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May 13, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 62 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources: 

  • California State University on Tuesday became the first large American university system to tell students that they will not be returning to campus in the fall, preparing them instead for instruction online. The decision by Cal State, the nation’s largest four-year public university system, affects its 23 campuses, and is the most sweeping sign yet of the long-term impact of the coronavirus on higher education
  • Grocery prices showed their biggest monthly increase in nearly 50 years last month, led by rising prices for meat and eggs, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. U.S. consumers paid 4.3 percent more in April for meats, poultry, fish and eggs, 1.5 percent more for fruits and vegetables, and 2.9 percent more for cereals and bakery products, the Labor Department said. Overall, consumers paid 2.6 percent more in April for groceries, the largest one-month jump since February 1974 
  • U.S. stock futures edged higher Wednesday as investors await Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments about the outlook for monetary policy. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 0.7 percent, suggesting the blue-chip index may stabilize after dropping sharply on Tuesday
  • In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp announced Tuesday he plans to extend mandatory statewide closures for bars and nightclubs in Georgia amid ongoing concerns over coronavirus, which to date has killed nearly 1,500 people in the state and sickened thousands more. But the governor will allow summer day camps to open and relax some restrictions on restaurants in the coming days, as state health officials continue seeing downward trends in hospital admissions, ventilator use, and infection rates tied to COVID-19 
  • In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey tweeted the following yesterday: As we ease back into more social interactions this week, please remember to take all health precautions. You’re encouraged to wear face coverings around people from other households, practice safe hygiene and maintain 6-foot distancing 

Columbus Area Updates

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

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • As of this morning, there are 391 cases in Muscogee County; there are 406 cases in Sumter County; there are 1,655 cases in the 16-county health district
  • Reminder to visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website for daily updates dph.georgia.gov
Alabama State Representative Update-Representative Chris Blackshear

Ben gave the following updates in Representative Blackshear’s absence:

  • There are 10,458 cases in the state of Alabama
  • There are 432 cases in Lee County with 30 deaths
  • There are 324 case in Chambers County with 21 deaths
  • There are 83 cases in Russell County with no deaths
  • The total number of people tested in Alabama is 135,079
  • There are currently 1,302 hospitalized with 440 deaths in the state
New Horizon Behavioral Health Update-Susan Gallagher

Susan gave the following updates:

  • New Horizons Behavioral Health is very concerned that COVID-19 is having a huge negative impact on the mental health of adults, children, and teens in the community. They believe that it is important for everyone know the signs and symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in various age groups and the local treatment resources that are available  
  • Prior to COVID-19, Suicide was the #2 cause of death in children ages 10-17 in Georgia and the #10 cause of adults all ages in Georgia.  As a community, we need to be prepared for the possible public mental health crisis brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic
  • DBHDD Office of Behavioral Health Prevention is presenting daily free webinars during National Prevention Week, May 10-16
  • Friday’s webinar covers the known risk factors for Suicide that the COVID-19 pandemic could be exacerbating
  • Visit   https://dbhdd.georgia.gov/bh-prevention to register
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Billy Holbrook of MercyMed gave the following updates on behalf of Pat:

  • There will be walk up testing at SafeHouse Ministries on Monday, May 18, 2020 from 9:00am-2:00pm for persons experiencing homelessness. See attached flyer for additional information  TestingFlyer.pdf
  • MercyMed has a committee that is in the process of creating walk-up testing events for those that don’t have transportation. They would like feedback on where this service is most needed in the community
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week grants total $13,500 to 3 area organizations: CSU Food Pantry, the Family Center of Columbus, Family Counseling Center and Village Table Food Pantry in Phenix City
  • Total grants awarded to date are $843,720
  • Considering moving to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday format for the Coronavirus Response Update Call. Please email Betsy bcovington@cfcv.com or Ben bmoser@unitedwayofthecv.org with suggestions. They will wait until they get feedback before making any changes
  • Two callers on the line voiced that they agree with going to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday format

Open Forum Updates

River Valley Regional Commission-Jim Livingston

Jim gave the following updates:

  • He thanked everyone. The Meals on Wheels program has received several new volunteers after Katie Howard’s request on yesterday
United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley-Jennifer St John

Jennifer gave the following updates:

  • United Way and Feeding the Valley spoke yesterday concerning filling the gap for the Muscogee County School District feeding program the week of May 26-29. They will speak again on tomorrow. They will provide an update on Friday’s call

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