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May 18,2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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May 18, 2020 Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 67 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

New York Times:

  •  Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve Chair, said that the United States would have a slow recovery from what he called the “biggest shock that the economy’s had in living memory,” suggesting that a full rebound from virus-induced lockdowns could take until the end of 2021 

Washington Post:  

  • Four months into the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, tests for the virus finally are becoming widely available, a crucial step toward lifting stay-at-home orders and safely returning to normal life 
  • A Washington Post survey of governors’ offices and state health departments found at least a dozen states where testing capacity outstrips the supply of patients seeking testing

Wall Street Journal:  

  • U.S. stock futures rallied Monday, suggesting that shares may recover ground following their biggest weekly percentage drop in nearly two months last week

In Georgia:

  • Governor Brian Kemp has encouraged “all Georgians, even if they are not experiencing symptoms, to schedule an appointment.” To get tested for COVID-19, signaling confidence in the state’s test kit supply

In Alabama: 

  • On Friday, Governor Kay Ivey issued a statement saying, “Alabamians are hurting, and I am committed to helping these hundreds of thousands of people and every Alabama family restore their livelihoods. For that reason, we have been taking steps to safely reopen our state’s economy. The governor went on to say the threat of COVID-19 remains and that Montgomery, Alabama has been identified as a spot to watch. Ivey concluded with, “I urge Alabamians to stay smart and vigilant as we continue practicing social distancing guidelines to combat this virus.” 

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of this morning there are 426 cases in Muscogee County; the number is holding at 15 deaths
  • The hospitalization rate continues to trend down; will continue to monitor
  • Testing is being made more available thanks to the awesome work of the Department of Public Health and the Columbus Health Department
  • The Columbus Civic Center parking lot was very busy this weekend with the Columbus Health Department testing over 400 individuals and Feeding the Valley giving out food in another section of the parking lot
  • The test results will give a clearer picture of how many people may be positive but asymptomatic; their status will allow them to start a medical program and quarantine to protect everyone
  • Columbus Government Center reopens today along with Cooper Creek Tennis Court and the Marina; will be watching to decide about other facilities when the governor’s order expires on May 31, 2020
  • Remind citizens that it is not over yet; continue to be diligent; avoid unnecessary trips in crowds; continue social distancing and wear a mask
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • The Columbus Health Department tested 441 individuals at the Columbus Civic Center on Saturday; the last person went through at 2:00pm
  • As of this morning, Muscogee County has 426 cases; total cases in the 16-county health district are 1,739
  • The Columbus Health Department testing site is closed today due to the weather forecast; will give an update as to when they will reopen
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Because of the community’s generosity, the Coronavirus Response Fund has awarded $843,720 in grants to date; this is incredible, and more is still needed to help people with basic needs
  • Grant panel meeting this morning; this week’s grants will be announced on Wednesday morning; please continue support for the fund at cfcv.com/coronavirus
  • Reminder of the AFLAC match; AFLAC will match individual gifts to the fund up to $2,000 for a total of $100,000

Open Forum Updates

St. Francis Hospital Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • This is Emergency Medical Services Week; will be thanking those that are providing services on the front lines with a drive thru lunch at the hospital
  • St. Francis is celebrating their 70th year being open
  • They continue to see a downward trend on hospitalized patients with COVID-19
  • Reopening for elective surgeries and overnight stays; ensuring that social distancing and screenings are in place for individuals entering the building
  • Will consider looking at allowing visitors back into the hospital after Memorial Day if they continue to have the downward trend
Antibody Testing
  • Caller asked about antibody testing; Candace Muncy (United Way) and Joel Ames (Piedmont Columbus Regional) have information on where to get antibody testing Antibody testing

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