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June 3, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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June 3, 2020 Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates concerning the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

New York Times:
  • Protests Draw Shoulder-to-Shoulder Crowds After Months of Virus Isolation. 
  • In the last week, the United States has abruptly shifted from one crippling crisis to the next as the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota has prompted cascading protests in hundreds of cities, where demonstrators have called for an end to police brutality and racist institutions. 
Washington Post:
  •  With civil unrest spreading across the nation and more than 1.8 million coronavirus cases reported in the United States, it’s hard to envision what political parties’ nominating conventions will look like this August. What does seem increasingly clear is that President Trump will accept the Republican nomination somewhere other than North Carolina, where Governor Roy Cooper has refused to pre-authorize a gathering of more than 19,000 people. 
Wall Street Journal:
  • Global stocks rose Wednesday as social unrest across the U.S. showed signs of calming, and investors bet economic activity will improve with the ebbing of coronavirus infections and additional government spending to shore up the recovery. 
  • Futures linked to the S&P 500 gained 0.5%, indicating the benchmark index will rally after the opening bell. 
In Georgia: 
  • Coronavirus deaths among Georgia’s long-term care residents topped 1,000 on Monday in the state’s official tally, a brutal milestone demonstrating the pandemic’s unforgiving attack on vulnerable seniors. 
  • Across Georgia, 5,850 residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and large personal care homes have tested positive for coronavirus at some point during the pandemic.
In Alabama: 
  • From MONTGOMERY, Ala. and WSFA news- Montgomery County continues to see an increase in COVID-19 rates with more than 1,700 cases confirmed to date. On Sunday alone, 78 new cases were reported. 
  • And the cases are surging, according to the City of Montgomery. Half of all cases in the capital city have been confirmed in the last two weeks and Montgomery now accounts for nearly 1 in 10 of the state’s cases. 

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • The mayor thanked everyone on the call for their continued commitment to make Columbus a great place to live for everybody
  • Columbus, Georgia will not tolerate racism; the city of Columbus supports peaceful protest and are committed to protect those who protest peacefully
  • Opportunity for our community, state and country to effect real change
  • As the numbers continue to go up, Muscogee County is at 637 positive cases and 18 deaths
  • Continuing upward trend in the hospitalization rate; nearing a high but not in danger of exhausting resources
  • Hopeful that it will hit a new plateau because of the relaxing of some of the restrictions for businesses and people moving around more in the community
  • Reminded citizens to continue to work together by social distancing and wearing mask; continue the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations; play close attention to sanitation; make sure to wash hands; if you feel bad get tested and stay home
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Virtual high school began Monday and continues through June 18, 2020
  • Summer feeding program began June 1, 2020
Amerigroup Update-Lauren Chambers

Lauren Chambers gave the following updates:

  • Reminder that healthcare plans for individuals who receive Medicaid will automatically be renewed throughout the pandemic to ensure that no one is without health care coverage
  • Grant Information for Community Partners: Are you doing COVID-19 Response? Well if so, here is an opportunity to apply for additional funding to continuing doing the great work that you are doing. Community partners please be very specifics about the COVID-19 response efforts when applying. It is important that you give authentic information and great details of every aspect to be considered.
  • Link: https://www.anthemcorporateresponsibility.com/funding-options
  • There 2 funding options:
    • Program Grants
    • Community Relations & Sponsorships (suitable for COVID response)
  • For Foundation questions, community partners you can reach out to katie.heenan@anthem.com .
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • There were 35 participants in the Housing Navigation Continuum of Care Response meeting on yesterday
  • Issues and concerns that were discussed included landlord engagement, coordinated investment planning process, the 2020 Census, etc.
  • More information to come; slides from the meeting will be loaded on the Home for Good website http://www.homeforgoodcv.org/
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week’s grants were awarded to four local agencies: Columbus Hospice, Easterseals West Georgia, MercyMed of Columbus, SafeHouse Ministries and to help purchase bottled water for local summer camps; the total is $42,475
  • Publix stepped forward with in-kind donations as well as storage and delivery of bottled water for summer camps
  • Area churches have also come together to help with the remaining cost of the bottled water; for information email Betsy at bcovington@cfcv.com
  • If anyone would like more details about the grants, please go to cfcv.com/coronavirus
  • Total to date awarded and committed is $970,556.48; remarkable testament to the generosity of this community
  • Reminder that no fees are taken from the fund so that every dollar can go to work
  • Reminder that the AFLAC match is still available

Open Forum Updates

MercyMed Update-Billy Holbrook

Billy gave the following updates:

  • MercyMed will be conducting eight weeks of walk up testing in different locations in the community
  • On yesterday, they tested 60 people at Highland Community Church
  • Next week they will be testing again at SafeHouse Ministries and the following week at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church on Old Cusseta Road
  • They are working in partnership with the Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department), Valley Healthcare, Pastor Johnny Flakes and Tree of Life Healthcare
St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • They have added additional security for the hospital
  • They have seen an uptick in positive COVID-19 patients; not totally unexpected with more businesses, etc. reopening
  • They are doing well and have opened all services; cautiously watching the numbers
  • They appreciate the support that they have received from everyone

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