Springing Up - Vaccination Sites, Distribution, and new Middle Schools

Dear Neighbors and Friends - Spring has sprung. I have enjoyed taking the time to reconnect with so many of you across the District now that the legislative session is over. The pandemic is not over but it is great to see so many residents share that they have gotten vaccinated. Last week Governor Hogan announced a new project, Project Bounce Bank which will expand the Maryland Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs in every County prioritizing Title 1 school districts and rural communities to expand youth development programs, positive mentorship programs, and regional mental health crisis teams that will collaborate with local school systems to provide on-the-ground crisis and technical assistance to help our students that have been impacted by the pandemic. Residents can now get vaccinated without an appointment at any of the State’s 13 mass vaccination sites or the FEMA vaccination site at Greenbelt Metro Station. Also, to ensure the safety of our nursing homes the State is now requiring all nursing homes to report vaccination data for residents and staff every week. Additionally, the State is providing additional resources for nursing homes to ensure that all staff and residents are vaccinated. Since our last newsletter, our County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced the launch of a Countywide Vaccine Distribution and Education Initiative that will conduct door-to-door, phone, and text outreach to County residents to help provide information on COVID-19 vaccines and resources related to the virus. So far over 582,000 total vaccinations have been provided to County Residents and over 250,000 residents are now fully vaccinated. There are several County run locations where someone can get a vaccine, even without an appointment. In addition to the good news about the vaccines, last week I had the honor to join County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monia Goldson, Board of Education members, and County Council members for the groundbreaking of two new middle schools here in District 22, the new William Wirt Middle School and the new Glenridge Middle School both slatted to open in time for the 2023 school year. With the warm spring weather and improving COVID-19 numbers, I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel we have been in for over a year. - Nicole

 

Free Virtual Expungement Clinic


This Saturday, May 15th from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM I am co-hosting with the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, the Prince George's County Bar Association, the Prince George's County Clerk of the Court, the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, the J. Franklin Bourne Bar Association, Community Legal Services, the Nigerian American Lawyers Association, and Delegate Wanika Fisher a virtual expungement clinic that will provide information about how you can remove a criminal offense from your record in Maryland and DC.


We will also have lawyers on hand to help begin the expungement process for those with Maryland offenses


To register for this virtual event visit - https://fbcglenarden.org/expungement

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Prince George’s County has a resource page regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. General information, as well as a timetable of vaccine distribution, can be found here. County residents 16 and older can schedule their appointments now. If you are 16 or 17, you must have your parent or guardian present at the clinic to sign a consent form. 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. At the moment, the County is operating four vaccine distribution sites, as well as mobile vaccination units. These are: - Cheverly Health Center in Cheverly - Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center in Laurel - Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Center in Fort Washington - Sports and Learning Center in Landover To preregister for a vaccine at the FEMA-operated vaccination site in Greenbelt, please click here. You can then select "Greenbelt Metro Station" as your preferred site. If you have not yet joined the Maryland Vaccine Hunters Facebook group, I strongly urge you to do so by clicking here. This group is aimed at making people aware of vaccine locations and availability and currently has over 85,000 members. If you would prefer to schedule a vaccine appointment over the phone and can prove eligibility, you can call the Maryland state hotline at 1-855-634-6829. This hotline is open from 7 AM to 10 PM daily. There will be a series of prompts for you to answer once you are connected to the call center. The Prince George's County Memorial Library System has launched a Vaccine Hunter Hotline that can be reached at 240-392-3622. This hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 7 PM, and can be used to get help with vaccine questions, pre-registration lists, and appointment bookings. The Doctor's Hospital has a vaccine interest form available for Prince George's and Anne Arundel County residents. For more information on their vaccine distribution process and the application form, please click here. Local pharmacies offer COVID-19 vaccinations. If you would like to check availability and/or schedule an appointment at Safeway, please click here. For appointments at a Walgreens location, please click here. For appointments at a CVS location, please click here. Also, all of the State Mass Vaccination Sites and the FEMA site at Greenbelt Metro Station are accepting walk-in and drive-in vaccines without an appointment.

 

WMATA Updates

WMATA has announced the closure of four Metro stations in Prince George's County for renovations. From May 29th through September 6th, the College Park, West Hyattsville, Prince George's Plaza, and Greenbelt stations will be closed. WMATA will be offering free bus shuttle services between these locations during that time. During these closures, parking at those stations will be free. For more information, click here.

 

Hyattsville Trades Relief & Working Artists Fund

Applications are now being accepted for the Professional Trades and Working Artists Relief Funds, offered by the City of Hyattsville. Licensed barbers, cosmetologists, pet groomers, and tattoo artists who currently work in businesses registered within city limits can now apply for grants of $750 ($300 for non-city resident employees). Applications are available in both English and Spanish, and will be open until June 30th or until funds are exhausted. For more information and the application form, click here.

 

FEMA Funeral Assistance

If you were burdened with the funeral expenses of a loved one due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement from FEMA. This program will begin to be implemented in April and can be applied through a toll-free number. For more information, as well as general FAQs, please click here.

 

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development has reopened the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. For more information on this program, as well as the application form, please click here.

 

MAGLEV Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)

The DEIS for the MAGLEV project is currently available, with a 90-day formal comment period open from now until May 24th, 2021. To make comments, please click here.

 

Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS)

PGCPS recently announced that virtually all of the wireless hot spots that the school system issued to students are part of a nationwide recall because of a fire risk. Families with one of the hot spots will be contacted by the school system with details on how to return the hot spots and get a new one. PGCPS has released its full reopening plan for the upcoming months. To view the full report, along with the guidelines schools will be following to stay safe during COVID-19, please click here. Over the past couple of months, PGCPS has held a series of "telephone town halls" regarding reopening plans. Recordings of these town halls are provided at the "Reopen PGCPS" website under "Virtual Town Halls." Additional information on distance learning from PGCPS is available here. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the hybrid instruction model and the reopening plan, you may contact Dr. Kara Libby, Strategic Initiatives Officer at klibby@pgcps.org. The Talented and Gifted (TAG) Lottery for the 2021 - 2022 school year is open through Friday, May 28, for second through eighth-grade students who are TAG-identified or going through the identification process. For more information 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.

 

Last week County Executive Alsobrooks, along with several other stakeholders, including myself, broke ground on two middle schools in District 22, the new William Wirt Middle School and Glenridge Middle School. Ensuring Maryland's children will have fully funded adequate learning facilities is essential and will be a reality for many others with the Blueprint override.

 

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.

 

Energy Assistance


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) Roseu Medical Center 7350 Van Dusen Road, Laurel, MD 20707 (Appointment required; Monday through Friday) City of Praise Family Ministries 8501 Jericho City Drive, Landover, MD 20785 (Mondays 2 to 6 PM; Wednesdays 10 AM to 3 PM; Saturdays 8 AM to 12 PM) There are also test sites operated by private entities such as some CVS locations. To view a statewide map of testing sites, click here. 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 pgcps.family@pgcps.org.

 

Unemployment Insurance

If you or someone you know is having problems filing for unemployment, please let my office know by giving us a call or using the Unemployment Insurance Complaint Form. To directly access the BEACON One-Stop site to file an unemployment claim, visit https://beacon.labor.maryland.gov/claimant/.

 

24 Hour Vaccine-a-thon


24-hour Vaccine-a-thon: Next Friday, May 14, the county will host a 24-hour Vaccine-a-thon. There will be plenty of special guests and prizes for residents that get vaccinated at the event. Although walks-ups will be welcomed, the county is encouraging residents to secure a spot by booking an appointment online.

 

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 RELIEF Act This webpage contains information on the Maryland RELIEF Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. If you would like to check your eligibility for a stimulus payment, apply for a small business grant, and more, please click the link above. 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.