Guidance, Services, and Resources during the COVID-19 Crisis
Special Announcement for SAFE Center Clients
April 30, 2020
We hope that you, your family, and friends are safe and healthy during these difficult days.
We are providing this packet of updated, important information to help you address the challenges this pandemic presents, from your personal health and wellbeing to your housing and financial concerns, including unemployment assistance.*
Although we are not in the office, we are working, taking new referrals, and providing services from home. We are just a phone call, text, or email away (see our contact information at the end of this guide).
– University of Maryland SAFE Center
*This informational guide is intended to alert you to potential benefits and provide general information and does not constitute legal advice.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, developments continue to change rapidly at the federal, state and local levels. Information contained in this summary is thus subject to change. Please check the relevant websites and sources for the most up to date information as we are not able to provide regular updates.
Table of Contents
- Staying Safe: Public Health Orders
- 2020 Recovery Rebate Tax Credit
- Unemployment Assistance Benefits
- Employment Opportunities
- Housing / Tenant Protections
- Food Assistance / Local Food Banks
- Public Schools & Meal Service Program
- Health & Well-Being
- SAFE Center Staff Contact Information
- SAFE Center Services
STAYING SAFE: PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS
We want to ensure you know that Maryland and the District of Columbia have issued important public health orders that require:
- “Stay at Home” as much as possible. You may leave your home only for essential activities, like getting food, healthcare & medicine, or going to an “essential” job. Please contact us if you have any questions on what qualifies as an essential job.
- Wear a mask, bandana or scarf to cover your nose and mouth while in stores and on public transportation. Children over 9 years of age must also wear face coverings unless they have breathing problems. Children ages 2 to 9 should try to wear a mask. Children under 2 do not have to wear a mask.
- It is ok to get out for fresh air, a walk and exercise, but keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. As of May 6, the state has now expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation in the state on Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties while following social distancing guidelines. Read more.
- All gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited and must be avoided.
You can be fined or even receive a misdemeanor conviction in Maryland for intentionally breaking the above rules.
- Do not consume or otherwise use disinfectant for health purposes or to treat COVID-19. The Maryland Medical Emergency Agency and health and disease control authorities nationwide state that under no circumstances should any disinfectant product be administered into the body through injection, ingestion or any other route.
SPECIAL NOTICE FOR PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY RESIDENTS
Text to 9-1-1 program
Now, residents in Prince George’s County will be able to text 9-1-1 for an emergency if you are unable to speak over the phone. If you can talk, please call, but if you can’t, then text. This new program will help dispatchers better serve residents who may be experiencing an emergency, and it will help save lives during this pandemic. A statewide text to 9-1-1 program will be launched in the future.
2020 Recovery Rebate Tax Credit
If you have not already checked, be sure to determine if you may be eligible for receiving the Economic Impact Payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Basically, the CARES Act provides a payment to single persons of $1,200 with income up to $75,000 and for married couples with income up to $150,000, with $500 per child under age 17. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is sending automatic payments to eligible individuals who have filed federal taxes in 2018 or 2019. Visit Get My Payment to learn of the status of an expected payment. The Non-Filers page allows eligible individuals who (1) have not filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, (2) did not have a bank account when they filed in 2018 or 2019 (or their bank account has changed) to provide updated information necessary to receive the rebates.
REBATES FOR IMMIGRANTS
To be eligible, you must have a valid social security number, and you cannot be a “nonresident alien.”
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents within the guidelines above should be eligible to receive the rebates, except if they have filed a “mixed” tax return listing a spouse or dependent who has only a tax identification number and no social security number.
If you have a valid social security number and have lawful temporary or non-immigrant legal status, such as a T non-immigrant visa, DACA, Deferred Action or Continued Presence, you MIGHT be eligible for the rebates, but this is not clear in the law.
If you are undocumented or do not have a social security number, unfortunately, it appears you will not be eligible for the rebate payments.
If you have any questions about your particular immigration status, don’t hesitate to contact your SAFE Center immigration attorney. For filing, we suggest you contact your tax advisor or we would be pleased to refer you to a tax advisor.
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE RELIEF PROGRAM FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS INELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL & STATE BENEFITS
(For Montgomery County Residents)
Montgomery County is providing emergency relief to families (1) with incomes less than 50% of the federal poverty level and (2) who are not eligible for Federal COVID-19 stimulus checks or State benefits.
Eligible families will receive $1,000 for a family with one child (plus $150 for each additional child up to a maximum of $1,450 per family) early next week.
Approximately $2.5 million will be given out to residents by the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and another $2.5 million will be intended for individuals and families served by nonprofit organizations in the community.
Unemployment Assistance Benefits
ADDITIONAL U.S. FEDERAL ASSISTANCE OF $600 PER WEEK AND 13 ADDITIONAL WEEKS FOR APPLICANTS ELIGIBLE FOR BASIC UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI)
The CARES Act provides an additional $600 per week on top of current regular UI benefits. New claimants and those who are already receiving benefits should automatically receive this benefit for an additional 13 weeks. You should not need to take any additional steps to receive these extended benefits. If you have recently exhausted your benefits, you will be contacted directly, so you can reapply for the additional 13 weeks.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI) FOR THOSE NOT USUALLY ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
This program for workers who lost their employment now includes (1) individuals who are not usually eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance and who cannot work due to COVID-19 (eligible for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefit), and (2) individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, or have insufficient work history.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR IMMIGRANTS
Under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), to be eligible for basic unemployment insurance (UI), you must be authorized to work legally (must have a green card or a valid work permit). You must have employment authorization at the time you apply for UI and also at the time that you had earned the money that your employer paid into the unemployment insurance fund.
Because the additional federal money (additional $600 per week and 13 week supplement) could be considered a federal public benefit, it seems that only people who are U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, asylees, refugees and T Visa holders can receive this supplemental federal unemployment insurance, although this is not absolutely clear in the law.
To file an application for unemployment insurance, please access the website for the state or district in which you worked, not where you live. If you worked in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Labor. If you worked in Washington, D.C., please visit D.C. Works. If you worked in more than one state over the last 18 months, reference Career One Stop to link to each relevant state’s unemployment insurance application.
If you were laid off from your job and are seeking unemployment assistance due to COVID-19, you can visit the following sites for further guidance or contact your case manager or Mari Snyder at 301-370-9164 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
As noted above, our elected officials have issued a “stay-at-home” directive. Only businesses and service providers deemed essential (such as grocery stores, drug stores, healthcare providers, and public transportation) are open and operating, and many have reduced their hours and staff. For those seeking employment during this very challenging time, please contact Mari Snyder, Director of Economic Empowerment, at email@example.com for assistance and see the following employment offices, resources, events and current offers available in our region:
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
Employ Prince George’s has a COVID-19 hourly employee relief fund. You do not need a social security number to apply.
Residents who have been laid off due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can check out EmployPG and also begin applying for a $200 EPG Visa Cash Card today. If you are an hourly employee who has been laid off, see below how to apply!
Click here for a Virtual Job Fair in Prince George’s County.
WorkSource Montgomery is posting current employment opportunities regularly, so check the site frequently. In addition, some employers are scheduling virtual recruitment events through WorkSource Montgomery. To make sure you have access to all virtual opportunities during this time, register on Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) and stay updated on all offerings through the calendar.
STATE OF MARYLAND
The state’s Maryland Workforce Exchange is another site for those seeking employment, listing opportunities by city/county with embedded links to apply.
The city’s D.C. Networks site is a robust resource for current job postings, helpful career support, virtual events, and unemployment resources.
Please thoughtfully consider – and protect – your health and safety if you are working or seeking employment during this “stay-at-home” time. We encourage you to inquire about an employer’s practices to keep their employees safe during this pandemic. All essential businesses should be practicing what our elected officials, at the direction of healthcare experts, have directed – to allow employees to wear masks, scarves or bandanas covering their nose and mouth; to socially distance by 6 feet; to wash hands frequently; and to wear any protective gear needed for the work being performed.
Housing / Tenant Protections
(Updated May 29, 2020)
MARYLAND EVICTION INFORMATION
In Maryland, under temporary court order, landlords cannot evict tenants until further notice. The Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs has expressly stated that this court order protects all tenants, including room renters.
This guide does not address whether room renters would be protected by other limitations on eviction after the court ordered stays are lifted.
If the Maryland court order is lifted before the Maryland state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency are lifted, per Governor Hogan’s order, courts cannot enter eviction orders against tenants who can show through documentation that they have suffered “substantial loss of income” due to COVID-19 or the related state of emergency and catastrophic health emergency, including job loss, reduced pay, or missing work to care for a school-age child who is at home.
During this same period, lenders cannot repossess mobile homes, trailers or boats on which people live.
For additional information or questions about eviction or related matters, please click or call:
- For Montgomery County renters, click here or call the Montgomery County Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs:
- Dial 311 (if calling within Montgomery County),
- 240-777-0311 (if calling from outside Montgomery County), or
- Email their office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For Prince George’s County and Montgomery County renters, call the Housing Initiative Partnership, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency:
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EVICTION INFORMATION
The D.C. Courts have also paused eviction cases while the public health emergency is in effect. Per the D.C. Office of Tenant Advocate COVID-19 State of Emergency: Tenant Rights and Resources, the court-ordered stay protects D.C. tenants who have an oral or written lease.
Tenants who live in a federally financed property might also be protected under a federal law known as the CARES Act moratorium. If the CARES Act applies to your situation, you cannot be served with an eviction notice until July 24, 2020, and you should receive notice/letter that must give you 30 days to leave the property. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has a searchable database including some but not all federally financed properties.
- For DC renters, click here for more information or call the C. Office of Tenant Advocate at 202-719-6560 or the Housing Counseling Services, Inc., a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, at 202-667-7006 (or send an email to email@example.com).
- If you leave a voicemail message at any of these numbers, be sure to state your name, phone number (or your email if you are not able to leave a phone number), and the reason for your call, including if you are facing eviction/housing loss.
While these orders and laws prohibiting eviction are in place, landlords cannot lockout tenants, require them to move out, or shut off gas, electricity or water. If this happens, tenants can call the police non-emergency number:
- Montgomery County: 301-279-8000
- Prince George’s County: 301-352-1200
- District of Columbia: 202- 727-9099
If you are a SAFE Center client and have questions or concerns because you have:
- Received an eviction notice or are being threatened with eviction,
- Are being asked to enter into a rent repayment agreement about which you have any concerns,
- or have concerns not addressed here
Please contact us immediately so that we can refer you to a legal services provider.
EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Montgomery, Prince George’s counties, and D.C. have approved funding for emergency rent/eviction assistance. Each program has its own eligibility requirements. Due to the high demand, these program funds could be quickly exhausted.
Renters in need of emergency rental assistance who might be eligible are encouraged to call or apply as soon as possible to learn about the application process and required documentation.
If these programs are temporarily closed, renters are encouraged to check the program website daily for updates (unless otherwise indicated on the program website). Room renters appear to be eligible for at least one program in each jurisdiction.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Montgomery County Council has approved funds for short-term rent assistance for low- and moderate-income households who cannot pay all or a portion of their rent because of COVID-19 or the public health emergency.
The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) will accept applications for the COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 1, through 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5.
- The COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program provides partial rent support for Montgomery County residents that have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
- If eligible, approved households may receive a maximum of $500 per month for three months, paid to their landlord.
- For program FAQs, including eligibility and document requirements click here (English) or here (Spanish).
- Click here for information on how to apply online or by delivery to designated drop box. The online application will be posted on June 1. You can see a PDF of the application by clicking here (English) or here (Spanish). Applications will NOT be accepted by email.
DHHS Housing Stabilization Services provides help for emergency housing needs, including homelessness prevention services and financial assistance with eviction, foreclosure, and utility disconnection.
- Assistance is available for Montgomery County residents unable to pay all or a portion of their rent because of COVID-19 or the public health emergency. Additional requirements may apply.
- Renters with leases and room renters are eligible to apply.
- To apply, call 240-777-4550 or 240-777-3075.
If your family receives a housing subsidy through the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), you may qualify for emergency rent assistance directly through HOC. To learn more, click here or call 240-627-9400.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
Prince George’s County has temporarily been suspended due to the number of applications received.
For more information,:
- You can apply online by clicking here (intake form)
- Dial 211 (if calling from within PG County)
- Call 301-864-7161.
Prince George’s county residents facing housing loss can also call the Prince George’s Department of Social Services Homelessness Prevention Program at 301-909-6362.
However, please continue to check their website at Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP) for more information as to when the assistance will be reopened.
Brief overview of the program:
- Qualified applicants may be eligible for a maximum of up to $1,800.00 per month (for rent and utilities) for up to three months.
- Click herefor specific income and other eligibility requirements and documents. As stated, the income cutoff for a household of one appears to be $54,350 (80% of the area median income based on household size).
- If you rent a room, you may be eligible.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
D.C. residents can apply for emergency rent assistance through the programs described below (subject to eligibility requirements).
- DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Program. TBRA funds are available to help low-income renters, in affordable housing communities, who have lost income during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- Click here for renter and building eligibility requirements and document information.
- To be eligible, renters cannot earn more than 60% of the Median Family Income for the region (per chart, it appears you cannot make more than $51,000 annually (for a household of one) to qualify) and must live in a rental property with 50 or fewer units.
- DC residents can apply for TBRA funds by calling:
- Housing Counseling Services – (202) 667-7713
- Latino Economic Development Center – (202) 588-5102
- DC Department of Human Services Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). ERAP provides qualified households facing eviction with funds for back rent (and in some cases, security deposit and first month’s rent).
- To apply, you must be a DC resident and earn less than 125% of the monthly federal poverty level based on household size. Per the online application, it appears that your monthly income must be less than $1,329.17 for a household of one. Click here to learn more. Additional eligibility requirements may apply.
- To apply by phone for intake appointment click here (see second page for a list of organizations, phone numbers and intake hours).
- To apply online for an intake appointment, click here.
- If you are a DC resident, you can also call the Housing Counseling Services (HCS) Homelessness Prevention Program at 202-667-7339or the HCS main intake line at 202-667-7006 to find out if you qualify for these or other programs.
- When leaving a voicemail for HCS, be sure to provide your name, phone number (or email), and state if you are facing eviction/housing loss and are in need of emergency rental assistance.
Housing Counseling Services also administers the Metropolitan Housing Access Program, which provides services – including specialized rent assistance programs, for persons living with HIV/AIDS in D.C., PG and Charles County, MD. Persons can call HCS Homelessness Prevention Program at 202-667-7339 to request more information about this program.
RENT INCREASES AND FEES PAID IN ADDITION TO RENT
In Montgomery County, residential landlords can’t increase rent more than 2.6% during the public health emergency and for a period of 180 days thereafter (applies to rent increases due to take effect after April 24 and to licensed residential rentals (not to those renting a room in an owner-occupied house)). As of this writing, PG County does not appear to have prohibited or limited rent increases.
In D.C., landlords cannot increase rent during the public health emergency or for a period of 30 days thereafter (further information needed as to whether this applies to room renters). In addition, under a new D.C. law, if your housing provider temporarily stops providing an amenity that you pay for in addition to your rent (e.g. fitness center, business center, community room, etc.), your provider must refund the proper portion of the amenity fee to reflect lost use of the amenity. If your housing provider stops providing a service or facility that is lawfully included in your rent, then your housing provider is not required to reduce the rent.
PAYMENT OF RENT
Tenants are still responsible for paying rent. Tenants who cannot afford to do so should write or call their landlord to let them know they can’t pay all or a portion of their rent because of COVID-19 and the public health emergency (assuming that’s true).
- The Augrented Blog has a tool(powered by DocAssemble) to help tenants write this type of letter.
- The Housing Initiative Partnershipmay also be able to provide help for those living in Montgomery or PG county. Tenants should document and save records showing:
- the amount of rent they have paid (including past payments),
- that they are communicating with their landlord about why they are unable to pay all or a portion of rent each month (i.e., that they can’t pay because of COVID 19 and/or the public health emergency), and
- any documentation showing loss of income because of COVID 19 and/or the public health emergency. Click here for additional general guidance for tenants unable to pay rent.
If tenants are asked to agree to specific repayment terms, tenants can seek guidance from the offices listed in the bullets at the end of the Eviction section (above), based on where they live. If tenants have any concerns about the repayment agreement, including their ability to repay in time, tenants are encouraged to seek legal advice (see last bullet of Eviction section).
D.C. Legal Aid FAQs on Tenants Rights During the COVID-19 Emergency note that is generally a good idea to talk to a lawyer before signing any written agreement.
Under a recently passed D.C. law, some (and possibly all) D.C. rental providers are required to allow tenants to enter into a rental payment plan for unpaid rent due during the covered period if the tenant has notified the rental provider that they are unable to pay rent because of the public health emergency and are not otherwise qualified to pay reduced rent, per below. Additional protections apply, including that any delinquent rent subject to a payment plan cannot be reported to a credit bureau.
Some D.C. tenants may qualify to pay reduced rent, but only if:
- the landlord reduces their mortgage payment under a D.C. law (COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 20, D.C. Act 23-286), which allows certain borrowers who demonstrate financial hardship because of COVID-19 to qualify AND
- the tenant notifies the landlord that they can’t pay all or a portion of rent due because of the public health emergency.
If this provision applies, the landlord can still require the tenant to repay any unpaid amount within 18 months or when the lease ends, whichever is sooner
LATE FEES AND OTHER ACTIONS
In Montgomery and PG counties, landlords can charge fees and penalties for late payment unless the CARES Act moratorium applies. In D.C., landlords cannot charge tenants late fees for any period during which the public health emergency is in effect (or possibly longer period if the CARES Act applies).
In Montgomery and PG counties, landlords can still send notices and try to collect past due rent, send notices of eviction and file new court actions for eviction or money judgment for failure to pay rent.
In D.C., while it appears that landlords can still send notices and try to collect for past due rent, they cannot file new eviction cases during the public health emergency and for a period of 60 days thereafter (the law states that it applies as of March 11 and, therefore, might void eviction cases filed between March 11 and the date this law was enacted).
MARYLAND RENTER TAX CREDIT
Maryland renters may qualify for a tax credit (a check of up to $1,000). To apply, visit the Renters Tax Credit application website to determine eligibility and submit your application online or by mail. Applications must be submitted by September 1, 2020. The Housing Initiative Partnership can help Montgomery County and PG county residents to apply. Qualified Montgomery County renters will also be automatically enrolled to receive a 50% matching Montgomery County tax credit.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that utility companies are not permitted to shut off utilities such as electricity, gas, and water nor charge late fees during this crisis period. If you have any problems paying these bills, please contact your utility companies to request an extension of your bill payment:
- Customer Care team is available by phone at 202-833-7500 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- For electric outages and emergencies, call: 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662)
(For water and sewage questions)
- For billing, contact WSSC Water’s Customer Service Center at 301-206-4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you have any emergency with your service, contact the emergency service number at 301-206-4002 or email@example.com
- For billing concerns, contact Customer Service Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m, Saturday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m at 1-844-927-4427.
- Gas Emergency Line: 1-844-927-4427 – Select option 1
If you smell gas, leave the area immediately, then call the Gas Emergency Line or 911.
Food Assistance / Local Food Banks
(See School Section for Student Meal Service Program)
MARYLAND & D.C.
- SNAP – SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
- CAPITAL AREA FOOD BANK HUNGER LIFELINE
- The Hunger Lifeline will help you find local pantries, kitchens serving free meals, and other organizations that can assist you with emergency food assistance.
- Call: (202) 644-9807
- Manna Food Center
Call 301-424-1130 to make an appointment by 3 PM the day before you want to pick up.
- Gaithersburg HELP
301 Muddy Branch Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Call 301-216-2510 #1 if you are in need of food assistance.
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
- East Pines Community Center
- Every Wednesday at 12:00 pm
- 5819 East Pine Drive, Riverdale
- Grocery and meal distribution by SEED and World Central Kitchen
- $15-$25 Every Week for Residents of the Town of Riverdale Park
- All residents of the Town of Riverdale Park who are in need of assistance can receive $15-$25 every week to spend at the Riverdale Park Farmers Market,
- Every Thursday, from 3pm – 7pm. Learn more and apply.
To Access additional food assistance resources (updated daily by the Food Equity Council), visit: http://pgcfec.org/multimedia/latest-news/item/66-food-assistance-resources-for-residents-impacted-by-covid-19.html
If you are able to pay for groceries but are not able to leave your home, Rotary International can assist. Call their hotline at 240-781-6586.
Public Schools & Meal Service Program
Maryland State Superintendent of Education Dr. Karen Salmon announced that all Maryland public schools will remain closed until Friday, May 15. Distance learning is in effect.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Meal Service Program & Meal Sites (effective April 20)
Beginning April 20, 2020, MCPS will adjust its meal service program from operating five days a week to a four-day-per-week schedule. This adjustment is being made in an effort to ensure student and staff safety, and to reduce opportunities for the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Meal sites will operate as normal on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. On Wednesdays, MCPS will provide two days’ worth of meals. On Thursdays, all meal sites will be closed. Meals will be provided from 11a.m.-1 p.m.
Additionally, MCPS will distribute printed instructional materials at meal sites every Wednesday beginning April 22, 2020. These packets will provide mathematics and literacy content for elementary and secondary students.
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Meal Service Program & Meal Sites
Prince George’s County Public Schools students can pick up a week’s worth of “grab and go” meals in fewer visits now (see link). Meal pick-up will occur twice a week going forward. Students can get meals for two days on Mondays and three days on Wednesdays.
Breakfast, lunch and a snack are available at 43 sites. Parents may not pick up meals for students who are unable to come to the site by showing a student ID or report card.
Meals are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Parents and guardians are not required to accompany students nor are students required to show ID.
In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), all schools will remain closed and students will participate in learning at home through the end of the school year on Friday, May 29.
If you have a child in the Washington D.C. Public Schools, please see the Meal Service Program’s list of Meal Sites and the public transportation available Metro Bus Lines for School Meal Program.
Health & Well-Being
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT COVID-19 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided the following guidance regarding the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus. These symptoms or combination of symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
WHEN TO SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION
If you have any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
SPECIAL NOTICE FOR PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY RESIDENTS
Text to 9-1-1 program
Now, residents in Prince George’s County will be able to text 9-1-1 for an emergency if you are unable to speak over the phone. If you can talk, call, but if you can’t, then text. This new program will help dispatchers better serve residents who may be experiencing an emergency, and it will help save lives during this pandemic. A statewide text to 9-1-1 program will be launched in the future.
If you suspect that you have been infected by COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control recommends that you call your physician or your local hospital first, so that you can be provided with directions about what to do when you arrive.
If you currently do not have a physician or are not familiar with your local hospitals, you can contact the following numbers to receive support and direction as to where to go for medical care and testing:
- Mary’s Center: 844-796-2797
- Prince George’s County Local Health Department: 301-883-6627
- Prince George’s County Mental Health Crisis Line: 301-429-2185
- Montgomery County: 240-777-4000
- Montgomery County Mental Health Crisis Line: 301-738-2255
- Call 211 for Maryland Connect
FORENSIC EXAMS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
Prince George’s County
University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center
The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center remains open and is providing forensic exams for victims of sexual assault.
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
Forensic medical services including examinations, treatment of physical injuries, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and treatment, and pregnancy prevention are all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. Appointments with the Forensic Medical Unit for direct treatment can be made by calling 240-826-6225.
HEALTH INSURANCE OPEN ENROLLMENT UNTIL JUNE 15
If you live in Maryland, The Maryland Health Connection has open enrollment for uninsured persons to be able to apply for health insurance until Monday, June 15. To apply, call 1-855-642-8572 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. or apply online at: www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.
If you live in the District, more information and applications are available online at D.C. Healthlink. Please contact your case manager for assistance.
SAFE Center Staff Contact Information
Name of Staff Role Contact Information
- Susan Esserman, Founder & Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laura Ardito, Deputy Director: email@example.com | (301) 458-0049
- Heidi Alvarez, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org | (301) 887-3398
- Amelia Rubenstein, Director of Programs & Research – email@example.com | (443) 745-1460
- Jatnna Gomez, Case Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org | (410) 200-6864
- Marciel Rojas Rosario, Case Manager: email@example.com | (410) 200-3063
- Karina Velasco, Case Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delmy Alvayero, Director of Clinical Services: email@example.com | (410) 200-1747
- Mari Snyder, Director of Economic Empowerment: firstname.lastname@example.org | (301) 370-9164
- Vasu Moodley, CCMA AmeriCorps VISTA – email@example.com
Immigration Legal/Criminal Justice Advocacy
- Jacqueline Bradley-Chacon, Senior Immigration Counsel: firstname.lastname@example.org | (410) 200-4695
- Rebeca Garcia Gil, Immigration Attorney: email@example.com | (410) 829-5017
SAFE Center Services
The SAFE Center will continue to operate and provide services over the phone and by email to our clients during our regular business hours: Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES (COUNSELING)
- Counseling appointments will be completed over the phone.
- If you would like to schedule a new appointment, please call or contact Delmy Alvayero.
CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
- Case Management appointments will be completed over the phone.
- Case Managers will be able to provide assistance with the following services:
- Assistance and information for online applications for emergency health insurance, food stamps, temporary cash assistance for families with children, rental assistance program, utility assistance, and unemployment insurance.
- Information about local food bank programs
- Information about medical care
- Information about rental assistance program
- Referrals for trafficking assistance program
- Assistance with safety planning
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY AND OTHER LEGAL NEEDS
- Staff will be available to continue working on expungement of criminal records applications.
- Referrals to other legal services providers in order to address other legal needs.
- Assistance with protective order applications and crime victim compensation.
IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES
- Staff will be available to continue working on completing clients’ immigration applications over the phone and over email.
- Some of the services to be provided over the phone include:
- Completing your biographical information on the application, review of your statement in support of your application, legal consultation about your case.
- If you have any concerns about an upcoming immigration court date, please contact your attorney as soon as possible.
- If you would like assistance to search and apply for jobs, please contact Mari Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-370-9164 to request assistance.
- The Economic Empowerment team will be available to:
- Assist with job searches, applications, resumes and interview preparation.
- Help apply for unemployment insurance (Please note if you prefer to communicate in Spanish.)
If you need any other kind of assistance not listed, please contact the main number at 301-314-7233. One of our staff members will be available to provide support. If voicemail picks up, please leave a message, and we will get back to you on the same day.