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April 17, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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To download notes, click here.

National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 36 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • On Thursday, President Trump released a set of non-binding guidelines that envision a slow return to work and school over weeks or months. Based on each states condition, the guidelines guarantee that any restoration of American society will take place on a patch work basis rather than a one size fits all prescription from Washington.  His message to the governors was that they will make the decisions for their states
  • New York Governor Cuomo, extended his state’s shut down until May 15, 2020; a new normal of changed work routines, social distancing and curtailed public life will last for the foreseeable future
  • China acknowledge Friday that the coronavirus death toll for Wuhan was 50% higher than previously recorded
  • Germany has been testing 350,000 people per week in anticipation of gradually reopen the country next week
  • United States braces for more pain from the coronavirus lockdown as new cases climb for three straight days after stabilizing
  • In Georgia, Governor Kemp stated that Georgia will follow federal guidelines and collaborate with health and emergency management officials to “develop a plan for safely returning to more routine operations”
  • In Alabama, Governor Ivey’s office is working on a plan for getting the economy back on track. They intend to have a new plan by April 30, 2020

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of 7:00pm last night there were 200 confirmed cases in Muscogee County
  • Continuing to monitor the numbers very carefully: grateful for testing
  • Focusing on the change in the hospitalizations; there is been a minimum change in the number of people hospitalized in the past week; will continue to monitor the next week, local hospitals indicate that is when a surge could hit 
  • There have been about four cases identified in a local nursing home; has been well contained
  • Received a copy of the President’s plan to reopen the country; Governor Kemp is soliciting input from a group of mayors to include Mayor Henderson
  • Public health is the number one concern, but a very close second is the financial health of this community
  • Need to get people back to work but must do it responsibly; moving too quickly could risk a backdraft and a another flare up which would only prolong our return to economic viability
  • Grateful for those in the community that are staying home and practicing social distancing
  • Send an email to his office if you know of specific volunteer needs; people are reaching out to his office wanting to know how they can help
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • There are 200 confirmed cases in Muscogee County; 104 in Crisp County; 64 in Dooley County; 42 in Macon County; 135 in Randolph County; 292 in Sumter County
  • There is a total of 975 cases in the 16-county health district
  • Extended testing hours at the Columbus Health Department; Monday thru Friday 8:30am-5:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm. No appointment needed
  • Screening is opened to the public. Individuals are screened by a nurse to determine that they meet criteria before being tested
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • No new updates today. Reminder of the feeding program change beginning Monday. Going from five days to three days with the same number of meals.
Alabama State Representative Update-Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • There are 4404 confirmed cases in Alabama as of this morning
  • There are 294 cases in Lee County, 234 in Chambers County, 35 in Russell County
  • There are 553 total hospitalizations throughout the state
  • There are 137 reported deaths, 82 of those have been confirmed
  • The Alabama Small Business Commission is holding a press conference today at 11:00EST headed by the Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth to lay out a plan to get the economy open and up and running again
  • Governor Ivey was on the call to Governors with the President yesterday. She hopes to have a plan for the state by April 28
  • Must be very cautious with reopening, as we have done so well with mitigating the spread of the virus; don’t want to run the risk of a set back
  • There has been a total of 263 people tested in Russell County. There were 50 people tested at the Russell County Health Department earlier this week; test results are not back yet for those test
Russell County Commissioner-Chance Corbett

Commissioner Corbett gave the following updates:

  • Russell County departments are working hard to make sure to provide essential services while following Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines
  • Appreciate being involved and included in these calls
  • Getting great direction from leadership, i.e. Governor, Sheriff, EMA Director and Commission Chair
  • April county commission meetings have been canceled; will plan to meet in May either virtually or on the lawn with social distancing
  • Reviewing the President’s plan for Governors to reopen their states
  • Testing location open at Stopwatch Urgent Care in Ladonia. Hours are 8:00am-7:00pm
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Had a good discussion with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) technical advisors; they have forward information that will be sent out this morning concerning mega waivers and the flexibility that projects and programs have now in being able to help individuals and families access permanent housing now and not waiting until the end of the crisis
  • Leveraging and layering funding availabilities through all the different agencies and funding sources to lessen the impact on our most vulnerable population
  • The Muscogee/ Russell Continuum of Care has been advised by the HUD technical advisors that their name has been submitted to participate in the three Communities of Practice that will come out of this in collaboration with communities across the country on best practices
  • No recent updates on the relocation process at the Ralston Towers; last update from the Housing Authority was that the process is going as planned
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Go to CFCV.com/coronavirus to donate, front line non-profits can apply for funding and other non-profits can use the assessment tool to tell their stories about how the pandemic is affecting their organization
  • Starting Monday, the daily call will go to a new number. Go to CFCV.com/coronavirus and select the Community Call drop down. Ben will also update the calendar invitation

Open Forum Updates

MercyMed Update: Billy Holbrook

Billy gave the following updates:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are available at the MercyMed farm 9:00am-12:00noon
  • Over the past weekend they saw 108 of the patients that tested positive and opted in for care in their bubble room; continuing following up care with them this coming week for those that need to come in and get an EKG or lung x-ray
  • Patients that are asymptomatic are being monitored daily by phone by their staff and Mercer medical students
  • Also monitoring hospitalization rates; so far only one patient has gone to the hospital
  • It is their desire to continue to be an outpatient treatment facility for COVID-19 patients
  • Plans concerning antibody test will be announced later; Dr. Joyce Kim, their Chief Medical Officer also discussed this on the recent community call which can be found on their YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/u0tWaZubId0

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