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Pines, UMD Engineers Help Prince George’s County Reopening Efforts

President-designate to Lead Education Group; Maryland Transportation Institute to Provide Data

By Robert Herschbach

Kim Building

Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, below, announced yesterday UMD President-designate Darryll J. Pines will head the county's Forward Task Force education subcommittee, and the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) will provide data on travel, health, testing and other metrics for re-opening.

Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, below, announced yesterday UMD President-designate Darryll J. Pines will head the county's Forward Task Force education subcommittee, and the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI) will provide data on travel, health, testing and other metrics for re-opening.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has enlisted the help of University of Maryland experts and resources as it prepares to begin reopening following a stay-at-home order intended to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alsobrooks announced yesterday the county would move to the first phase of the reopening process, as well as the formation of the Prince George’s Forward Task Force to guide policy on economic development, education, health and human services and government operations.

Phase 1 of what she called the “incremental opening” includes lifting the county’s stay-at-home order on June 1, which allows for outdoor dining at restaurants and curbside pickup for retail stores. The county has ha the highest COVID-19 case count in Maryland, numbering 14,773 yesterday, as well as the second-highest total of confirmed deaths, 506.Angela Alsobrooks press conference 5/28/20

UMD President-designate Darryll J. Pines, former dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, will head the task force’s education subcommittee. Meanwhile, the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI), a research hub based at the Clark School, will provide daily metrics on the economy, COVID-19 testing capacity, at-risk populations, travel patterns and potential COVID-19 hotspots.

The data from MTI will support the task force in making recommendations, Alsobrooks told reporters at a press conference.

“The Maryland Transportation Institute is a premier university think tank that offers access to an exciting transportation data platform that we know will be very helpful to us,” Alsobrooks said. Through the partnership with MTI, she said, “the task force will have access to cutting-edge data that shows locations across Prince George’s County that are at or near safe capacity. This location information will help us identify where we need to go to prevent new COVID clusters.”

MTI will provide the county with daily statistics about trends in mobility, social distancing and other health variables, as well as data visualizations on trips throughout the county and statistics on visit trends to businesses, Alsobrooks said.

“We’ll be able to identify hotspots that are prone to new outbreaks, and we’ll also identify patterns of interest so that we can respond to them in real time,” she said.

Home to the largest transportation data and data analytics center in the nation, MTI maintains an interactive COVID-19 impact analysis platform that covers key metrics related to the outbreak. Since its launch on April 13, the platform has tracked a wide range of trends related to COVID-19, including levels of compliance with shelter-in-place orders and drops in social distancing behavior after partial reopenings.

The platform, developed by MTI and the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Lab (CATT Lab), includes a Society and Economic Reopening Assessment tool that provides data, insight and decision support on both reopening readiness and post-reopening situational awareness.

 

 

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