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  • Writer's pictureBeltsville News

From the Office of Council Member Tom Dernoga January 2021

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

District 1 team members, Nicole Rios (left) and Tracy Nwosu (right), readying groceries for delivery to 550 residents’ Thanksgiving family meal.

COVID-19 Updates

As you are aware, the rates for COVID-19 have spiked in MD and Prince George’s County over the past several weeks. In December, Prince George’s County has gone from 700 cases per week in July to over 3,100 cases per week. Specifically, in Beltsville (zip code 20705) there have been 1,774 cases since the start of the pandemic. For the last week in November, 18 new cases were reported in Beltsville.

Testing is again be available in District 1 at the Roseau Medical Center at 14402 Baltimore Avenue, Laurel, MD 20707. Tests are by appointment only Monday through Friday from 8am to noon. Call 301.604.8000 to schedule appointments. For other locations, call Prince George’s 311 for COVID testing sites. No doctor’s note is required.

Vaccines were to begin in MD in late December with the initial 155,000 doses scheduled to be delivered. Category 1A starts with hospital health care workers, 1st responders, and nursing home residents. The next group (Category 1B) continues inoculations of healthcare workers, residents in congregate living, and high-risk individuals with pulmonary disease. Category 2 includes workers in critical infrastructure workers in education, transit, and utilities. Category 3 is the final group to be receive the vaccine. This will happen over a number of months. As information becomes available, I will provide it here and in my weekly emails.

In the meantime, continue to wear your mask, wash your hands frequently, and do not meet in groups larger than 10 inside your homes. With Christmas quickly approaching, our county health department asks that we follow the rules regarding contact and travel.

Development on the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center

Thank you for those who reached out to my office with your comments or who participated in the public meeting on December 2. Your comments and concerns have been incorporated into my official letter of response.

Key areas remain impacts on traffic, air quality, the watershed, and environmental diversity. For those who have not followed this issue, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) has proposed moving to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The new BEP facility will cover 122 acres with a 1 million square foot building and 1,600 employees. Access will be off an entrance on Powder Mill Road. The actual facility is located adjacent to Odell Road and Vansville where the old poultry barns still remain.

The Draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS) is available for review, but the comment period ended December 21. For more information, go to

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

Please keep in touch! Email us at or call 301.952-3887. Se habla Español. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @TomDernogaD1

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