Task force makes more suggestions for Prince George’s Co. pandemic recovery

A task force formed in May has made several new suggestions for how Prince George’s County can best recover from the pandemic.

Tuesday’s report, titled “A Redefined Future,” is the third from the Prince George’s Forward task force, and its focus is on longer-term action. The task force’s first two reports focused on “Actions Today” and “Visions for Tomorrow.”

The report makes 29 recommendations across five categories: economic recovery; education recovery; health recovery; government operations, and human and social services recovery.

Among its suggestions on health recovery: Review the county Health Department’s needs and “capability gaps,” to create a sustainable budget and “modernize operations and programs.” The task force also recommends collecting and storing patient health information in a database “to allow clinicians to track patients’ conditions over time.” It also calls for using trusted community influencers who have large followings to help with messaging.

For economic recovery, the task force called for developing a workforce-development strategy that would, for example, connect smaller businesses with local college graduates. It also called for improving the regulatory process and developing any other strategies to create a resilient economy that can support sustainable growth and survive downturns.

For human and social services recovery, the task force recommends making Wi-Fi access available 24/7 “using public facilities and by adding public hot spot outposts.” It also urges the county to create an interactive application that addresses food-related issues, with information on such things as food pantries, farmers markets and giveaways. And the task force challenges the county to earn an AARP “Age Friendly County” designation by 2030.

With government operations, the task force calls for securing internet access for telework, by expanding the distribution of smartphones and hot spots. It also urges converting more services to online.

And finally on education, the task force calls on beginning the work to expand internet access in underserved areas. It also suggests an online forum that can “formalize peer-peer/parent-parent supports” and serve as a platform to improve feedback.

(The county said, “Many of the recommendations are already in progress or have been completed.”)

Members of the task force include former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and University of Maryland President Darryll Pines.

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.

Jack Pointer

Jack Pointer is a writer and editor with a variety of news and publishing experience, including more than a decade at The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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