UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — Prince George’s County will not reopen Friday at 5 p.m. when the governor will lift Maryland’s stay at home order. Instead, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks issued a stay at home order for Prince George’s County through June 1.
Alsobrooks said that hospitalizations are still increasing in the county and the county also see nine coronavirus-related deaths a day.
“As you all are all aware, Governor Hogan announced yesterday that his stay at home order will be lifted with restrictions still in place on crowd size facial coverings and social distancing. He also announced that the counties may keep restrictions in place if they are not ready to open,” Alsobrooks said. “we are very much still in the thick of this virus we are seeing the case counts are increasing. We’re seeing that hospitalizations, have likewise not declined. We are averaging in Prince George’s County nine deaths from COVID-19 per day.”
She said the county doesn’t have what the governor said it needs to reopen.
“Quite frankly we can’t reopen because we don’t have the resources that we need to do so safely. What this means is that we have made certain requests, and that we have not received the resources that we need to safely reopen,” she said.
Although she said the state has been very supportive, Alsobrooks said the county still doesn’t have enough equipment.
“Put simply, we need the state to do his part just like it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure that the state has the resources it needs. So it is the state’s responsibility to make sure that all of these jurisdictions likewise have the resources that we need to be able to move on into open our jurisdiction safely,” she said. “At this point, we don’t have it, we do not have the gowns that we have needed. We do not have enough PPE. We don’t have enough tests to expand the capacity for what we need. We don’t have enough contact tracers, and these are metrics that were set out by the governor. And what I can tell you is that Prince George’s County at this moment does not have the critical resources that will be necessary for us to meet those metrics, Prince George’s County residents are not just Prince Georgians, they’re Marylanders.”
But she said it’s not about blame and she’s very willing to work with the governor and federal partners to make sure citizens stay safe.
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Alsobrooks said the county lost one of their own employees to coronavirus as well this week.
“I also would like to offer my condolences to my colleagues in the health department, we, unfortunately, lost one of our colleagues to COVID-19 this week,” Alsobrooks said. “This particular debt has had a serious toll on our colleagues there and I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family, as well as to our other colleagues who are at the health department, doing their level best to get us through this crisis.”
Health Officer Dr. Ernest L. Carter got emotional talking about the loss of one of his employees before he discussed why Prince George’s County will remain under a stay at home order.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of our fallen employee. She was an excellent employee she stepped up to the plate…” Carter said, as he got emotional.
Dr. Carter said Prince George’s County had its highest number of hospitalizations over the weekend and have more than 100 people in the ICU at this time.
“We’re also beginning to see a hopeful trend in cases, the rate of the increase of our cases has been slowing down consistently, week by week. And we’re hopeful that we’re getting toward a flattening,” he added.
Dr. Carter said he would need to see a two-week decline in deaths and hospitalizations, increase capacity for testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment for businesses and frontline workers before the county could reopen safely.