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May 11, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 60 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • Three top officials leading the White House response for the pandemic began to quarantine themselves over the weekend after two Trump administration staffers, valet to President Trump and Katie Miller, the press secretary for Vice-President Mike Pence, tested positive for the virus
  • Plastic barriers and millions of masks appeared Monday on the streets of Europe’s newly reopened cities, as France and Belgium emerged from lockdown, the Netherlands sent children back to school and Greece and Spain further eased restrictions. All faced a delicate balance trying to restart battered economies without refueling a second wave of coronavirus infections
  • President Trump’s top economic advisors projected Sunday that unemployment will climb as the coronavirus pandemic continues its sweep across the United States with one official predicting that the unemployment rate will jump to 20% by next month. The statements from White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin came three days after the Labor Department reported its highest unemployment figures since the Great Depression, and as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 79,000
  • Factories close for good as the coronavirus cuts demand. Some manufacturers who have furloughed employees during lockdown said that plants will not reopen including makers of dishware in North Carolina, furniture foam in Oregon and cutting boards in Michigan. Caterpillar Inc. is considering closing plants in Germany, motorcycle-maker Polaris in Syracuse, Indiana and tire maker Goodyear Tire and Rubber company is considering closing a plant in Gadsden, Alabama
  • In Georgia, Peach Bowl, Inc. has teamed up with Georgia Governor Kemp to provide funding that will help make COVID-19 screenings available statewide. 

In Alabama, Alabama restaurants, bars and breweries can open with limited table seating, 6 feet between tables and subject to additional sanitation rules and guidelines; Athletic facilities, including fitness centers and commercial gyms are subject to social distancing and sanitation rules will reopen; Barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo services and other close-contact service providers can reopen; Beaches are totally open with no limit on gatherings; Non-work gatherings of any size are allowed, though maintaining 6 feet of distance between people is still required

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of 9:30am, there were 371 cases and 12 deaths total in Muscogee County
  • Good news is that current hospitalizations have gone down
  • The increments that positive cases are growing by are very small; credits this to the community taking the pandemic seriously and acting accordingly
  • The Governor’s executive order is set to expire on the 12th; the city of Columbus will host a virtual town hall meeting on the 13th to discuss with the public and give the community an opportunity to ask questions. The Mayor, City Manager, Homeland Security, Department of Public Health, and the City Attorney’s office will all be on hand to help explain whether there will be any additional orders
  • The city is planning to reopen a few more facilities by the weekend; Government workers will be phasing back into work at government offices with social distancing
  • The community has done an awesome job and his office urges the community to continue the same path, doing their part with social distancing and wearing mask until there is a vaccine available and the mortality rate has gone down

Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • As of this morning there are 373 cases in Muscogee County; there are 400 cases in Sumter County and 1,611 cases in the 16-county health district
  • There were 281 individuals tested this weekend at Shirley B. Winston Park; testing ran until 2:00pm
  • Testing resumed today at the Columbus Health Department

Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Reminder that beginning Wednesday, May 13 through Friday, May 22,  students will be returning school property and picking up personal effects; this will be a scheduled process; information will be sent out to parents concerning the process; all Principals, Assistant Principals and School Secretaries will return to the schools today to prepare for this process

Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update

Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Asking housing providers to complete the Nonprofit Community Assessment for the Chattahoochee Valley to get a better look at what the needs are in the community https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/63FSG3M

Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • The committee is working on this week’s grant awards; they will be announced on Wednesday morning
  • There are lots of people who are hurting; there are lots of organizations that are doing heroic work to take care of them
  • Asked callers to help to respond through the fund as long as there is a need; to make a gift go to cfcv.com/coronavirus; each gift will be matched by AFLAC up to $2000.00

Open Forum Updates

No updates today

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