Happy New Year!
Dear Neighbors and Friends - This year is almost over. Like you, I am ready to see what 2021 will bring. We can take comfort in knowing that the vaccine is here and more is on its way. Prince George’s County has put together a helpful FAQ page regarding the distribution of the vaccine. The vaccine distribution in Maryland began earlier this month, with Governor Hogan announcing on December 15th that the National Guard would be reactivated to help with the rollout. Later that week, he also announced that an additional $180 million in economic relief would be made available to small businesses, including hotels, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Last week, before the Christmas holiday, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Cheverly Health Center. This is a great example of how the vaccine is a safe and effective treatment, and will go a long way towards curbing the spread of this virus and controlling this pandemic. As always, it is important to keep wearing our masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing. With the end in sight, we as a community can finish strong, together. I hope that everyone has a happy and safe start to 2021. - Nicole
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Prince George’s County has created a helpful resource page regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. General information, as well as a timetable of vaccine distribution, can be found here.
Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS)
PGCPS will have its North County Virtual Community Conversation on Wednesday, January 13 at 6:30 PM to discuss the Prince George's County Public Schools Comprehensive School Boundary Initiative. The objective of the Boundary Initiative is to provide an impartial analysis of current school boundaries, feeder patterns and program locations and to develop, with community input, scenarios for adjustments in order to populate new and expanded school facilities and balance facility utilization. Click here to register. Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) is conducting a brief survey to assess the community’s support of School Resource Officers (SROs) in buildings and other school safety measures. The results will be used to inform the school system’s future direction on student and staff safety and well-being. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, January 8. Click here to take the survey 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 is also currently collecting responses on their strategic plan culture and climate survey. Results will help the system make a plan that will better serve our communities. To fill out the survey, please click here.
Lastly, PGCPS will be holding a district-wide hiring event on Saturday, January 9th, 2021, and is looking to hire new educators, nurses, and bus drivers. More information on the event is below.
Prince George's County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS)
PGCMLS announced that they will be suspending their curbside service from December 21, 2020 through January 12, 2021, in response to the surging COVID-19 cases throughout the county. This service will be made available to the public again on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Other services that have been temporarily suspended include book drops, mobile printing, and 3D printing. For more information on the services PGCMLS provides, please 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.
Access 2 Education Scholarship
Alongside Employ Prince George's, 2U, Inc., an education technology company based in Lanham, is offering a scholarship to assist those underrepresented in the technology industry to obtain career-boosting skills. The deadline for this scholarship is today, December 31st, 2020. For more information on this scholarship, as well as the application, please click here.
WMATA and "TheBus"
On Monday, January 4, 2021, WMATA and the Prince George's County's "TheBus" will resume front-door bus boarding and fare collection. Protective barriers have been installed on all the vehicles. Both WAMA and "TheBus" have undergone extensive safety and cleaning protocols. The standard one-way fare for "TheBus" will be reduced temporarily from $1.25 to $1.00. Seniors, persons with disabilities will continue to ride for free with government issued photo identification. Children two years old or under ride for free with an adult.
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) CLOSED: December 31 and January 2 Prince George's County Health Department Headquarters *Begins December 14th, 2020* 1701 McCormick Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774 (9 AM - 3:30 PM; Monday - Thursday) CLOSED: January 1 D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center 9314 Piscataway Road, Clinton, MD 20735 (9 AM - 3:30 PM; Monday - Friday) CLOSED: January 1 Adventist Medical Group Primary Care 10709 MD-210 Suite D, Fort Washington, MD 20744 (7:30 AM - 11:30 AM; Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) CLOSED: January 1 Roseu Medical Center *Appointment required, click here* 14402 Baltimore Avenue, Laurel, MD 20707 (8 AM - 12 PM; Monday - Friday) CLOSED: December 31 and January 2 There are also test sites operated by the State such as the Six Flags Amusement Park location (which just announced extended hours) and private entities such as some CVS locations. Click here to find a test site near you.
Distance Learning and Free Meals for Students
There will be no meal distribution over winter break. Service will resume on Monday, Jan. 4. Families in need can receive meals during break through the County's Stand Up & Deliver program and Maryland Capital Area Food Bank.
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 ShopRight 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 linked 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 back to work and need child care. To keep track of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the county please click here.