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December 2, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

• Coronavirus
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The Weekly Coronavirus Response Update Call will take place next week (Wednesday, December 9, 2020) and on Wednesday, December 16, 2020. However, there will not be a call on December 23 or December 30. The call will resume on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. If there are agency needs for special assistance during the holidays, please email either Betsy Covington or Ben Moser and they will work with you on those needs.

National and/or State News Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates concerning the coronavirus that causes COVID-19:

New York Times: 
  • At least 2,607 new coronavirus deaths and 184,174 new cases were reported in the United States on December 1, 2020. Over the past week, there has been an average of 161,228 cases per day, an increase of 2 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • As of Wednesday morning, more than 13,799,200 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 270,600 have died, according to a New York Times database.
  • Case numbers are spiking across most of the United States, leading to dire warnings about full hospitals, exhausted health care workers and expanding lockdowns. Glimmers of progress in the Upper Midwest are being offset by major surges elsewhere.
  • As conditions worsened and winter approaches, the governors of Iowa and North Dakota ordered residents to wear masks. State leaders have imposed curfews in Ohio and most of California. And with more than 1.2 million cases announced in a one-week stretch, officials worried aloud about the impact Thanksgiving gatherings could have on the weeks ahead.
  • Deaths are rising quickly toward their spring peaks, surpassing more than 2,000 in a day for the first time since early May.
  • In 42 states and territories, including Alabama and Georgia, new cases are higher and staying high
  • In 13 states and territories new cases are higher but going down
  • In 5 states and territories cases are lower and staying low

Elevated Issue of Local Concern or Awareness-Ben Moser

  • And for the elevated issue this morning, a reminder to remain vigilant, wear your mask, social distance and be aware of overcrowding enclosed and/or poorly ventilated spaces. And please everyone be safe over the rest of the holiday season.
  • And from the Washington Post – an article about vaccines:
  • In the third such announcement in as many weeks, AstraZeneca revealed Monday that its vaccine candidate, developed by Oxford University, is up to 90 percent effective in clinical trials. Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, and Moderna have each reported vaccine that are 95 percent effective in trials.
  • And the all-important question:
  • When will I be able to get vaccinated? That depends on your job, your age and your health.
  • The vaccines could begin to be distributed as soon as mid-December to those in high-risk groups — an estimated 200 million people — who will receive priority, according to a framework devised by an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Government officials said that if both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are authorized, they anticipate having enough doses for 20 million people by year’s end.
  • The exact criteria for who will be first in line will be defined immediately after a vaccine is authorized, but the general principles have been discussed for months. You may qualify for earlier access because of your job: Health-care workers and first responders are likely to be among those prioritized. People who have essential jobs, such as teachers and food workers; those who are at higher risk because of their age: and those who have underlying conditions that increase their risk for severe disease are also likely to receive earlier access.
  • Healthy younger adults who don’t have medical conditions or high-risk jobs are likely to begin to get vaccinated starting in April, but not everyone will be able to get the shots immediately. And children aren’t even included in most coronavirus vaccine trials — Pfizer is the first company to expand its trial to people 12 and older — so they probably will be among the last to get access.
  • “I would say starting in April, May, June, July — as we get into the late spring and early summer — that people in the so-called general population, who do not have underlying conditions or other designations that would make them priority, could get” shots, said Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates

Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates via email:

  • The school district resumed their Choice Model plan after the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The school district is continuing to monitor local health conditions with their medical panel.
Feeding the Valley Update-Frank Sheppard

Frank gave the following updates:

  • Food distributions today and tomorrow in Clay County, Georgia and Quitman County, Georgia.
  • Recent food distributions (two in Muscogee County, Georgia and one in Russell County, Alabama) served 3,100 families. The events went well. Thanked volunteers.
  • Planning food distributions in Muscogee County, Georgia and Russell County, Alabama before Christmas. Muscogee County, Georgia is scheduled for Saturday, December 19 and Monday, December 21.  Russell County, Alabama is scheduled for Wednesday, December 23. More details to follow.
St. Francis-Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • Asked everyone to remain vigilant and mask up.
  • They are watching the slight uptick in cases very carefully.
  • The hospital is busy however the staff is doing well.
  • They will participate in a call this Friday to understand more about the plans for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
  • Appreciates the continued support from the community.
Home for Good/United Way Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • No new grants to announce this week. However, the grant panel is working on several and there will be more to report on next week. 
  • To date the Coronavirus Response Fund has awarded $1,234,384 in grants.
  • 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)

SafeHouse Ministries Update-Neil Richardson

Neil gave the following updates:

  • SafeHouse Ministries in partnership with MercyMed and Piedmont Columbus Regional will provide free flu shots to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. The event will take place on next Wednesday, December 9, 2020 beginning at 1:30pm at the SafeHouse.
  • Due to cold weather predictions, SafeHouse was open from yesterday at 7:00am until today at 2:30pm. There were 41 people who spent the night last night and many others in an out to get coffee and warm up.

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