The Board is aware of the fast-changing situation in and around Rockville, Montgomery County and New Mark Commons due to changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Montgomery County Schools have closed, employees are beginning to telework, and college students are returning to their families through the end of the current school year.

We are keeping an eye on developments as we contemplate how we can help New Mark get through what is likely to be a difficult time. One decision we have made is to cancel our April 2 Board meeting.

We are also aware that having a specific point of contact can be valuable in reducing miscommunication about New Mark’s responsibilities to the community. For this reason, we have named Board member Laura Berthiaume as the point person for inquiries for coronavirus related matters. Having a point person will allow us to triage the inquiries and suggestions to the correct responder, whether that is Abaris, a particular committee such as the Social Committee, or the entire Board. We cannot know everything that will develop. However, there are a few things we can already anticipate:

  • New Mark common areas will be more crowded. With most people at home all day, every day, there will be more cars parked on the streets and more residents out using the common areas. We will need to adapt to more crowded conditions, while also being aware of safety precautions we should all be taking. We ask that you have extra levels of patience with your neighbors.
  • People may become irritable as cabin fever sets in. Again, please be patient. Go for a walk.
  • Elderly people and people with health needs may need assistance. People over 70 or people with underlying health conditions really should not leave home to go anywhere other than to medically necessary appointments. We may be able to coordinate a neighborhood effort to assist the elderly and ill who would like assistance.

We know this doesn’t cover everything and other issues will arise as this progresses. In the meantime, Laura can be reached at with inquiries, suggestions, and concerns. A few reminders for all:

  • Wash your hands and disinfect commonly touched surfaces frequently.
  • You cannot see who is or is not infected. The minimum safe distance for social interaction is at least 3 feet apart, according to the World Health Organization.
  • If you begin to feel ill, check the Maryland Health Department Covid19 page, and call your doctor.

Keep in mind that if you go to the ER or an urgent care facility or a doctor’s office without calling first and are not infected with Covid19, you will just be putting yourself where you will be likely to become infected.

The New Mark Commons Board