Data: As Prince George’s enters ‘full’ phase 2, covid cases decline steadily

Today, Prince George’s County crosses a milestone in its struggle to contain the local spread of coronavirus. At 5 p.m., June 29, 2020, the county will enter a “full phase two” reopening of county businesses. The move will allow gyms, fitness centers, casinos, shopping malls, spas and tattoo partners may re-open for business, with restrictions. 

But last week, Prince George’s County crossed another milestone in the local fight against covid-19. For the first time since April, the rolling 14-day average count of daily new cases dropped below 100 cases per day. This happened on June 26, 2020.

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Coronavirus stats continue downward trend in Maryland, Prince George’s

At least 57,973 Marylanders have tested positive for coronavirus since the start of pandemic, according to data released June 7 by the Maryland Department of Health. That’s equivalent to roughly 10 cases for every 1,000 residents, statewide. But the number of positive tests reported by the state in the past 14 days, a metric Route 1 Reporter has been tracking, has continued to trend down. According to state data, there were 10,821 positive tests in the past 14 days as of June 7. The last time this number was below 11,000 was late April.

Prince George’s ‘Phase Two’ re-opening could begin June 15

Prince George’s County could enter a “modified phase two reopening” June 15. But that’s only if current, declining trends in county coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations hold steady, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Thursday evening. “We are encouraged by the trends we are seeing in our data since announcing our modified phase one reopening, but we must remain vigilant,” said Alsobrooks. 

According to Alsobrook’s announcement, a modified phase two reopening will allow for the partial re-opening of personal services, outdoor recreation, retail establishments, food establishments and houses of worship. Prince George’s County Health Department will be tracking coronavirus test positivity rates, deaths, hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity as it prepares to make a final determination. Prince George’s County entered a modified “phase one” re-opening June 1.

Maryland covid numbers hold steady as test rate, hospitalizations decrease

Nearly 52,800 Marylanders have been diagnosed with coronavirus, with 13,016 cases diagnosed in the two weeks before May 31, 2020, according to the latest data from the Maryland Department of Health. The two-week population of cases continues to plateau, not moving much even after testing was expanded to individuals without symptoms.

Statewide, the positivity rate for coronavirus testing is dropping persistently. As of May 31, 2020, the statewide positive test rate is 10.9 percent, the lowest level seen since April 15, 2020. Maryland has now conducted 348,773 COVID-19 tests, including 9,412 tests over the 24 hours before May 31, 2020. Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, with positivity rates still above the rest of the state, continue to see steady decreases.

College Park approves $1.7M coronavirus relief fund

College Park City Council unanimously approved a $1.65 million coronavirus relief package designed to aid businesses and provide direct aid to city residents affected by the pandemic’s disruptions. 

The vote took place at College Park’s May 26, 2020, City Council meeting, held virtually. The measure is expected to be funded through federal disaster aid reimbursements. 

The biggest line item in the relief package is a $1 million small business assistance grant program. Only College Park city businesses with 25 or fewer full-time may apply. The program provides up to $15,000 per business for to offset losses from business interruptions or decreased customer demand caused by the emergency measures imposed to try to stem the spread of the disease. The grants are further restricted to commercial entities with no more than 10 outlets.