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May 20, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 69 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

New York Times:

  •  With changes taking effect on Wednesday, all 50 states have begun to reopen in at least some way, more than two months after the coronavirus thrust the country into lockdown. But there remain vast discrepancies in how states are deciding to reopen, with some forging far ahead of others 

Washington Post: 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week laid out its detailed, delayed road map for reopening schools, child-care facilities, restaurants and mass transit, weeks after COVID-19-weary states began opening on their own terms. The CDC cautioned that some institutions should stay closed for now and said reopening should be guided by coronavirus transmission rates

Wall Street Journal: 

  •  Yields on U.S. government bonds have stalled near all-time lows, a sign that investors are anticipating a difficult economic recovery and years of aggressive monetary stimulus. For much of the past month and a half, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note has hovered around two-thirds of a percentage point—a shade above its all-time low of around 0.5% set in March 

In Georgia:

  •  From the Atlanta Journal Constitution: A press release from Governor Brian Kemp said there were 986 patients currently hospitalized as of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, which was an important milestone for the state. It was the lowest number of patients hospitalized since hospitals started reporting data to GEMA on April 8 

In Alabama: 

  •  The Alabama Legislature finished its 2020 regular session Monday by yielding some of its control over $1.8 billion in federal funds sent to the state to deal with expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak 

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of one hour ago, there are 452 cases in Muscogee County with a total of 16 deaths
  • Some of the key metrics that they are following are still tending in a positive direction
  • The resources from a hospitalization standpoint absorption rate continues to decline
  • Asked citizens to keep up the good work and continue to encourage others to do the same
  • Thanks to everyone who is taking this seriously and doing what they need to do to help themselves, their families, their neighbors and the residents of Muscogee County
  • Thankful that more testing is available thanks to the Department of Public Health /Columbus Health Department
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • There are 452 cases in Muscogee County; there are 1,797 cases in the 16-county health district
  • The Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) will be testing at the Sumter County Health Department in Americus, Georgia on Saturday, May 23, 2020 from 9:00am until 12:00noon, they will be testing at Harris County High School in Hamilton, Georgia on Sunday, May 24, 2020 from 12:00noon until 2:00pm and at Stewart County Middle/High School in Lumpkin, Georgia on Monday, May 25, 2020 from 9:00am until 12:00noon
  • Reminder to visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website for daily updates dph.georgia.gov
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Virtual summer school begins on June 1-18 for high school, June 15-July 2 for middle school and July 13-30 for elementary school
  • Reminder that the feeding program will discontinue the week of May 26-May 29 and the summer feeding program will begin on June 1, 2020; Appreciate United Way, Feeding the Valley and other partners filling the gap for that week
Alabama State Representative Update- Representative Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • As of this morning there are 12,701cases throughout the state of Alabama
  • Over 156,000 people have been tested
  • Currently there are 1,492 hospitalized; 508 confirmed deaths in the state
  • There are 454 cases in Lee County; 329 cases in Chambers County; 112 cases in Russell County
  • The Governor’s Safer at Home order is set to expire the end of day on Friday, May 22; conference call with the Governor tomorrow to discuss next steps
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week’s grant awards total $64,015 to five agencies: Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley, Chattahoochee Valley Episcopal Ministry, Feeding the Valley, Girls Inc. of Phenix City/Russell County and F.O.C.U.S. in Hamilton, Georgia
  • Please continue to support this fund if you can; Reminder of the AFLAC match; AFLAC will match individual gifts to the fund up to $2,000 for a total of $100,000; great way to double your gift; go to cfcv.com/coronavirus to get more information and to donate
  • Reminder to front line organizations serving the vulnerable population to go to cfcv.com/coronavirus if you need help

Open Forum Updates

River Valley Area Agency on Aging Update-Katie Howard

Katie gave the following updates:

  • Katie thanked everyone. The Meals on Wheels program has received several new volunteers since her request for help on last week
  • Betsy and Ben added that volunteer opportunities can be found on the United Way website; unitedwayofthecv.org; Some of the volunteer opportunities can be done virtually; Volunteer Coordinator, Rachel Chambless can be reached at rchambless@unitedwayofthecv.org

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