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May 7, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 56 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • New research has revealed that New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States. The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits
  • Stock markets and the price of oil pushed higher on Thursday, ahead of the latest weekly jobless claim figures in the U.S. and after China reported a rise in exports as its pandemic lockdown eased
  • The Labor Department on Thursday reported that 3.2 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week bringing the 7-week total for people seeking jobless benefits to more than 33 million Americans
  • The world recorded its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases in almost two weeks yesterday. New confirmed infections on Wednesday topped 92,000, the most since April 24th and the 4th highest daily total ever according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University
  • In Georgia, the state of Georgia’s April net tax collections total a nearly 36% decrease compared to April 2019, off over 1 billion dollars
  • In Alabama, reminder for COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals, visit altogetheralabama.org
  • Reminder-There will be a Zoom meeting with United States Senator David Perdue on today, May 7 at 11:30am, Update on COVID-19 Legislation
  • Reminder-There will be a Zoom meeting with United States Congressman Sanford Bishop on Friday, May 8 at 3:00pm, COVID-19 and the Cares Act
  • Information about the Zoom meetings can be found on the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce website https://columbusgachamber.com/ or Facebook page or email Amy Bryan
United States Congressman, Georgia UpdateCongressman Sanford Bishop

Congressman Bishop gave the following updates:

  • Congressman Bishop thanked United Way and the Community Foundation for organizing the call and for the work that they are doing during this crisis; he and his office have a long-standing relationship with United Way and the Community Foundation; he and his staff are aware of the outstanding work that these organizations do in the community; it is needed now more than ever
  • The coronavirus has had a devasting impact across the state, this nation and our communities; Congressman Bishop represents one of the hardest hit counties in the state which is Dougherty County
  • At the federal level, he plans do everything that he possibly can to make sure that non-profits have the tools that they need to help communities recover and emerge stronger and more united
  • In the Cares Act that was signed into law at the end of March, Congress included several initiatives to help the non-profit sector; Congressman Bishop discussed the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Economic Stabilization Fund
  • The next stimulus package which is expected to be voted on in the House within the next few weeks will include a reserve fund dedicated to non-profits; also, 501c 4s and 501 c 6s are expected to be included
  • Job retraining will be a part of the nation’s recovery package as manufacturing is brought back to this country

Columbus Area Updates

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

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

  • There are 350 confirmed cases in Muscogee County; 385 in Sumter County; 167 in Randolph County; 179 in Crisp County
  • Free testing continues daily at the Columbus Health Department. Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-12:00noon
  • This Saturday, May 9, 2020 there will be no testing at the Columbus Health Department, instead testing will take place at Shirley B. Winston Park at 5025 Steam Mill Road from 9:00am until 12:00noon; testing is free
  • Criteria for symptoms has expanded, i.e. feeling aches and pains
  • Testing is for Georgia residents or if there perform a critical job in Georgia
  • Please let community partners know about the free testing
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Reminder that tomorrow is the final day for students to turn in completed printed work; teachers will be grading to close out the school year
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Outreach continues for making sure that the needs of the unsheltered are being met. They have a volunteer who is a certified peer specialist with the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network joining their outreach team today to help with the mental health needs of clients
  • The recording from the May 5th COC Housing Navigation meeting has been uploaded
COC Housing Navigation Meetings
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • As of yesterday, the fund has awarded $830,220 in grants to 31 organizations that are doing incredible work in our community. The list and the details can be found at cfcv.com/coronavirus
  • There are a lot of needs, but our community is up to it; cfcv.com/coronavirus to donate

Open Forum Updates

Valley Healthcare Update-Sarah Lang

Sarah gave the following updates:

  • Valley Healthcare COVID-19 testing is Monday, Wednesday and Friday at their Columbus and Fortson locations.
  • The testing is drive up and there are no residency restrictions
  • Please call 706-587-6090 to schedule an appointment

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