On Tuesday, March 2, Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID-19 vaccinations have expanded to include Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C.
The Department of Health is providing this information on their website and a recorded hotline message, at 301-609-6710. The State of Maryland now has a call center number, which is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy.
A drive-through testing site is available every Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium, and appointments are required in advance by scheduling online.
Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on county teachers and other school staff receiving the vaccination and reopening plan. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and reminders to continue to wear masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings of family and friends.
- Chief Equity Officer Renesha Miles provided a presentation on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Actions for 2021 and 2022 include visibility for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); expanded training for Government Alliance on Race and Equity cohorts; quarterly DEI learning for county employees; and succession planning to include departmental action plans and pipeline development.
- Economic Development Department and Griffin & Strong provided an update on the Charles County Disparity Study. Currently, tasks underway include an online survey of business owners, which closed March 1; collecting and analyzing anecdotal evidence; and preparing databases to analyze results.
- Chief of Capital Services John Stevens provided a project update on Western Parkway Roadway Infrastructure Projects. Phase 1, 2, 3A-1, and 3A-2 have been completed. Phase 3A-3 is expected to be complete in August 2022 and Phase 3B is expected to be complete in August 2023.
Commissioners also approved the following items:
- A request to change bylaws for the Area Council on Aging.
- A request to set a public hearing on the Amendments to 2011-2021 Solid Waste Management Plan virtually for Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m.
- A memorandum of understanding between the Friends of Maxwell Hall and the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism for the Maxwell Hall Park in Hughesville.
- Appointed Maya Coleman to the Planning Commission.
- Appoint Damion Trasada to the Board of Appeals.
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell discussed the 2021 legislative bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including House Bill 1018, House Bill 1024, House Bill 1061, House Bill 1072, House Bill 1081, House Bill 1060, House Bill 655, Senate Bill 113/House Bill 262, and Senate Bill 475/ House Bill 325.
Commissioners approved a motion to send a letter of opposition for House Bill 655 and a motion to send a letter of opposition for House Bill 1060 as written but would welcome reconsidering with amendments for House Bill 1060. Commissioners will be accepting spring legislative proposals until March 26, 2021.
Next Commissioners Session: March 9, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.