COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Thanks to County Councilman Tom Dernoga for sharing the latest situation about vaccine distribution. I hope you’ll find this information helpful!
We are all frustrated about confusing information surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Constituents keep trying to get accurate information, and my staff and I have been constantly scrambling to get answers and to disseminate accurate information.
The root cause of the problem is the lack of adequate vaccine doses. In addition, the rollout is through multiple entities that do not have integrated programs. Changes and enhancements are being made daily as vaccine supply and locations evolve.
In Maryland, the starting point for distribution is with the State, and Prince George’s County has limited influence on the process. The State is providing for vaccine distribution through (1) hospitals and health care providers, (2) retail pharmacies; and (3) County Health Departments. See below for links. Prince George’s County only has control over vaccine distribution through the County Health Department, although the County is trying to create partnerships with the other distribution entities.
The latest County information will be found here. The latest Statewide information will be found here (including additional vaccine partners servicing our community, such as hospitals and retail sites).
As I stated above, the demand for doses is far greater than the number of vaccines Maryland is receiving from the Federal Government. And, Governor Hogan has expanded the pool of eligible recipients to a far greater number than there will be vaccine doses for a while. We are currently in Phase 1B and Governor Hogan has asked us to move to Phase 1C on Monday. The list of phases is here.
County Executive Alsobrooks held a press conference Tuesday to provide an update on the vaccine distribution and issued a press release summarizing the latest information. You can watch the press conference here.
Residents must now fill out a pre-registration form. To make sure that Prince Georgians who are most vulnerable have access to appointments, the County is resetting all appointments currently scheduled after February 9 at the Sports & Learning Complex. The Health Department will send out notices to those individuals and they will be required to fill out the pre-registration form online to be able to reschedule their appointments. Individuals who have an appointment on February 9 or before should keep their scheduled appointment, and they will not need to fill out the pre-registration form. Anyone who has an appointment for a second dose of the vaccine after February 9 will not have their appointment changed.
When the County has more vaccines available and/or moves to future phases of vaccine distribution, individuals who have pre-registered will be notified when they are eligible, and the Health Department will follow up with links to schedule appointments as they become available, based on vaccine supply. The County is administering approx. 1,000 vaccines per day Monday-Friday at the Sports & Learning Complex. Additional sites are expected to open over the next several weeks, including one in College Park and one in Laurel.
Individual health systems such as Luminis Health Doctors Community Medical Center and University of Maryland Capital Region Health/UMMS also have vaccines to distribute and have separate scheduling links. Luminis Health began distribution for phases 1A and 1B on Tuesday. Each hospital system has its own interest form, as noted.
As of last week, Prince George’s County had distributed 82% of all the vaccines received from the State. The Health Department received a new batch and is working to distribute these vaccine doses. Visit the Vaccine Dashboard for detailed information about vaccine distribution in the County.
My staff and I will continue to update you as we receive additional information.
Please try to be patient and please stay well.
Thomas E. Dernoga

Council to Adopt new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan

At last week’s Council meeting, the City Council discussed the final draft of the 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan and the path forward as we transition to execution.

The plan was developed using inputs from community and stakeholder focus groups, as well as community and staff surveys to identify the wants and needs expressed. The Mission and Vision in the new plan have been revised to reflect City’s aspiration and set a clear inspirational direction for the City and to guide the major objectives the City wants to attain.

A strategic planning method has been utilized to set clear, inspirational 5-Year objectives that have measurable, aspirational key results to align with success.

A Strategic Management process will be implemented allowing us to be more agile, transparent, and focused on achieving our 5-Year plan. This will include creating aligned 1-Year and Quarterly Department objectives and key results each year to achieve our plan.

Tracking progress on objectives and key results provides more transparency on where we are and where we need to go.


Council Plans not to Change Property Tax Rate in FY 2022

At last week’s meeting, the Council got a preview of the FY2022 budget cycle and a review of the Homestead Tax Credit. The staff has also released the draft FY 2022 budget calendar.

The budget worksession is scheduled for Saturday, March 27th. All departments will be scheduled for review. An additional budget worksession may be scheduled on Tuesday, March 30 if necessary. According to Staff, a preliminary review of major revenue sources year-to-date actuals appears in line with the revised (amended) budgets.

It appears that the FY2021 budget, as amended in September 2020 for additional COVID-related revenue reductions is still sustainable and expenditures are as expected.

Based on the preliminary estimates from the County show some increase in the assessed value in FY2022 but it’s a little early now to know a more specific impact on the budget. The goal at this point is to maintain the current property tax rate.

Staff is recommending a 2.0% cost of living adjustment, as negotiated with the union, plus estimates for merit increases where applicable.

Staff also recommends continuing with the 0% cap on the Homestead Tax Credit.


Another School Facilities Surcharge Waiver Request – This Time from the Hub Student Housing

The proposed student housing project “The Hub” at 4210-4220 Knox Road has requested the City to make a recommendation to the Prince George’s County Council that The Hub student housing project be exempted from the imposition of the school facilities surcharge.

The County imposes a school facilities surcharge on new residential development. Housing for the elderly and undergraduate housing in certain locations are exempt. The surcharge is intended to cover anticipated increases in public education services to accommodate the residents of new development.

The surcharge for a project inside the Capital Beltway is $9,770 per unit.

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will discuss The Hub’s request about the school facilities surcharge exemption.


Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Day – Let’s Stand Together..

Today, the nation celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his social and spiritual accomplishments for civil rights in the United States.

Due to the pandemic, the City’s Annual Tribute to Dr. King will not be held in-person this year, however, the City commemorates Dr. King’s legacy with this year’s theme, “Standing Together” – standing together in the fight for social justice and standing together although we are physically apart due to the pandemic.

Signs have been placed throughout the City at City parks and other locations as well as a banner displayed at Duvall Field to commemorate his legacy. Signs can also be seen on the City’s social media.

Please join the City in recognizing the social and spiritual accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with our 30th Annual College Park Tribute that will carry forward the spirit and feeling of hopefulness and strengthen the promise of new beginnings.

For more information, visit the City’s website at https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/mlktribute .

[City of College Park]


GAO Concludes Helicopter Noise Study

Recently, the GAO (The Government’s Accountability Office) has concluded the study about the helicopter noise in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

According to the report, the GAO recommends that the Administrator of the FAA should direct the Office of Environment and Energy to develop a mechanism to exchange helicopter noise information with operators in the D.C. area.

Many of our College Park residents, especially from north College Park, live with the impacts of regular helicopter noise that interrupts sleep patterns, causes their homes to shake, and negatively impacts their quality of life. Disturbances from helicopter noise have been a longstanding problem and many have noted recent increases in the frequency and severity of helicopter noise in their neighborhoods.

Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Anthony Brown (D-MD), and David Trone (D-MD) requested the study in January, 2019.

In July 2017, I requested that a letter be sent to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting that College Park be included in the GAO study of the effect of helicopter noise in the Washington Metropolitan region.

The report recognizes that helicopter noise can potentially expose members of the public to a variety of negative effects, ranging from annoyance to more serious medical issues. FAA is responsible for managing navigable U.S. airspace and regulating noise from civil helicopter operations. Residents of the D.C. area have raised concerns about the number of helicopter flights and the resulting noise.

GAO was asked to review issues related to helicopter flights and noise within the D.C. area. Among its objectives, this report examines: (1) what is known about helicopter flights and noise from flights in the D.C. area, and (2) the extent to which FAA and helicopter operators have taken action to address helicopter noise in the D.C. area. GAO reviewed statutes, regulations, policies, and documents on helicopter noise. GAO analyzed (1) available data on helicopter operations and noise in the D.C. area for 2017 through 2019, and (2) FAA’s approach to responding to helicopter complaints. GAO also interviewed FAA officials; representatives from 18 D.C. area helicopter operators, selected based on operator type and the number of flights; and 10 local communities, selected based on factors including geography and stakeholder recommendations.

You can find the complete report here. Also, more here on the Washington Post.


Phase 1B Vaccine Distribution to Start Next Monday

The County will move to Phase 1B along with the State of Maryland on Monday, January 18, 2021. The graphic shows who is eligible and outlines the process for how residents in Phase 1B can sign up. Individuals who are eligible in Phase 1B can sign up for appointments through http://marylandvax.org.


Gunshot Near Metro

There have been some inquiries about a gunshot incident near the metro. It happened last night at around 10:30 pm. According to the Police, there was a call for shots fired in the woods of 53rd avenue & Lackawanna. street.
Officers responded and saw a male walking with a rifle in his hand. He was arrested. Thanks to our police for doing a very good job!
Please stay safe and have a great weekend!

New COVID-19 Variant – What You want to Know?


Tomorrow’s NCPCA Meeting: A Hotel at the BP Gas Station, Budget Wish List, and More

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

At tomorrow’s NCPCA monthly meeting, developers will make a presentation of their plans for a hotel at the BP station site at Cherry Hill and Rt. 1. Please see the links to the plans here:

Hotel at BP Site Plans
Hotel at BP Site Latest Arch Drawings

The members will then get an update on the Beltway Expansion.

Following that, members will review the 2020’s budget wish list items and potential wish list items for FY2022 with District 1 and 4 Councilmembers Kabir, Kennedy, Mackie, and Mitchell. For reference, the following is a link to the NCPCA wish list for the FY2020 City Budget: NCPCA FY2020 wish list.

Here is the Zoom link to join the meeting.

Meeting ID: 618 549 0686

One tap mobile: 13017158592

Please visit the NCPCA website at www.myncpca.org for previous agendas, meeting minutes, bylaws, and more! 

Membership in NCPCA is open to all adult residents of North College Park, and only members may vote in decisions of the Association. Please complete the membership on the website, and mail it with your dues payment to the address listed on the website.


Grocery Giveaway this Saturday @ 1PM

This Saturday, An Al-Huda School affiliated charity group is partnering with College Park United Methodist Church to bring pantry staples to neighbors. The distribution begins at 1 pm at the Church’s parking lot (9601 Rhode Island Avenue). Please see below for details and share with neighbors. Thank you!


City’s Noise Code May Get Some Changes

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the Council will consider introducing Ordinance 21-O-01, amending Chapter 141, Article I, §141-9 to clarify that prior notice of a violation is not required before a municipal infraction is issued in emergency situations, and situations involving conditions and/or activities that are prohibited due to a declared state of emergency.

Chapter 141, “Nuisances”, Article 1, was adopted by the Mayor and Council to, in part, prohibit whatever is dangerous to life or health; whatever renders air, food, water or drink unwholesome or unfit for the use of people; and whatever odors or exhalations are offensive or dangerous to the public health.

This prohibition is enforced through the municipal infraction process, which also allows the City to request abatement of the violation. Notice prior to issuance of a municipal infraction is required by §141-9 and is used to encourage compliance with the City Code.

However, this provision was not intended to apply in emergency situations that require immediate action. This amendment clarifies that prior notice of a violation is not required before a municipal infraction is issued in emergency situations, and situations involving conditions and/or activities that are prohibited due to a declared state of emergency.

In those cases, a prior notice requirement would impede the immediate resolution of a significant public health danger.

The virtual Public Hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.


A Day of Service in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the College Park Community Food Bank will be offering a Day of Service

With vital support from volunteers, donors, and partners, our community provides food to 300-400 families every week to help address the growing crisis of food insecurity.

How you can get involved:

  • Volunteer to help clean our food storage pantry
  • Volunteer to receive and sort food donations on site
  • Purchase and deliver non-perishables to the Food Bank
  • Host a food drive on your neighborhood block or among your friends

Sign up to volunteer and join us on Monday, January 18 at 9704 Rhode Island Ave in College Park for a meaningful day of service. Two available timeslots: 10:00am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 4:00pm. Food donations can also be dropped off during these times; sign up here.

We hope you’ll join us in honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by serving others in the community.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?” –Martin Luther King


Recent Incidents on Capitol and Emergency Alerts

There may be some heightened concerns regarding community emergency alerts and plans among some of you after events this past week on Capitol Hill.

First, please report any suspicious activity to 9-1-1 immediately. “See something? Say something. ” If you want to share information on social media, please, do so only after reporting suspicious activity to 9-1-1.  Also, let’s avoid spreading rumors and unconfirmed information.

Any emergency alerts or directions, such as evacuation routes, would be situational, depending on the nature and location of an emergency. Prince George’s County Emergency Management and UMD Police send community alerts and directions notices.

City residents can sign up for County “Alert Prince George’s” and UMPD emergency notifications. Directions to sign up for these may be found on the City webpage under “Alerts”.  (at the end of this page)

Please attend next Monday’s Community-Police meeting, where we plan to discuss this and other public safety related issues in College Park. The meeting is open for all College Park residents.

When, 7:30 pm, Monday, January 11, 2020
Join by Zoom – http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice
Join by phone: 3017158592, Meeting ID: 863 9609 7322 Password: 464259

Our Community Police meetings are regularly attended by the police officers who actually patrol our streets and officials who run City’s police programs.

Please make an effort to join, and spread the word. Thank you!


County Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard

In order to keep the community updated on vaccine distribution progress, yesterday, the County launched COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard .

As of this morning, 4,058 Prince Georgians have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This is only less than .5% of the county’s total population of more than 900,000 residents.

The County vaccination webpage provides estimated timelines on each phase to give residents an idea of when they may be eligible to receive the vaccine. Please note that these are estimates and are subject to change as we move forward with this process in the coming weeks.

At a press conference yesterday, the County Executive Alsobrooks said she expects to significantly ramp up our vaccine distribution efforts in the next several days to ensure that Prince Georgians who are in Phase 1A of our vaccine distribution plan can be Proud to be Protected against COVID-19.

The County is currently in Phase 1A of its vaccine distribution plan, with the current limited supply of vaccines going primarily to frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facilities, and first responders. Initial supplies of vaccines went directly to hospitals and pharmacies helping vaccinate staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

Vaccines received by the County Health Department are currently being used to vaccinate frontline workers who will be vaccinating the public, as well as frontline first responders and essential public safety personnel.

The County is opening the Sports & Learning Complex as a vaccination site today, January 7 for first responders in the Fire/EMS Department who have been notified by their supervisors that they are eligible for a vaccine, as well as State employees who are operating the testing site at Six Flags. The County anticipates opening the D. Leonard Dyer Regional Health Center as a vaccination site by January 18, and a site in Laurel by the first week in February.

These sites are not open to the public and will only be available to those who are eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1A and have an appointment.

The County has also worked to identify additional staff to support vaccination efforts, and it now has Health Department nurses, Fire and EMS personnel, school nurses who have volunteered to assist, and contract nurses that have been brought on to ramp up vaccine distribution efforts. In addition, the Maryland National Guard is sending the County medical and administrative personnel to assist in mass vaccinations starting tomorrow, January 7.

Data in the vaccination dashboard comes from the State of Maryland’s immunization information database, ImmuNet. The data for the County total includes vaccinations administered to County residents by facilities in Maryland, including hospitals that have received shipments of COVID-19 vaccines, long-term care facilities receiving vaccinations through the CVS and Walgreens pharmacy partnership, and vaccinations administered directly by the County
Health Department.

Prince George’s County launched its COVID-19 vaccine webpage in mid-December, prior to the COVID-19 Vaccine Tele-Town Hall hosted by County Executive Alsobrooks on December 17. The webpage includes information about the County’s vaccination phased distribution plan, vaccine FAQs, graphics and videos, and the new vaccine data dashboard. The latest updates on the County’s distribution plan will be posted on this webpage, as well as other communications channels from the County. The community can access the COVID-19 vaccine webpage at mypgc.us/COVIDVaccine.

The County’s COVID-19 positivity rate has continued to rise, reaching 11.6 percent during the last week of December. The average daily case rate is also at the critical level, with 41.8 people per 100,000 residents contracting COVID-19 each day. The number of inpatients with COVID-19 has also more than tripled over the past two months

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