4 weeks in and its Black History Month
Dear Neighbors and Friends - It is hard to believe that it is already February! We are now four weeks into the legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly, and my office has been working hard on behalf of the residents of District 22. February is also Black History Month. Black history is American history and there are several events taking place in the area which you will see below to highlight the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans to American society. In Maryland news, Governor Hogan gave his annual State of the State address last week, reflecting on nearly a year of fighting COVID-19 in our communities. While we are not receiving enough vaccines from the federal government to meet the current demand, Governor Hogan shared news of a new vaccine being developed here in Maryland by Novavax Inc. that could be released as soon as the next couple of weeks. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks recently shared news of an upcoming event that will discuss the COVID-19 vaccine and the positive impact it will have on our communities. Today at 2 PM, the Chief Medical Adviser to the President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, will be taking questions and speaking on the importance of getting vaccinated. You can find a link to the webinar later on in this newsletter. As we move along in our state’s vaccination timetable, it is important to remember the effectiveness of continued social distancing and wearing a mask. And of course, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office with thoughts on how I can best serve you and our community! - Nicole
Delegate Williams' Office Hours
I am excited to share that I will start holding office hours each Friday from 12 PM to 1 PM. If you would like to sign up for a time slot, please click here. Starting next week, on February 15th, my Chief of Staff Dejah Williams will begin holding office hours as well. Our office is excited to be able to sit down with residents to hear your concerns and ways to best help our community!
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Prince George’s County has created a resource page regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. General information, as well as a timetable of vaccine distribution, can be found here. Keep in mind the timeline is dependant on the supply of vaccines that is received. To fill out the pre-registration form to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Prince George’s County, please click here. For those who pre-register, you will receive a phone call or an email message once additional appointments become available. There is additional availability for COVID-19 vaccinations at the Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center for those eligible under Phases 1A and 1B. Fill out this vaccine interest form to be put on a notification list there. CVS announced that they will be administering vaccines in 11 states across the country, including Maryland. For more specific details, as well as information on how you can register to receive one, please click here.
Upcoming Events from the County Executive's Office
At 2 PM today, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci, will be joined by our county's Health Officer, Dr. Ernest Carter, and the University of Maryland Capital Region Health Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Wright. Together, they will be discussing the importance of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and will be taking questions and concerns from community members. To view the webinar, please click here. Tomorrow, February 9th, at 6 PM, there will be a virtual listening session regarding the FY 2022 Budget. Community members are encouraged to tune in and/or submit their inputs through testimony. To learn more, click here.
Extended Open Enrollment
The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has recently announced an extended open enrollment period for health insurance coverage in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The period is now extended until March 15th, with coverage beginning March 1st. For more information and to enroll, click here.
Legislative Bond Initiatives (LBIs)
The Maryland General Assembly recently announced changes to the Legislative Bond Initiatives process for the 2021 session in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. A major difference is that the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the House Appropriations Committee will not be holding hearings for LBIs, and will instead be accepting fact sheets as testimony. For full guidelines, click here.
Black History Month
The Greenbelt Black History and Culture Committee has planned a great lineup of events for Black History Month to celebrate the Black community and experience. To view a list of these events, please click here. The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) has a series of virtual programs including an online exhibition and a teen art contest. You can access all of their virtual events and online programs here.
Purple Line Construction Update
As a result of continued construction on the Purple Line, on-street parking will be prohibited until February 12th from the intersection of Riverdale Road (MD 410) and 64th Avenue to the parking entrance for townhomes 6001-6073 64th Avenue, Riverdale, MD. Towing will be enforced 24 hours.
MAGLEV Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)
The DEIS for the MAGLEV project is now available, with a 90-day formal comment period open from now until April 22nd, 2021. To make comments, please click here. The Prince George's County Council recently requested six months to comment on the environmental impact of a hypothetical MAGLEV train. To read more about this, click here.
BGE Energizing Small Business Grants Program
Maryland-based small businesses have an opportunity to apply for grants of up to $20,000 to help with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility requirements include having between two and 25 employees, less than $7 million in annual revenue, an obvious need for financial support, a plan on how funds would be used, and being in good standing with the state of Maryland. The first round of applications runs between January 20th and March 3rd, 2021. For more information, please click here.
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS)
PGCPS recently completed their survey that assessed community support for School Resource Officers (SROs), receiving over 13,000 responses. To view a full report of their findings, please click here.
You can access the PGCPS online database that tracks building closures related to COVID-19. This database is updated frequently and provides timely and relevant information for your family. To access the databases, click here. For other information regarding reopening plans, click here.
PGCPS has started Phase 1B for COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes educators and support staff. PGCPS in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente will facilitate a vaccination program for all employees. To read more, click here.
Maryland COVID-19 Contact Tracing App
The state of Maryland is using a COVID-19 contact tracing app to better and more quickly notify people if they have been exposed to the virus. For more information on the app, please click here.
You can contact your utility company today to set up a payment plan or request energy assistance funds. Click here for more information on how to obtain help with your utilities.
Prince George's County Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
The Prince George’s County Health Department continues to offer free COVID-19 tests for people with or without symptoms. All you need is a form of identification to get tested at the following facilities: First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville 6201 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville MD 20782 (9 AM - 3 PM; Monday, Thursday, and Saturday) Adventist Medical Group Primary Care 10709 MD-210 Suite D, Fort Washington, MD 20744 (7:30 AM - 11:30 AM; Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) There are also test sites operated by private entities such as some CVS locations. Click here to find a test site near you.
Distance Learning for Students
PGCPS continues to cover the cost of the Comcast Internet Essentials program, which provides affordable high-speed internet at home, for families eligible for free and reduced-price meals (FARMS). The school system will also help non-FARMS families obtain a Comcast or Verizon hotspot for home internet access. To request a hotspot, please call our Parent Center Hotline at 240-696-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know is continuing to have problems, please let my office know. Please use this Unemployment Insurance Tracker Form or contact my office directly for additional assistance. To directly access the BEACON One-Stop site to file an unemployment claim, visit https://beacon.labor.maryland.gov/claimant/.
Food Distribution Sites and Resources
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several food pantries have been set up throughout the county and in neighboring jurisdictions. Enter your zip code or address to search for the food pantry nearest you. SNAP Assistance SNAP is approved in Maryland for online grocery purchases for delivery or pickup. Walmart, Amazon, and ShopRite are among the participating retailers. Call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 866-821-5552 for assistance and questions related to SNAP applications. They can assist with completing and submitting SNAP applications over the phone, submit any changes to your active SNAP case, answer questions about your benefits, and direct you to additional food resources.
County and State COVID-19 Resources
The COVID-19 Hotline If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Prince George’s County Health Department Coronavirus hotline at (301) 883-6627 from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM to receive updated information about the coronavirus disease. Please contact 911 for medical emergencies only. 24/7 COVID-19 Prevention Hotline The Maryland State Police have expanded their 24/7 COVID-19 Prevention Hotline. Community members are encouraged to report public health violations through the email link above, or by calling (833) 979-2266. Nonprofit Resources Listing of resources and grants specifically for nonprofit organizations in the County. Childcare for Essential Employees and Employees Returning to Work Child care centers are opening up throughout the State if you are returning to work and need child care. To keep track of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county please click here.