LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, Jan. 11, the Board of County Commissioners discussed rescheduling the public hearing on Proposed Ordinance 2021-22 Promulgation of a Local Health Regulation Requiring the Use of Face Coverings to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19. County Commissioners voted 5-0 to hold an emergency public hearing virtually on Tuesday, Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m.

Open Session Briefings 
• Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County.

o There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. For a list of county vaccination clinics and testing sites, visit the Department of Health’s website.

o There is now a COVID-19 testing site at the Regency Furniture Stadium (11765 St. Linus Drive, Waldorf) daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics and testing sites available, visit the State of Maryland’s website.

o University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Communications Director Craig Renner and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Moser provided an update on declaration of state of emergency for the hospital, current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Residents are reminded to only go to the hospital for emergencies and to visit their primary physician or urgent care facilities for minor illness, such as coughs, colds, and low-grade fevers.

o Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ COVID-19 contact tracing process and case statistics.

o Charles County Sheriff’s Office Director of Detention Center Brandon Foster and Chief of Staff Brian Eley provided an update on the Charles County Detention Center and how the agency is addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.

o Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which includes continuing social media monitoring and response to media inquiries.

• Chair of the Compensation Commission William Johnson and Deputy County Attorney Elizabeth Theobalds provided a presentation on the Compensation Committee Report and Resolution. County Commissioners approved three motions, including to accept recommendations of Compensation Commission, introduce Bill 2022-01, and to set a virtual public hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m.

Approval Items
Commissioners also approved:
• A fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $83,920 to facilitate the upgrade of EnerGov and to improve functionality, productivity, troubleshooting, and to better serve Charles County residents.
• The draft revisions to the Economic Development Advisory Board bylaws.
• The Resolution 2021-26 An Amendment to the 2016 Comprehensive Plan- Lands Surrounding Maryland Airport.
• A request to schedule a public hearing on the Comprehensive Solid Management Plan on Wednesday, Feb. 9.

Chief Equity Officer Renesha Miles provided a quarterly update on the work the Chief Equity Office is doing to normalize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for Charles County Government. These efforts include facilitating constructive conversation about DEI; promoting awareness of DEI training, programs, and initiatives; and creating a shared understanding and establishing the importance of DEI.

Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided an update on the three-step stormwater management process for agricultural clearing options. Options staff presented include exempting clearing that is done for an agricultural use; eliminating the three-step process and only requiring an applicant to obtain a Development Services Permit to address water quantity and obtain a Soil Conservation Water Quality Plan to address water quality; or maintaining current practices requiring an applicant to undergo the three-step process. County Commissioners voted to approve the first option, provided the farm activity remains active for 20 years.

• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and Beyond
• National Mentoring Month
• National School Choice Week
• Catholic Schools Week

Public Hearings
On Wednesday, Jan. 12, County Commissioners held a virtual public hearing on Bill 2021-12 Zoning Text Amendment 21-163, Revising Mixed Use Zone Development Standards in the Federal Opportunity Zone. County Commissioners adopted the bill.

Next Commissioners Session: Jan. 25 and 26, 2021

Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.