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Prince George's County will not move to Phase 3, despite state reopening Friday

Throughout the pandemic, Prince George's County has delayed each reopening phase behind Maryland's.

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is moving the state into the final phase of reopening Friday, but Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said the county is not there yet, during a news conference on Thursday.

Alsobrooks said there are four cities in the county that are still seeing an uptick in cases and no progress with coronavirus.

Leaders said they are concerned in a resurgence of the virus ahead of the Labor Day weekend. Alsobrooks said that it is important that residents should not be complacent and feel like the pandemic is over.

"We are very concerned about Labor Day weekend," said Alsobrooks. "It is not yet safe for us to do that."

The county has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, reporting the most coronavirus cases out of any Maryland county as of Wednesday at 26,428.

Previous reporting from WUSA 9 shows that at its peak, Prince George's reported more cases than 20 states or territories. That data comes from an analysis of Maryland Department of Health data, the New York Times coronavirus tracker, and U.S. Census Bureau data.

At the end of April into the beginning of May, the MD Department of Health data shows that Prince George's was averaging about a 41% positivity rate as compared to Maryland's 25%.

RELATED: Prince George's County has now had more coronavirus cases than 20 states, but leaders are focused on 'phenomenal' recovery

Credit: Jordan Fischer
A comparison of Prince George's County's positivity rate and Maryland's.

In a July 9 press conference, Alsobrooks said there are multiple reasons why Prince George's fared so much worse than the rest of the state.

“Our community is dense and urban," the County Executive said. "We house one of the largest segments of the federal workforce, along with a good number of our residents are essential workers who had to go to work when everyone else was able to stay home. And thousands of people visit Prince George’s County  every day.”

To combat its trend, the county has moved at a slower reopening pace than the state throughout the pandemic.

While Maryland moved into phase one in May, Prince George's waited until June, about when the state was heading into phase two. 

County Executive Alsobrooks didn't give the green light for phase two until the end of June, when Maryland Department Health data showed that its positivity rate had plummeted to 7%.

“That is a phenomenal recovery that the county has made," the county executive said in July.

As of Tuesday, the county's positivity rate is at 4.4%, with about 100 new cases a day on average.

RELATED: Maryland can enter final stage of reopening Friday, but Montgomery County will stay in Phase 2

Montgomery County has reported the second-highest number of cases in the state. County Executive Marc Elrich announced Wednesday that they would not be moving into phase three.

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