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May 12, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 61 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources: 

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert and a central figure in the government’s response to the coronavirus, plans to deliver a frank warning to the Senate on Tuesday: “The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” he wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”  
  • After six new cases, authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan plan to test all 11 million residents for COVID-19 by the end of next week, in a massive push to extinguish any remnants of the coronavirus from the original epicenter of the global pandemic 
  • U.S. consumer prices are expected to have fallen for the second consecutive month in April after energy prices collapsed and efforts to contain the new coronavirus disrupted demand for a wide array of goods and services. The pandemic has unsettled supply chains and created temporary spikes in demand for some household goods  
  • In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp is likely to announce Tuesday that he will keep bars and nightclubs shuttered until the outbreak subsides. He’s also set to renew safety requirements for other businesses that are scheduled to expire Wednesday 
  • In Alabama, reminder for COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals, please visit altogetheralabama.org

Columbus Area Updates

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

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • There 383 cases in Muscogee County; there are 1,626 in the 16-county health district
  • The Georgia Department of Public Health and the Columbus Health Department are extending testing capabilities; testing will take place this Saturday, May 16 from 9:00am until 1:00pm in the parking lot of the Columbus Civic Center; anyone who wants a test can get tested
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Reminder starting tomorrow through May 22, there will be a controlled process for students to return school property and pick up personal effects; general guidelines have been sent to parents; individual schools will contact their parents with specifics
  • The school feeding program will be discontinued the week of May 26-29 in order to take inventory and prepare for the summer program that will begin on June 1; welcomes anyone who can help fill in the gap for that week
Alabama State Representative Update-Representative Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • There are 10,167 cases in Alabama
  • There are 429 cases in Lee County; 319 cases in Chambers County; 81 cases in Russell County
  • A total of 130,000 Alabamians have been tested
  • There are 1,271 currently hospitalized and 423 confirmed deaths
  • Will continue to monitor the numbers as businesses are gradually reopening
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Reminding housing service providers to complete the Nonprofit Community Assessment for the Chattahoochee Valley to get a better look at what the needs are in the community; important to get input from everyone https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/63FSG3M
  • New information from Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Changes to Coordinated Entry Prioritization to Support and Respond to COVID-19
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Getting to see the amazing generosity in this community; philanthropist who are interested in making sure our community stays strong
  • This week’s grant awards will be announced on tomorrow
  • If you are a nonprofit and you have needs as you serve the vulnerable population during this crisis, please go to cfcv.com/coronavirus

Open Forum Updates

St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • Happy Nurses Week and Happy Hospital Week!
  • St. Francis is doing well, and they continue to see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases
  • They are grateful for the community doing their part to keep everyone safe
  • As they continue to open services, they have not seen a surge
River Valley Area Agency on Aging-Katie Howard

Katie gave the following updates:

  • They are still in dire need of volunteer drivers to help deliver for the Meals on Wheels program; 706-327-5208
  • Ben will have the volunteer opportunity posted again on the United Way Facebook page
  • Keisha of Department of Behavioral Health also offered to assist with volunteers
Feeding the Valley Update-Frank Sheppard

Frank gave the following updates:

  • Frank will contact Jennifer St John at United Way to discuss filling the gap in the Muscogee County School District feeding program the week of May 26-29, 2020

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