Prince George’s Co. to lift mask mandate Friday

The mask mandate in Prince George’s County, Maryland, will be lifted Friday May 28 at 5 p.m., County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said in a news conference Wednesday.

Masks will still be required on public transport and in schools, childcare and health care settings.

Alsobrooks made the announcement after touting the latest numbers on the pandemic, which found the county in its best place in more than a year. She said the COVID-19 positivity rate in Prince George’s County is now at 1.9%.

The highest positivity rate in the county was 11% earlier this year. It then fell to 5.5% in April.

That data comes as residents continue to get vaccinated against the virus. More than 327,000 county residents have been fully vaccinated so far, Alsobrooks said.

“Through the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we said repeatedly that we would make it to the other side,” Alsobrooks said.

Despite the county’s updated mask guidance, Alsobrooks said, private businesses can still implement mask requirements and any other safety protocols they find necessary to keep employees and guests safe.

She encouraged county residents to bring a mask with them whenever they leave the house, and urged those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so. Residents can get a COVID-19 vaccine at a walk-up clinic or by making an appointment.

Door to door

Mass vaccination sites in the county are closing as the effort becomes more localized.

The Cheverly Health Center vaccine site closed last week, and the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activities Center will close at the end of Friday, said Dr. George Askew, the county’s deputy chief administrative officer for health, human services and education.

The Southern Regional Technical Recreation Center, at Fort Washington, and the Sports and Learning Complex, in Landover, will still operate, at a capacity of 2,500 vaccinations per day.

Alsobrooks said the county now has a group of people going door to door, offering information on vaccinations and other resources, such as housing assistance. Canvassers will be wearing a bright yellow vest and have an identification badge.

“We’re not waiting for you to come to us; we are actually coming to you,” Alsobrooks said.

These canvassers have information on how to schedule a vaccine appointment, where to go for a walk-up vaccine, rental assistance applications and temporary unemployment assistance.

The county has relaunched the emergency rental assistance program for those who cannot afford rent due to the pandemic.

Alsobrooks said millions of dollars is available for the program, and “more is coming.”

Eviction moratoriums remain in place.

In addition to visiting homes, canvassers have been calling and texting county residents.

Alsobrooks said the canvassing efforts will continue through July.

Youth programs

During the news conference, Alsobrooks said a number of community and youth enrichment programs will resume in the coming weeks and months.

“We are going to make sure that everything we lost in this pandemic will be regained,” Alsobrooks said.

From June through August, children ages 12 to 18 will be able to participate in a variety of activities, including basketball tournaments, bowling, and a cybersecurity and drone camp.

Alsobrooks said the calendar is still being finalized and will include activities both during the day and at night.

The county executive also said there are summer and entry level employment opportunities available to young people.

Alsobrooks encouraged anyone who may have opportunities for the county’s young residents to reach out to her office.

“Please do not overlook these young people this summer,” Alsobrooks said, adding that the goal of these programs is to support the youth and “not to forget any child.”

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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