Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks noted the passing of a Prince George's County resident from COVID-19 during a recent county news release.
"We are heartbroken to share with you that one of our own Prince Georgians has lost his life to the coronavirus, COVID-19" Alsobrooks said in the release. "I ask that you join me in keeping his loved ones in our constant prayers. This pandemic represents an unprecedented crisis for Prince George’s County. We are confronting this pandemic head on and working around the clock to protect the well-being of our residents."
Alsobrooks hosted a "Tele-Town Hall" on Tuesday, March 17. in which approximately 35,000 county residens participated. Alsobrooks, Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md. 4th),, Dr. Ernest Carter and school system CEO Monica Goldson provided critical updates to othe community. Alsobrooks said the county is continuing to explore unique and innovative ways to keep the community informed while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Alsobrooks said the Capital Area Food Bank volunteers helped feed over 600 families at pop-up food pantries on March 17. Due to the high demand in Prince George’s County, Alsobrooks said the county is collaborating with the Capital Area Food Bank on additional pop-up food pantries in the near future.
Alsobrooks said the county has cancelled or postponed two events, the Senior Census Bingo Day scheduled for March 20 and the Growing Green with Pride Day scheduled for April 18.
The Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with FSC First and the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce, is working to inform small businesses about the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Alsobrooks said. The program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they may be experiencing. The SBA has declared Prince George's County an economic disaster area that qualifies for this program.
Small businesses interested in applying should visit the SBA website. If your small business needs assistance with the application process, contact the EDC, FSC First, or the Prince George's Chamber of Commerce.
WMATA has announced they are further reducing metro service. The rail system will close at 11 p.m. daily until further notice, and the public is urged to use Metro for essential trips only. More information can be found on their website.
The Department of Public Works and Transportation has announced a reduction in TheBus services. Effective March 19, TheBus has suspended transit service on Routes 21x, 22, 25, 35s, 51, and 53, as well as reduced service on Routes 27 and 34. There will be no fare charged on TheBus routes in service until further notice. Also, to promote social distancing, TheBus asks riders to enter and exit using the rear doors only, to limit close contact between passengers and the driver. Exceptions will be made for individuals with disabilities and mothers with strollers.
Individuals feeling sick are asked not to take public transportation, to call their health care provider immediately and to ask for guidance and assistance for their own personal safety and the safety of the county's public transportation drivers.
The Department of the Environment has announced that the Animal Services Facility and Adoption Center is operating under limited services. Appointments are required to obtain the following services: pet adoptions, call 301-780-7201; pet redemptions and pet licensing, call 301-780-7222; owner requested euthanasia and emergency owner surrender (sick or injured animals), call 301-780-7241. Animal control officers will be responding to emergency calls as needed. ASF is not accepting volunteers, except with a few on special assignment. Also, the facility will no longer accept donations of used household bedding, towels, stuffed animals or any other items that cannot be disinfected, until further notice.
All bulky, regular trash and recycling, and yard trim collections remain on schedule. A complete and up-to-date list of county government closures and changes in government operations can be found online here.
Prince George’s County Public Schools has announced another expansion of student meal sites during the statewide school closures. Now, students can receive a “Grab and Go” bag at 36 sites across the County, which includes breakfast, lunch and a snack. These sites are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information and a complete list of meal sites can be found on the PGCPS website.
Grocery stores have announced special senior shopping hours to assist our seniors with their shopping needs. Safeway hours are 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Giant hours are 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. daily. Save-A-Lot hours are 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily. County residents are asked to share this information with seniors, and consider offering to pick up groceries for senior neighbors and family members.
In addition to these county updates, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has announced several new actions over the past few days, including:
• The primary election has moved from April 28 to June 2.
• All public gatherings of more than 10 people are now banned.
• Shopping malls and entertainment venues are now closed.
• Hogan signed an executive order intended to assist small businesses, allowing for delivery and carry-out sales of alcohol by restaurants, bars, distilleries and wineries, subject to local regulations.
• Access to BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport terminal has been restricted to ticketed passengers and necessary personnel only.
• The Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles is extending drivers licenses and ID’s that expire soon to reduce the lines at motor vehicle offices. All Motor Vehicle Administration locations will offer in-person services by appointment only.
A comprehensive list of actions taken by Hogan, as well as additional resources and ways that all Marylanders can help during this public health emergency, can be found online at the new Maryland Unites website.
"As a reminder, we have the power to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives by practicing social distancing," Alsobrooks stated in the release. "This includes staying home as much as possible, and if you need to go out, avoiding crowds of more than ten people and keeping six feet of distance between you and others whenever possible."
Alsobrooks reminded county residents to check the county'sr dedicated coronavirus website for the latest updates by visiting health.mypgc.us/coronavirus. Anyone with questions or concerns related to the coronavirus, is asked to call the hotline at 301-883-6627 from 8a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
"Prince Georgians are resilient, we support one another, and we will hold each other up as we do everything we can to contain the spread of this virus and work to prevent further loss of life" Alsobrooks said in the release.