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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

From the Office of Council Member Tom Dernoga February 2021

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

Council Member Tom Dernoga delivering groceries in Beltsville on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Day of Service.

COVID-19 Updates

As you all are aware, the rates for COVID-19 have spiked in Maryland and Prince George’s County over the past several weeks. Here in Prince George’s County in January, we have gone from 700 cases per week in July to over 3,170 cases the first week of January.

Vaccination in Maryland began in December. On January 18, citizens over 75 became eligible for the vaccine, and on January 25 citizens over 65 became eligible. There is no single sign-up sheet for various locations. Here are the best we have located as of mid-January:

  • State of Maryland Health Department, allows you to schedule your own appointments currently available at the Prince Georges Sports & Learning Center in Landover

  • University of Maryland Medical System,, allows you to fill out a request form.

  • Giant Food has a site in Burtonsville as one of the commercial sites. Please call it for more information, 301.421.4493.

So, while you are waiting for your group to be eligible, please continue to wear your mask, wash your hands frequently, and keep social distancing.

Development on or Near the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC)

My last article highlighted the proposal of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s desire to relocate from Washington, DC, to the BARC. Since then, two additional proposals have moved forward that would further impact BARC. They are outlined below.

Development Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Site at BARC

For those who have not followed this issue, the FDA is proposing to add an additional 458,000 square feet of office space and increase its employees at this site from 300 to 700 upon completion of initial work and ultimately up to 1,800 employees on site. This project is in the scoping stage, which precedes a full Environmental Impact Statement. I am interested in hearing your comments and concerns so I may include them in my formal response—send an email to You may also submit your comments directly to the GSA project office ( Comments are due February 11, 2021.


The MAGLEV project is moving forward and has just issued the Draft Environmental Impact Statement ( The MAGLEV includes two terminal stations (Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD) and one intermediate station at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall Airport). The system requires additional facilities to operate including one train set maintenance facility (TMF), two maintenance of way (MOW) facilities, and other various smaller ancillary facilities to be located in Beltsville in BARC and in Laurel. The proposed routes for the MAGLEV are along the east and west sides of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The section through Prince George’s County District 1 would be above ground. Again, I am interested in hearing your comments and concerns so I may include them in my formal response—send an email to You may also submit your comments directly to the MAGLEV project office at its online site listed above. The comment period ends April 22, 2021.

Updates on District 1 Development

To keep up with what development has been requested in District 1, my office keeps an active spreadsheet which you may access at

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