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Prince George's County Maryland sent this bulletin
Friday, April 16, 2021
Dear Prince Georgians:
Yesterday I held a press conference and announced that we continue to hit new vaccine milestones with over 150,000 residents fully vaccinated, which equates to 20% of County residents ages 16 and older. In addition, our County Health Department has now administered over 100,000 vaccinations to County residents.
Through the County Health Department, pharmacies, hospitals and other partners, over 400,000 vaccinations have been provided to County residents. 267,000 County residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine. A little over a month ago on March 6, only 94,631 County residents had received at least one dose of a vaccine. In addition, over 212,000 County residents have signed up on the County’s pre-registration list since it opened in January, and more than 68% of those currently on the list have now been vaccinated.
We are proud that our vaccination efforts have ramped up significantly over the past few months, helping us significantly increase the number of Prince Georgians who have been able to receive this life-saving vaccine. Due to the continued progress in administering vaccines and the increased availability of vaccines, we joined the State in opening up eligibility to all residents ages 16 and older on Monday, April 12, 2021.
I’m encouraging those who live or work in the County that have not yet pre-registered for a vaccination and want to get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible at mypgc.us/ProudtobeProtected. Those who have trouble accessing the Internet or utilizing technology can pre-register by calling 311 and pressing #.
County residents are also able to get vaccinated through the State’s mass vaccination sites and the new FEMA site at Greenbelt Metro Station. To receive appointments at these sites, residents should pre-register with the State of Maryland online at covidvax.maryland.gov or 1-855-MD-GOVAX (1-855-634-6829).
Litter Reduction Efforts
In addition, I want you to know that I have heard our residents loud and clear about the growing litter and illegal dumping issues. That’s why I’m proud to announce that we are placing a renewed focus on beautification efforts. I have appointed Tiaa Rutherford of the Department of the Environment as the County’s Litter Czar to coordinate all litter reduction efforts. I am also creating a Litter Reduction and Illegal Dumping Taskforce to further strengthen litter reduction efforts.
This Taskforce will continue to work with the Environmental Crimes Unit, which includes the Department of the Environment, the Department of Public Works and Transportation, the Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, the Prince George’s County Police Department the County Attorney, and the State’s Attorney’s Office, to expand the illegal dumping camera monitoring program. The Taskforce will also research best practices and benchmarking for litter reduction and dumping mitigation, create a quick reference guide on litter and dumping ordinances, and recognize community members who work to keep the community clean through the Hometown Heroes Campaign.
Over the long term, the Taskforce will launch a customer dashboard and map showing litter routes and mitigation activities across Prince George’s County. In addition, we will review new and innovative policy initiatives for litter reduction, push forward with data-driven enforcement activities, and continue our award-winning coordinated communications campaign to reduce litter across the community.
This is all in addition to the efforts already underway in the County. Early on in the pandemic, we followed CDC guidance and limited the work of employees who were responsible for litter collection. However, crews have since returned to the roadways, and the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) has collected 1,004 tons of litter and illegal dumping to date in fiscal year 2021. DPW&T also conducted two recent litter blitzes in conjunction with the State Highway Administration, removing 136 tons of litter during those two blitzes.
Many in our community are unaware that all the County’s numbered roads like 214, 202 and Routes 4 and 5 are roadways owned and maintained by the State for things like grass, litter and snow removal, and the others are maintained by the County. As we saw debris gathering, we reached out to the State to ask them to please continue collaborative cleanups with our teams. We are pleased this work has resumed and look forward to continued collaboration.
To continue building on these litter reduction efforts, I’m asking community groups, businesses and other organizations to join our spring Growing Green with Pride Day community cleanup on May 1, 2021. Community groups that sign up will receive bags, gloves, litter pickers and mulch to help clean and beautify neighborhoods across the County. Groups must register no later than Friday, April 23 to receive the free supplies from DPW&T. So far, we have two dozen groups registered, which include 331 adults and 138 student volunteers. Please join us on May 1 by registering online at mypgc.us/GrowingGreen.
Our County will continue to devote resources to removing litter from our roadways. At the end of the day, litter is a community issue and we cannot do this work alone. Much of the litter we see on our roadways comes from our residents. I encourage every member of this community to help us keep our County clean and beautiful by disposing of their waste in the proper place, and by joining us for community cleanups like Growing Green with Pride Day.
Finally, our COVID-19 metrics remain stable. The County’s average daily case rate is hovering over 19 new cases a day per 100,000 residents. In addition, the County’s positivity rate is sitting at 5.2%, and the infection rate is sitting at 1.01. We know from contact tracing data in March that family gatherings have been the largest contributor to the spread of COVID-19 in our community over the past several weeks.
I completely understand the desire to gather with family and loved ones. I want to remind everyone to not let your guard down, as this virus is still present in our community. Please continue to wear masks, stay six feet away from those outside of your immediate household, wash your hands, and avoid crowds. If we continue to work together, we can continue to keep each other safe as we move forward with finally putting this pandemic behind us
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive
The County has paused administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine according to CDC and FDA guidelines. If you received this vaccine within the past three weeks and developed a symptom such as severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, please see a doctor.
The FEMA Funeral Assistance Program can help you cover the burial and funeral costs of a loved one who passed due to COVID-19. Applications are open and you can apply by calling 1-844-684-6333. To learn more about requirements, click here.
COVID fatigue is real, but we must stay strong in the fight against COVID-19. Please continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and get vaccinated when you can. Even after getting vaccinated, we cannot let our guard down, so it’s still important to continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing in public.
Recently, the Office of Community Relations (OCR) held a vaccination event for Shoppers Food Warehouse employees and their families. The event was held in partnership with the County Health Department, Office of Emergency Management/Homeland Security, UFCW Local 400 and Shoppers Food Warehouse. On Saturday, April 10, 2021, OCR also partnered with The Piscataway Conoy Indian Tribe and the National Guard to bring the vaccine to the Native American community.
Join the Department of the Environment (DoE) in counting down to Earth Day, April 22. Click here for creative ways to support Mother Earth while practicing social distancing or staying home. Also, in celebration of Earth Day, the Department of Environment (DoE) is looking for photos of you or your pets wearing green or surrounded by Mother Nature’s beauty to post on social media. Please email your photo by Tuesday, April 20, to BGarner@co.pg.md.us. Celebrate Earth Day like it’s Every Day!
The Department of the Environment is encouraging residents to get your lawn and garden prepped and ready for spring. Clean up leaves, branches, grass clippings and other yard debris that have accumulated over time. For those receiving County-provided services, curbside yard trim collection occurs every Monday, from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Grass clippings, leaves and other yard trim should be placed in heavy-duty yard paper bags or collection cans with handles and secure lids. Cans should be clearly marked with “yard waste” or “yard trim” to ensure they will be collected. Yard trim in plastic bags will NOT be collected. Branches must be bundled and cannot be larger than 4 feet long, 3 inches in diameter or weigh more than 60 pounds. Click here to watch a video on how to recycle yard trim and organics.
The Prince George’s Animal Services Facility and Adoption Center (ASFAC), Animal Fostering program, allows persons who are unable to commit to a long-term adoption the opportunity to care for an animal on a short-term basis. This program helps save an animal’s life. If you are interested, please call the ASFAC Foster Coordinator at 301-780-7202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact the adoption staff at 301-780-7201.
Leftover medications in your home can lead to accidental poisoning or overdose. The Prince George’s County Health Department encourages you to safely get rid of your expired, unused, and unwanted medicines by bringing them to the District Heights Family & Youth Services Bureau located at 6421 Atwood Street, District Heights, MD, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 24, during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
To ensure COVID-19 safety protocols are followed, this prescription drug drop-off event is drive-through only. For more information, including other drop-off locations throughout the County that day, please visit https://takebackday.dea.gov/.
People who have Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, and the Prince George’s County Health Department is here to help you stay safe and healthy. The County Health Department is offering free classes for the Prevent Type 2 Diabetes program. This year-long curriculum is a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program proven to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. If you or someone you know has prediabetes or other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the County Health Department is encouraging you to take charge of your health as we continue to face the challenges of living through a pandemic.
Classes begin April 20, 2021. Registration is FREE. Late registration closes on May 3, 2021. For more information or to register for the Prevent T2 program, call 301-856-9643 or send an email to WellnessInfo@co.pg.md.us. Once registration is complete, you will receive a follow-up confirmation call or email. For more information, click here.
It is especially important to maintain good health during this pandemic. People who have certain chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, are at an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Join the Prince George’s County Health Department for the latest round of Living Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Program classes. Classes are FREE and will be held virtually, every Thursday afternoon starting May 6, 2021. The Living Well Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is led by trained instructors who help participants make action plans and develop healthier lifestyles.
To sign up for classes, email email@example.com or call (301) 856-9643. The link to the program will be emailed to registered participants prior to the start of the program. For more information, click here.
April is World Autism Month. To embrace those with differing abilities, the staff at the Department of Family Services (DFS) were joined by family members and others around the community to celebrate World Autism Month by wearing blue on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. World Autism Month is used to focus on the stories, triumphs, milestones and provide unwavering acceptance to those with autism. We want to celebrate everyone's differences by providing information and resources to educate and bring more awareness to those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger syndrome.
To also celebrate the month, on April 23 and 30, 2021, the Project HIRE Disability Apprenticeship Program will be hosting a panel discussion on topics such as self-advocacy and empowerment with a focus on those in the disability community. For more information, click here.
The Virginia Military Institute has selected Retired Major Cedric T. Wins as the new superintendent. Major Wins is the first Black superintendent in the school’s 182-year history and grew up right here in Prince George’s County in Hyattsville. We are Prince George’s Proud to congratulate Superintendent Wins! To read more about the new VMI Superintendent, click here.
Congratulations to the Future Monarchs Soccer Club who recently won the 2021 Dallas Cup National Championship! The Dallas Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer tournaments in the nation. The Prince George’s County team beat some of the best soccer teams in the country to earn the national champion title. To learn more about the Dallas Cup and the Future Monarchs’ win, click here.
Congratulations to Northwestern High School seniors Alexa Figueroa and Dennis Martinez on becoming national champions after winning the Harvard University national Spanish debate! Click here to learn more.