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April 10, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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To download notes, click here.

National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 29 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading infectious disease expert in the United States said that a test to determine whether a person has been infected with the coronavirus and as a result has acquired a level of immunity would be made available in the coming days
  • According to widely used models it is predicted that the United States will reach its peak death rate this weekend
  • New York has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world
  • President Trump stated that the country is at the” top of the hill” and will hopefully be reopening the country very soon
  • Multiple cabinet secretaries have also expressed hope that the various government orders directing citizens to stay at home and forcing non-essential businesses to close can be partial eased next month
  • The United States death toll surpassed Spain making it the second highest in the world behind Italy
  • The number of cases top 1.6 million worldwide, while deaths exceeded 96,000 according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University
  • In Georgia, Governor Kemp expressed optimism about where Georgia is in its battle against COVID-19. Over the weekend there was a four-day change in the model and Georgia’s peak was lowered significantly. Supply chains are opening and access to Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators is improving
  • In Alabama, Governor Ivey announced the launch of a COVID-19 search engine tool that enhances the states official resource site, altogetheralabama.org

Columbus Area Updates      

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • As of 7:00pm yesterday, there are 118 positive cases in Muscogee County with 3 deaths. All the individuals have been in the category that is classified as the most vulnerable population for the virus, seniors
  • Encouraged everyone to continue social distancing to protect themselves and the ones they love
  • Expecting the numbers to go up today due to the outstanding work that MercyMed has done in making sure that people get tested; most of the results are in through the Department of Public Health
  • Testing has allowed those that are asymptomatic to be identified. MercyMed is working out a system so that they can be monitored and quarantined and to try to help those with symptoms stay at a level that they will not need hospitalization
  • Monitoring the hospitals; surge has not hit yet
  • Encourage pastors to be creative this Easter Sunday and worship through technology; do not have drive-thru services
  • Governor Kemp extended the Shelter in Place order; he has been in communication with mayors and city managers to get input; may see some changes in the orders; suspension of short-term rentals; expectations for nursing homes
  • The Mayor is grateful for the efforts of this community
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Jack Lockwood gave the following updates in Natalie’s absence:

  • Information on Centers of Disease Control and Prevention website to help places of worship especially during Easter weekend
  • The West Central Georgia Health District is hosting a question and answer session this morning at 10:00am via WebEx for faith leaders with Dr. Hill. Information to join the call can be found on their Facebook page
  • The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has created a coronavirus self-checker. It can be accessed through an app on Apple or on the Centers of Disease Control website
  • The health department will have testing today until 12:00noon
  • Expecting severe weather this weekend
  • Jack gave a shout out to BWP for providing the health department with food donations
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Distribution of printed instructional packets has been postponed in light of the revised Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines
  • Putting a plan/procedure together to meet those guidelines and will plan to distribute next week; plan should be finalized with an update by Monday’s call
Alabama State House Representative Update-Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • There are 2881 cases in Alabama
  • There are 206 cases in Lee County with 5 deaths
  • There are 162 cases in Chambers County with 8 deaths
  • There are 18 cases in Russell County
  • Statewide 20, 605 people have been tested
  • There are 314 hospitalized; 79 reported deaths with 58 of those confirmed
  • Severe weather is expected this weekend
Piedmont Columbus Regional and Piedmont Healthcare System Update-Warren Steele, Board Member

Warren gave the following updates:

  • Shout out to Fox and Friends News for their coverage of Dan Amos’ donation to Doctors Hospital. Also highlights Columbus Georgia and Piedmont Columbus Regional
  •  Piedmont is receiving great support from the community during this very stressful time; staff working long hours but still maintaining a sense of humor
  • Piedmont Board Chair, Ron Duffy gives praise to Scott Hill and the local team for the positive impact they have made on the system especially getting the command center set up early
  • Systemwide inpatient cases have been flat over the past week; up 2%
  • Still seeing 20% of the Persons Under Investigation (PUI) testing positive; systemwide there are 123 PUI’s as of Thursday
  • Systemwide there are 232 positive cases about 100 of those are in ICU; 40% of positive cases are going into ICU; 75-80% of those in ICU will need a ventilator
  • Locally as of yesterday there were 15 positive cases at Midtown, a slight increase from last week; 13 PUI also a little higher
  • As a system they are confident that they can handle all the patients
  • They are projecting the surge in the Piedmont system to be April 20
  • The renovation of the Doctors Hospital that has been talked about is the 5th floor. The first three floors of Doctors Hospital have been offered to the state of Georgia if needed; they would be responsible for equipment and staff
  • As a system, they feel confident about testing capability and they ae keeping up with the needs
  • Of the 11 hospitals in the system, Fayette and Henry County are the most challenged; they are full. Athens has shown an increase in the past week
  • They have the ability to move staff and equipment around within the system as needed
  • Supply chain is stable; don’t plan on any staff cuts or furloughs despite large losses in revenue; tracking federal funds for hospitals; will apply when they become available
  • Biggest challenge is that COVID-19 trained staff are getting offers from other areas; Human Resources is looking at how to keep staff here locally
The Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley Update-JJ Musgrove

JJ gave the following updates:

  • In response to questions from potential funders and struggling non-profits, it has been identified that non-profits not necessarily on the front line serving the vulnerable population are in need
  • A survey called The Coronavirus Impact Non-Profit Assessment Tool has been created for these non-profits to tell their stories for potential funders
  • Non-profits leaders can visit the Community Foundation website at CFCV.com and click on the Coronavirus Impact Non-Profit Assessment Tool icon
  • This information will be captured and uploaded to the site every Monday; anyone can request the information from the site; they will receive an excel spreadsheet or a PDF
  • All non-profits are eligible to complete this survey
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Pat had the opportunity to participate in a webinar yesterday with the National League of Cities about supporting those who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness during the pandemic. In addition to everything that is being done during the pandemic it was discussed how to help people on the other side of the pandemic with permanent housing
  • Pat also had an opportunity to communicate with Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) about screening tools and tracking and coordinating with Department of Public Health and medical facilities in order to protect the most vulnerable and the community at large; great exchange of information
  • Local service providers are staying in tune and cooperating
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • In the process of second round grants from the fund; will be announcing early next week
  • Seeing a lot of need in the community; help us keep the donations coming in
  • There is still money left on Global Payments/TSYS $100,000 matching gift to the fund; they will match individual gifts to the fund up to $2,000 for a total of $100,000
  • Please encourage non-profits to complete the Coronavirus Impact Non-Profit Assessment Tool (non-profits who are not on the front lines serving the vulnerable population

Open Forum Updates

St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • Appreciate community support
  • Hospital staff working long hours; providing support groups and behavioral health for them; listening to their needs on how to help their work environment
  • Big celebration yesterday, patient went home that was previously on a ventilator
  • They have the capability and resources to do what needs to be done and support their team

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