As Maryland’s governor eyes a gradual reopening for the state as a whole, Prince George’s County officials say residents should continue to observe social distancing guidelines as the coronavirus spreads.
“We are not quite there yet,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said Friday morning about reopening plans.
An average of nine Prince George’s County residents are dying every day of the virus, Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter. Now is not the time to reopen the county, he said.
“We don’t be ready as long as we have increasing daily COVID-19 cases,” Carter said.
Alsobrooks pushed back against the notion that county residents are not observing social distancing guidelines. Rather, residents have responded “beautifully,” she said. The county is part of a major metropolitan area and has a large number of “imported” cases,” she said.
Additionally, public schools superintendent Monica Goldstein announced a countywide virtual high school graduation ceremony. Actor Taraji P. Henson, an Oxon Hill High School graduate, will be the commencement speaker on a two-hour program broadcast May 30 on D.C.’s ABC television station.
“I hope our students feel our love and our pride for all that they have accomplished,” Goldstein said.
Singer Kenny Lattimore, NFL player Joe Haden and broadcaster Joe Clair also are set to speak.
County officials said the number of emergency room visits has been alarmingly low. They have heard reports of people not seeking the care they need, including for heart attacks.
“If you are having a medical emergency, please don’t let COVID-19 prevent you from getting the medical care you need,” Alsobrooks said.
As of Friday morning, 8,516 cases of the virus have been diagnosed in Prince George’s County. At least 309 people have died. Montgomery County comes in second place for the number of cases confirmed and first place for the number of deaths.
Here’s where we are Friday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area.
More than 55,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed across the region. At least 2,431 people have died. Go here to see the data in detail.
The Maryland National Guard will perform a flyover Friday afternoon to salute first responders and essential workers. It’s set to begin at 1:45 p.m.
The Prince George’s County executive is set to address the public at 10 a.m. D.C.’s mayor will speak at 11 a.m. And Virginia’s governor will speak at 2 p.m. You can watch live on NBCWashington.com or in the NBC Washington app.