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September 2, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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September 2, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and/or State News 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: 
  • At least 1,091 new coronavirus deaths and 43,857 new cases were reported in the United States on September 1, 2020. Over the past week, there have been an average of 42,189 cases per day, a decrease of 14 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • As of Wednesday morning, more than 6,088,600 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 184,500 have died, according to a New York Times database.
  • 12 states and territories showed an increase in cases, including Alabama
  • 28 states and territories remained mostly the same and
  • 14 states and territories, are seeing a decrease in cases including Georgia
Elevated Issue of Local Concern or Awareness-Ben Moser
  • From Forbes Magazine:
  • The Trump Administration announced Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will use its authority to temporarily ban residential evictions for certain renters through the end of the year.
  • The moratorium will apply to those individuals who expect to earn $99,000 or less in 2020 (or couples filing jointly who expect to earn $198,000 or less)—those who received a stimulus check this year, or would have been eligible based on their 2020 income, are also eligible.
  • Renters seeking protection under the new program must certify that they are unable to pay their rent because of the coronavirus crisis, that they are likely to become homeless if they are forced to leave their homes, and that they undertook their best effort to obtain other government assistance to make their rental payments.
  • Renters who receive protection under the program will also have to certify that they are paying as much rent as they can afford, the CDC order says.
  • When the moratorium expires at the end of the year, renters who received protection will still need to make up missed payments to their landlords.
  • Senior administration officials said because the CDC has authority to take reasonable efforts to combat the spread of communicable diseases, it has the authority to intervene in a landlord-tenant relationship during the current public health crisis.
  • Unlike earlier COVID-19 federal housing protections, which applied only to properties with federally backed mortgages, this moratorium will apply to all rental units in the United States (but only for those renters who qualify), the administration officials said.
  • According to the Aspen Institute, between 30 and 40 million Americans could be at risk of eviction in the next several months.

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates 

Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • The school district is planning to phase in the in-person classes for the Choice Model beginning Monday, September 14, 2020, with all Choice Model students in place by Monday, September 21, 2020.
  • They are excited about the students return to the classroom.
  • Football will resume on tomorrow following all safety guidelines.  
  • Asked everyone to continue to wear mask, social distance and wash hands, so that when students return to school, they can remain in school.
  • Thanked everyone for their continued patience and support.
Russell County School District Update-Dr. Brenda Coley

Dr. Coley gave the following updates:

  • All students are currently learning remotely. School began August 10, 2020.
  • On track to begin in-person learning for students who chose that option. On September 10, 2020, 40% of students will return to in-person learning.
  • School has been in session for three weeks; they are making good progress; however, there have been some technical/internet challenges for come families.
  • The school district has distributed over 2,500 chrome books as well as hotspots to support families.
  • The State of Alabama has awarded home internet vouchers for low income students through December 31, 2020.
  • When they return to school campuses, all students and school employees are required to wear mask and have a health screening each morning. There will be sanitation stations throughout the school buildings and a nurse in each school.
  • Football will resume this Friday night.
  • School nutrition is continuing to serve meals. Parents can pick up meals for the week.
  • They are excited to be reopening their schools and they are committed to the safety of their students and employees.
Feeding the Valley Update-Frank Sheppard

Frank gave the following updates:

  • Mobile Pantry today in Clay County, Georgia (Ft. Gaines).
  • Mobile Pantry tomorrow in Quitman County, Georgia (Georgetown).
  • Mobile Pantry on Saturday in Lee County, Georgia (Smithville).
  • Asked agency partners who are supporting students at their facilities with virtual learning to advise of their needs as the school district shifts to the Choice Model.
St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • They are seeing a stabilization of and downward trend of COVID-19 cases.
  • Asking everyone to continue to be vigilant with wearing mask, social distancing and hand washing.
  • Appreciate all the community partnerships. They are there when we need them.
  • Their facilities are open and doing well.
Home for Good/United Way Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week’s grant award is to the Pastoral Institute.
  • Grants awarded to date total $1,094.000; 60% for healthcare, 21% related to food insecurity, 8% related to financial assistance, 6% for housing and shelter, 4% for childcare, youth services and education.
  • There are still some funds available on the AFLAC match.
  • For details on grant awards, how to donate to the fund or how agencies can apply for assistance go to cfcv.com/coronavirus

Making Connections (Open Forum) Updates

Senator David Perdue’s Office Update-Cathy Burns

Cathy gave the following updates:

  • Thanked Ben Moser and Pat Frey for their assistance last week with a constituent that had a need. Great example of how this call helps our community.
  • Senator Perdue’s website has the most updated resource guides concerning the coronavirus and assistance at the federal level www.perdue.senate.gov
  • Please reach out to her if she can be of assistance to anyone.
River Valley Regional Commission Update-Jim Livingston

Jim gave the following updates:

  • We are less than 30 days to the end of the 2020 Census. On September 30, 2020 the self-response ends, and the enumerators will be off the streets.
  • Reminder to every one of the importance of the Census to representation and funding.
  • As of this morning the Muscogee County Self Response rate was at 57.1%. The state rate is at 60.3% and the national rate is at 65%. Compared to our neighbors, Macon is at 50.8%, Augusta is at 58.6%, Savannah is at 68.3% and Atlanta (Fulton County) is at 60.1%.
  • Ask 10 people to make sure that they complete the 2020 Census.
  • Jim can be reached at 706-256-2910 or jlivingston@rivervalleyrc.org
  • Links to Columbus Response as of 8/31/2020, State and National Response Rates, Real Time Response Rate Tracker and 2020 Census Self-Response Rate (%) by Census Tract

Columbus Response Rate as of 8/31

State and National Response Rates


2020 Census Self-Response Rate for Muscogee County Maps:
District 1
District 2
District 3
District 4
District 5
District 6
District 7
District 8

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