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December 9, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

• Coronavirus
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The Weekly Coronavirus Response Update Call will take place next week (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 to fulfill 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 2,597 new coronavirus deaths and 219,944 new cases were reported in the United States on December 8, 2020. Over the past week, there has been an average of 207,024 cases per day, an increase of 18 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • As of Wednesday morning, more than 15,248,500 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 286,400 have died, according to a New York Times database.
  • The country has set records for cases, deaths and hospitalizations in recent days even as officials imposed new restrictions seeking to curb the virus’s spread.
  • In California, limits on businesses will be as strict as they’ve been since spring.
  • Even as case numbers fall in some Midwestern states, that progress is being more than offset by uncontrolled outbreaks in some of the country’s largest cities.
  • The Miami and Los Angeles areas are adding thousands of cases each day.
  • States in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast that managed the virus successfully this summer have been unable to control the spread this fall.
  • And across the country, deaths are emerging at devastating levels, with more than 2,000 announced on most weekdays.
  • In 44 states and territories, including Alabama and Georgia, new cases are higher and staying high.
  • In 8 states and territories new cases are higher but going down.
  • In 3 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 website MarketWatch:
  • Dr. Fauci warned Monday that Christmas could create another COVID-19 surge.
  • Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past three decades, told CBS News during the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit that people should avoid travel this month.
  • As hospitals await an increase in cases after Thanksgiving, he said, “For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters.”
  • The post-Thanksgiving case increase is expected to happen right before “the Christmas, Hanukkah potential surge,” he said.
  • Speaking to CNN on Monday, Fauci warned that Americans are facing a “critical time” and the next potential surge over the holidays could lead to a dark January, “This may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday,” he said.
  • Fauci, saying 10 people gathered indoors during the holidays is likely too many.

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates via email:

  • The hospitalization rate is staying below 50 for the 7-day rolling average even with the rise in confirmed cases in our area.
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • The school district is seeing an increase in cases due to people being exposed at home and exposing others when coming to school.
  • Most of the cases are quarantines due to direct or indirect exposure to someone with the virus.
  • Fortunately, the cases have not been so high as to cause major disruptions to operations and school closures.
  • The school district is continuing to meet regularly with medical personnel to monitor health conditions.
  • Thankful for everyone’s continued support and flexibility
St. Francis-Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • Saw an increase of COVID-19 cases through the Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • However, they are currently treating less than 25 COVID-19 patients despite the national rise in numbers.
  • Reminder to remain vigilant and protect yourselves and your loved ones. Practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash hands and avoid gatherings.
  • They are still awaiting information concerning the allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Georgia. However, they have been approved as a site to provide the vaccine for their team members.
  • Everyone at the hospital is doing well as they are taking care of patient needs.
  • During the holidays, keep in mind the COVID-19 numbers in your community as well as the numbers in communities of those traveling into your area. If you must travel, keep in mind the numbers in the community that you will be traveling to.
  • Practice safe behaviors to help mitigate the spread which also helps health care providers.
Home for Good/United Way Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Continuing the implementation process of the ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) Cares funding.
  • Mandatory HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) All Users Meeting this afternoon at 2:00pm. See the link below or go to the Home for Good website homeforgoodcv.org
  • Point in Time Count is tentatively scheduled for Monday, January 25, 2021, depending on health conditions.
Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week’s grant awards are to Beth Salem Presbyterian Church( 2 Fish 5 Loaves Food Pantry), Village Table and St. James Outreach.
  • Grants awarded to date total $1,244, 384. Grants are awarded on a weekly basis.
  • Thankful for all the donations received for this fund. Every dollar goes back into the community and there are no fees taken on this fund.
  • There are still funds available on the AFLAC match. Donations are matched up to $2,000 per donation.
  • Concerned about the needs in January as the moratorium on evictions expires.
  • For details on grant awards, to donate or if you are a non-profit in need of assistance go to cfcv.com/coronavirus

Making Connections (Open Forum)

St. Anne Community Outreach Update-Katie Byers

Katie gave the following updates:

  • St. Anne will be conducting its first evening food distribution today.
  • The food distribution was by registration only and is full for tonight.
  • They will be having an evening food distribution on the second Tuesday of each month to assist working families or individuals who are unable to go to food pantries during the day.
  • The registration process will be advertised on social media.
  • Thanked the Coronavirus Response Fund for helping them to get this started.
Columbus Health Department Update-Asante’ Hilts

Asante’ gave the following updates:

  • The Columbus Health Department is working with their Public Information Officer to develop up to date information for the public concerning the COVID-19 vaccine (i.e., risk, side effects, etc.) The information will be posted on their website once it is completed. westcentralhealthdistrict.com

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