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April 9, 2020: Community Call Notes

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To download call notes, click here.

National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 28 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week
  • The United States death toll crossed 14,000 on Wednesday with a record number of deaths reported on Tuesday; new model shows 60,000 deaths by August down from the 82,000 predicted on Tuesday
  • The preliminary findings of an antibody study by German virologist indicates a fatality rate of 0.37%, this information is expected to inform German government and decision makers about lifting restrictions
  • The IMF and World Bank face a deluge of aid request from the developing world
  • In Georgia, Governor Kemp extended the Shelter in Place order through April 30 and the Emergency Powers order through May 13
  • In Alabama, Governor Ivey announced that a new search engine tool has been added to the altogetheralabama.org website that the state is using as its official guide to COVID-19 relief efforts
United States Representative (Georgia 3rd Congressional District)-Drew Ferguson

Representative Ferguson gave the following updates:

  • The country has responded remarkably well during this unprecedented event
  • Models show that we are beginning to flatten the curve of the infection rate
  • Anticipate this week and next week to be the worst for fatalities
  • Communities where social distancing policy have been put in place early have fared better; moving through the event more quickly; Important that we continue to follow the guidelines of federal, state and local officials
  • Proud of local healthcare systems throughout the district; frontline workers doing an amazing job; Hospital administrators have been resourceful in adapting their staff and units into capacity to handle COVID-19 patients
  • Hospital systems have been hit in two ways: workload and expenses
  • Congress has approved funding to help hospitals
  • Initial trials on vaccines are starting; rapid test being produced by Abbott Laboratory; results in 15 minutes will be a game changer
  • Beginning to get ahead of the curve with Person Protective Equipment (PPE) production and distribution
  • COVID-19 has had a devasting effect on the economy; a few months ago, strongest economy of anywhere in the world, low unemployment and fast wage growth
  • Small businesses have become the most vulnerable; Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Small Business Association; apply  through local bank; significant lifeline to small businesses; non-profits being affected as well
  • Loans for medium and large distressed industries through Main Street Lending program
  • Goal is getting American back to work and keeping America safe; dignity of work
  • Get through this 2nd quarter, stabilization by the 3rd quarter and growth by 4th quarter; we will come out of this better than we have ever been

Columbus Area Updates      

River Valley Regional Commission Updates-Jim Livingston

Jim gave the following updates:

  • They have a new tool on their website; the website address is rivervalleyrc.org
  • The tool can be found on their Coronavirus Information Hub
  • The first part for the tool is a Map of COVID-19 in the River Valley Region and the second tool is River Valley Counties COVID-19 Impact Planning Reports
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • As of 9am, Muscogee had 94 cases; Crisp 52; Dooley 28; Randolph 87; Sumter 180
  • Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for updates twice daily
  • Good Friday tomorrow; testing from 9:00am to 12:00noon at the health department
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Dr. Lewis stated that he did not have anything new to report today
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Local service providers continuing to collaborate on how to best meet the needs of the vulnerable population
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • $136.100 in grants awarded to 11 organizations that are doing fantastic work on the front lines serving our most vulnerable population
  • Deputize everyone on the line to help raise money for the fund
  • Efficient and effective way to get money where it is most needed
  • Can share giving links from the Community Foundation or United Way Facebook pages
  • No fees are taken by the Community Foundation or United Way on money donated to the fund

Open Forum Updates

Katie Byers of St. Anne thanked the Community Foundation and United Way for the funds. She added that they probably would have had to shutdown next week without them. They have over one hundred people there today getting groceries and they were able to reopen their utility assistance fund.

Betsy and Ben thanked Katie for the work that St. Anne’s does.

Katie asked if anyone knew of any food distribution in Phenix City as they have been getting lots of request from Phenix City.

Kara VinZant of Stewart Community Home answered that the Russell County Baptist Association has churches that are doing food distribution in Russell County.

Frank Sheppard of Feeding the Valley added that most partner agencies in Russell County have closed. They are looking for more opportunities to distribute more food. The mobile food pantry will be in at the Central Activity Center on the 4th Saturday of this month. Frank also thanked the Community Foundation and United Way for the funds. They have fed 20,000 additional families so far during this crisis.

Elizabeth Young of the River Valley Area Agency on Aging asked if there are any resources for seniors who are homebound and unable to go to food pantries.

Chandra Wright, Vice-President of Major Gifts and Planned Giving added that she would reach out to some of her contacts in Phenix City after the call and send info to be include in today’s notes.

  • This is the information Chandra provided after the call: Katie based on your question this morning on the Community Call, I was able to find out about two places that are distributing food in Phenix City. First is Gaines Chapel Church donates food on Saturday mornings, and I have attached a letter from the City of Phenix City pertaining to food distribution for Senior Citizens.

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