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May 27, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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May 27, 2020 Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 76 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

New York Times:

  • Two of the world’s biggest economies said on Wednesday that they would pump trillions of dollars into propping up businesses, industries and individuals hit hard by the coronavirus. 
  • Japan and Europe, both early victims of the pandemic that have recently begun to reopen after lengthy shutdowns, bucked forces of austerity to enact stimulus plans. 

Washington Post: 

  • A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • When asked questions normally used to screen patients for mental health problems, 24 percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30 percent showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. 
  • The findings suggest a huge jump from before the pandemic. 

Wall Street Journal:

  • As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic climbs closer to 100,000, other countries—especially in South America—are struggling with rising infection rates. 
  • The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 5.6 million across 188 countries and regions, with the U.S. making up 1.68 million of those, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In Georgia:

  • After gradual declines week to week, cases of COVID-19 in Georgia have clicked up by 26% for the 7 days ending Sunday according to an Atlanta Journal Constitution analysis of public health data

In Alabama: 

  • Alabama saw its largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases Monday, according to the state, as daily case counts continue an upward trend and hospitals across the state report increasing hospitalizations. 

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of this morning we are at 577 cases in Muscogee County
  • We are seeing more positive cases due to the increase in testing; however, the percentages continue to remain low
  • Hospitals remain strong in resources and ability; curve remains flat
  • Governor’s order expires on May 31; looking forward to his update
  • The City of Columbus is open incrementally, administrative buildings have reopened as well as some recreation areas (walking trails, parks, Cooper Creek Tennis Court, Bull Creek Golf Couse and the Marina) under special guidelines
  • June 12, which is based on one of the Governor’s orders, is the city’s target date for decisions about further reopening
  • Reminded citizens to be smart and wise while integrating back into their routine; continue to maintain social distancing and wear a mask in public
  • For the most part Columbus has done an outstanding job as we continue to work together; this call is one good example
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Jack Lockwood gave the following updates in Natalie’s absence:

  • Over the weekend, the Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) conducted drive thru testing in Sumter County, Harris County and Stewart County. They tested over 100 people in each location
  • This Saturday, they will be conducting drive thru testing at Carver High School in Columbus from 9:00am until 12:00noon. Testing is free and open to all Georgia residents and to Alabama residents who work in Georgia in a critical job
  • This is a rise in the number of cases; reminded everyone to continue to wash hands frequently, continue social distancing, wear a mask in public and be situationally aware
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Today is officially the last day for teachers to work
  • 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
  • Georgia High School Association is allowing sports conditioning to begin on June 8; Muscogee County School District will not begin on that date pending more information from the Governor
  • Reminder that the summer feeding program will begin on June 1, 2020; appreciate United Way, Feeding the Valley and other partners filling the gap for this week
  • A plan for the upcoming school year should be announced no later than the second week in July
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Census 2020 Service Based Enumeration; proper and accurate counts are needed for funding; help to assist providers with clients that don’t have digital means to complete the census- link
  • Talking with landlords about how to prevent evictions
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week grants total $16,959 to three organizations: New Horizons Behavioral Health, St. Nicholas Church in Hamilton, Georgia and Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services; for further details go to cfcv.com/coronavirus
  • To date the fund has awarded $924,694 in grants to local front-line organizations
  • If you are a nonprofit organization, please make sure to fill out the Non-Profit Impact Assessment Tool at cfcv.com/coronavirus; you can use a PDF of your report to share with your donors; contact JJ Musgrove at the Community Foundation for assistance

Open Forum Updates

United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley Update-Jennifer St John

Jennifer gave the following updates/requests:

  • Reminder that the school feeding program ended last week; the summer feeding program begins on June 1 in Muscogee County and June 15 in Russell County
  • United Way was able to work with Feeding the Valley to quickly identify a solution to ensure children have continued access to food during the transition from the school year to the summer
  • Kid-friendly Buddy Packs will be delivered on Tuesday and Thursday during the week of Memorial Day for Muscogee and Russell County School Districts.  This service will continue for the first two weeks of June in Russell County and be provided on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 
  • Need everyone to assist with getting the word out to children and their families about the feeding sites.  For details visit the United Way or Feeding the Valley website or Facebook page
Summer Camp Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates/requests:

  • As summer camps begin next week, there is a need for individual water bottles. Please contact Betsy at bcovington@cfcv.com if you have any ideas or contacts
New Horizons Behavioral Health Update-Susan Gallagher

Susan gave the following updates:

  • Reminder of the Georgia COVID-19 Emotional Support Line. The number is 866-399-8938
  • SKY (Saving Kids and Youth) Clubhouse is a mental health resiliency support clubhouse, designed to provide a comprehensive and unique set of services for children ages 6-11. SKY Clubhouse can help reduce the “Summer Slide” and build Emotional Literacy in children. Located at 6200 Bradley Park in Columbus Georgia. Summer Session is May 26 – August 7th. Lunch and snack are provided. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM – 5:00PM. Parent transportation is required. Contact Elizabeth Mercer, Program Manager at (706) 221-2024 or emercer@nhbh.org to enroll. Most insurance accepted and intake required

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