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October 14, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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October 14, 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 826 new coronavirus deaths and 54,403 new cases were reported in the United States on October 13. Over the past week, there have been an average of 52,141 cases per day, an increase of 21 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • As of Wednesday morning, more than 7,894,800 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 215,700 have died, according to a New York Times database.
  • In 28 states and territories, including Alabama, cases are higher and staying high
  • In 19 states and territories cases are lower but going up
  • In 7 states and territories, including Georgia, cases are lower and staying low
Elevated Issue of Local Concern or Awareness-Ben Moser
  • Remaining vigilant, masking, social distancing and being aware of overcrowding in enclosed and/or poorly ventilated spaces.
  • From the Washington Post:
  • U.S. coronavirus cases are rising again, driven by rapid transmission in Midwestern states and sparking fears that a forewarned wave of infections this fall, and winter has begun.
  • For almost a month, new U.S. cases have been trending upward. Since Saturday, more than 20 states have hit a new high in their seven-day average of case counts, and more than half of those states set records again on Tuesday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.
  • The rising numbers are especially concerning because they set the stage for an even greater surge this winter when the virus will be helped by drier conditions and people spending more time indoors. The upward trend comes before the increased mingling of people expected to arrive with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • The virus has become especially rampant in Midwestern states after dominating U.S. coastal and urban areas in the spring, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.
  • It is unclear what factors are driving the recent increase — whether it is the long-feared winter effect already taking place or the resumption of business and schools, or simply fatigue and people letting down their guard on social distancing efforts.
  • Because of day-to-day fluctuations in the reporting of cases, experts often look at the seven-day average of case counts to accurately spot trends.
  • In 40 states, cases are higher when compared with the week before.
  • Indiana, Minnesota and North Dakota have set a new average high for cases each of the past eight days. More than a dozen other states have set new average highs in recent days.
  • “A lot of the places being hit are Midwest states that were spared in the beginning,” said William Hanage, a Harvard University infectious-diseases researcher. “That’s of particular concern because a lot of these smaller regions don’t have the ICU beds and capacity that the urban centers had.”

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates 

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • Things in Columbus are looking good and that is encouraging.
  • However, the holidays are coming up and experts have forewarned about the colder months and any impact that may have.
  • Also, as people move around the country and the state there are opportunities for increases in positive cases.
  • The city has seen a slight uptick in the 7-day rolling average and the hospitalization rate. The death rate is holding at 173.
  • Reminder to focus on what we can control and stay vigilant during the holidays and the winter months.
  • The Mayor acknowledges that people are tired, but he is grateful for everyone who has put forth the effort to help control the spread of the virus.
  • The city is offering an alternative for Halloween.  A Spooktacular Trunk or Treat & More will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 5:00pm-8:00pm in the Columbus Civic Center parking lot as an alternate to Trick or Treat. Reminder to parents that if they must Trick or Treat with their children, go house to house and not door to door.


Feeding the Valley Update-Frank Sheppard

Frank gave the following updates:

  • Everything is going well at Feeding the Valley.
  • Food distribution tomorrow in Randolph County.
  • Monthly food distribution in Muscogee County, Saturday, October 17, 2020 at the Columbus Civic Center. For Georgia residents only.
  • Monthly food distribution in Russell County, Saturday, October 24, 2020 at the Central Activity Center in Phenix City. For Alabama residents only.

St. Francis-Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • The healthcare system remains vigilant and cautious.
  • There has been a slight uptick in positive COVID-19 cases.
  • They are allowing visitors into the hospital on a limited basis.
  • They continue to provide needed services for the community.

Home for Good/United Way Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • They are rapping up round one of applications for sub grantees for the ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) Cares Grant. Hope to make an announcement by the end of the week.
  • Reminder that the 2020 Census is open until October 31,2020. Remind others to complete the 2020 Census if they have not done so already.
  • Reminder to exercise the right to vote and encourage others to do so.  
  • Katie Howard (River Valley Area Agency on Aging) asked if the 2020 Census was still open due to the Supreme Court ruling on yesterday.
  • Mayor Henderson answered that according to the report that he received last night, the Census Bureau has stopped collecting data. However, there have been conflicting reports.  One report indicates that they have stopped collecting data altogether. Another report indicates that the phone lines and website are still available to collect data. He is working to get clarification.
  • Per Pat (who is on the website) the website is still allowing people to complete the census.

Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Grant awards this week: Safehouse Ministries, St. Anne Community Outreach, and Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services.
  • Total grants awarded to date are $1,200,423.
  • For details on grants, donating to the fund or if you are an agency that needs assistance go to cfcv.com/coronavirus
  • If there are any questions about the fund email Betsy at bcovington@cfcv.com
  • Let Betsy or Ben know if there is something that is needed concerning the calls. bmoser@unitedwayofthecv.org or bcovington@cfcv.com
  • Ben and Betsy expressed gratitude for the partnership between and the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley and United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley and for the support of the community. 

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