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Prince George’s Mandates Coronavirus Testing for All Public Safety Employees

Prince George’s County’s top health official is requiring all public safety employees to take a COVID-19 test to prevent spread through interacting with county residents during their work.

Department heads from police, fire and EMS, homeland security and corrections departments were all notified about the new requirement, which County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks’ office confirmed.

“We are testing all of our public safety employees because they interact with the public on a daily basis,” County Health Officer Dr. Ernest Carter said in a statement. “We are taking this proactive step because we know that individuals can be asymptomatic and spread the virus and we want to have a baseline.”

During a briefing last week, Alsobrooks said the county’s overall positivity rate fell from 43% in April to just under 7% during the last week of June. She called the shift “astonishing.”

Carter said county officials want to keep it that way.

“It is important to know the status of our public safety employees so we can do all we can to ensure that they are not exposing the public to the virus and to ensure that we can continue to maintain continuity of operations of our government. At this time, we have sufficient testing capacity to undertake these efforts,” he said.

Alsobrooks’ office also said future testing schedules have not yet been finalized.

As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Ken Duffy. Click here for the WTOP News website.