and more. Learning Express Library offers practice standardized tests, immigration support, and tutorials in basic skills like math and reading. Register for a free virtual library card or renew your card here

The Office of Central Services (OCS) is developing the “Business Highway”, a web-based system that streamlines business processes and provides access to other online platforms helping County businesses access online contracting, compliance and procurement services. OCS aims to ease the use of online tools so that County agencies and businesses will be able to more readily access contracts, upcoming solicitations, submit bids, apply for or renew certification, search for contracting opportunities and more. A few of the upcoming and live online services include:

  1. Green Book (launch July 2020) - a digital guide for County-based Small Businesses (CBSBs) and County-based Minority Business Enterprises (CBMBEs), to connect them to procurement opportunities within Prince George’s County Government;
  2. Contracting Compliance & Certification System (live) - online system designed to make online registration, certification and vendor profile management simple and efficient for the County’s business community;
  3. eProcurement (via Ariba, launch September 2020) - automation and management of the entire sourcing and contracting processes for all types of materials and services, all in one place; and
  4. Online Bid Review and Submission “Lockbox” (launch May 2020) - an interim system whereby County solicitations are listed, and County businesses can submit online bids.

County businesses can visit the OCS website to access these services, allowing us to continue moving forward as we work to respond to and recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Effective Wednesday, April 15, 2020, the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement’s Building Permit applications for retaining walls must be submitted through the ePlan system. The only exception to this requirement is for walk-thru retaining wall permits. For more information about retaining walls, please click here. Access the DPIE online permitting portal by clicking here. For more information about using ePlan, you may download the “ePlan User Guide.”

For the latest updates on County Government operations and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our website at

COVID-19 Food Resources

World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen Photos

World Central Kitchen meal deliveries and pick-ups are taking place across Prince George's County.

We have partnered with World Central Kitchen to bring meals to residents in Prince George’s County. World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés, is known for jumping into action around the globe where disaster strikes. Since our partnership began almost a month ago, World Central Kitchen, in collaboration with some of our local restaurants like Sardi’s, has provided over ten thousand meals to residents in communities across the County. This includes weekly food deliveries at Ebenezer AME, The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square, and Community of Hope AME.

In addition to providing over two thousand meals to residents in Mount Rainier and College Park through their work with World Central Kitchen, Sardi’s has delivered groceries to our neediest of residents in Hyattsville. We want to acknowledge and thank Phil Sardelis and his whole team at Sardi’s, along with chef José Andrés and the staff at World Central Kitchen, for all they are doing to support Prince George’s County.

We are working to expand our efforts and provide more access to meals, because as this crisis continues, no one should have to worry about where their next meal will come from.   

Capital Area Food Bank

Capital Area Food Bank Hotline

The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) is an invaluable partner and resource to us in Prince George’s County. We are so grateful to those organizations and individuals who have stepped up to ensure the CAFB has the resources it needs to provide for residents in need in Prince George’s County. If you or somebody you know is in need of food resources at this time, please visit the Capital Area Food Bank website to find a food pantry or distribution site nearby.

Prince George's Food Equity Council

Food Equity Council

The Prince George’s Food Equity Council is maintaining a COVID-19 Food Assistance Resource Guide for our residents. This guide can be used to find food for seniors, families with children and residents experiencing food insecurity. They also have a resource list for restaurants, farmers and residents who want to volunteer. To access their resource guide, please click here.

Interactive Map of Food Distribution Sites

Food Sites Map

Food pantries and distribution sites are operating throughout the area to assist those in need during this pandemic. Find a location near you using our interactive map, which is updated weekly with the most up-to-date information we receive from our community partners.

PGCPS Meal Sites

PGCPS Meal Sites

Students of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) are able to pick up a week’s worth of meals by visiting PGCPS meal sites twice a week. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are available at forty-three sites from 10 AM to 1 PM on Mondays and Wednesdays. Parents may now pick up meals for students who are unable to come to the site by showing a student ID or report card. Parents and guardians are not required to accompany students nor are students required to show ID. Find more information here.

State of Maryland Updates

Maryland Flag

Yesterday, April 22, the County Executive joined Governor Hogan to announce the reopening of UM Laurel Medical Center to treat COVID-19 patients. This will increase our hospital surge capacity by adding 135 beds, including 35 intensive care beds. For more information about this announcement, please click here.

Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan recently secured 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korea, greatly increasing the testing capacity for the entire State. To read more about this announcement and its implications for Maryland, please click here.   

On April 17, Governor Hogan and State School Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced that public schools in Maryland will remain closed through May 15. At the same time, Governor Hogan also announced initial details of his new “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” initiative. Read more about these announcements here.

The Maryland Department of Labor is opening a one-stop unemployment insurance application portal on April 24 so that newly eligible Marylanders are able to apply for unemployment insurance solely online. More information about that portal and the CARES act, which provides an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits to eligible residents, can be found here. For general information from the State about unemployment insurance during COVID-19, visit their webpage.

We will continue to keep you informed of updates from the State that will impact Prince Georgians. For all the latest updates from Governor Hogan and the State of Maryland, please click here.

Prince George's Proud Moments

Asia Chandler-Morris Delivers 140 Care Packages to Seniors

Asia Chandler-Morris

County residents continue to step up and help others during this time of need, including Bowie resident Asia Chandler-Morris. She organized the delivery of 140 care packages of non-perishable food, personal care and grooming products to seniors at Gladys Noon Spellman House apartments. She called on friends who were more than happy to help out financially, while others volunteered to collect items, and fill and deliver the care packages. Watch a video of this Prince George’s Proud moment here.

Faith Based Advisory Board Donates Several Hundred N95 Masks to our Police Department

N95 Mask Donation

Our Faith Based Advisory Board with Police Chief Henry "Hank" Stawinski.

Our County’s Faith Based Advisory Board, in partnership with the National Baptist Convention, donated several hundred N95 masks to the Prince George’s County Police Department. The masks were presented to Prince George’s County Police Chief Henry “Hank” Stawinski outside of the Wayne K. Curry Administration Building on April 22. Thank you to everyone involved in this tremendous contribution, including our Faith Liaison Pastor Charles W. McNeill, Jr., who spearheaded the effort, and Advisory Board co-chairs Dr. Nakia Wright and Dr. Sharon Anderson.

2020 Census

Census Video - Kids Count Too!

Kids Count Too Video

University of Maryland graduate Fareeha Quaiyum produced a fun video that teaches our children that when it comes to the Census, kids count too! Take a break and watch this video with your children here. If you haven’t completed your Census, now is the perfect time to do so. It only takes ten minutes online.

Additional Graphics & Materials

Text to 911

Text to 911

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child Abuse Prevention

Domestic Violence Resources During COVID-19

Domestic Violence Resources

DIY Face Coverings

DIY Face Coverings