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June 17, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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June 17, 2020 Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State 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:
  • The president of Honduras has announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a small group of world leaders infected in the pandemic that has swept the globe and reached into the halls of power of several governments. 
Washington Post: 
  • China is moving rapidly to seal off its capital city of 22 million residents by canceling flights and trains amid growing fears that a potential second wave of covid-19 is gathering strength in Beijing and could spread to the rest of the country. 
  • Authorities on Wednesday canceled 1,200 flights in and out of Beijing’s two airports and sharply reduced long-distance bus services. 
Wall Street Journal:
  • U.S. stock futures drifted higher Wednesday as investors weighed signs of the economy recovering against a rise in coronavirus infections in the U.S. and China. 
  • Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.6%, pointing to gains after the New York opening bell in what has been a week of volatile trading. The pan continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.9%. 
In Georgia: 
  • The Atlanta Journal Constitution: Georgia’s reported coronavirus cases rose in each of the past two weeks, and clusters of counties across the state have experienced spikes in new cases, state data shows. 
  • The state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported 5,442 new cases from June 7 to Saturday, an increase of 8.2% from the week of May 31. The 5,028 cases reported the week of May 31 was up 23% from the 4,089 cases reported the week of May 24. 
In Alabama:
  • The number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Decatur has hit all-time highs this month, filling beds and taxing staff as the state struggles with a wave of new cases. 
  • Nearly one-third of those patients will require ventilators during treatment, said Assistant State Health Officer Dr. Karen Landers. 
  • The department of public health reported record-high numbers of new coronavirus cases in recent days, with more than 1,000 cases added on Sunday. 

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • The number of positive cases continue to rise
  • The hospitalization rate is high but manageable according to hospital administrators. They have done a good job with making sure that all their resources are available. Doctors Hospital is still available if there is an influx
  • Muscogee County had a large increase with 56 new cases yesterday and one additional death; we are at 1078 cases with 29 deaths
  • Remains imperative that we encourage everyone including business owners to take an active involvement in social distancing and doing the things that will help mitigate the spread of the virus
  • With it being summer and people getting out more and doing more the chance of the virus spreading is greater
  • Urge everyone to be vigilant and wise and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Public Health recommendations
  • The city will continue to monitor when to reopen indoor recreation centers; will revisit that at the end of June
  • The city will continue to monitor the use of outdoor recreation centers for social distancing
  • Optimistic that our community will pull together and do the things necessary to help slow the increase in numbers
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Jack Lockwood

Jack gave the following updates:

  • COVID-19 testing continues at the Columbus Health Department, Monday thru Friday from 7:00am-11:00am
  • This Saturday they will be testing in Columbus from 9:00am-12:00noon
  • Asking that individuals preregister before coming to get screened for testing at columbushealth.com
  • The Columbus Health Department will be moving on June 29 and 30; they will be mostly closed on those two days; please call 706-321-6300 before coming in for services for times and locations of services as they are moving by department/program
Piedmont Columbus Regional Chairman of the Board Update-John Dale Hester

John Dale gave the following updates:

  • Thanked the community for their support; specifically, food, masks and monetary donations
  • They are seeing a very steady and significant increase in the number of hospitalizations since Memorial Day; the week before Memorial Day they had the lowest number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital, since then week by week new records are being set
  • They do have the capacity to handle more if the numbers continue to go up, but there will be challenges. i.e. staffing
  • Asked callers to spread the word and urge the community to be smart by practicing social distancing, wearing face covers and hand washing
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • The Coronavirus Response Fund has reached a milestone. This week’s grants total $28, 591. This brings the total to date to $1,008,274. This amount is a testament to the brave, groundbreaking work that front line organizations are doing. Appreciate the courage and commitment of these organizations to this community
  • It is an honor for the Community Foundation and United Way to help donors support the great work that organizations are doing
  • Total grant percentages to date: 64% for healthcare needs; 20% for food accessibility; 9% for financial assistance; 5% for housing and shelter; 2% for childcare/youth servicesReminder that the AFLAC match is still available; please help spread the word; the needs continue to be great; cfcv.com/coronavirus Reminder that the AFLAC match is still available; please help spread the word; the needs continue to be great; cfcv.com/coronavirus 
  • Reminder that the AFLAC match is still available; please help spread the word; the needs continue to be great; cfcv.com/coronavirus 

Open Forum Updates

Georgia Power Company Update-Robert Watkins

Robert gave the following updates:

  • Disconnects will resume July 15, 2020
  • Customers can be asked to be put on a payment plan which would begin in October. They will have 6 months with no penalty to pay the arrears
  • If anyone needs more information, please contact Robert at rjwatkins@southernco.com. Also see the attached flyer for more information

Hiring Well Doing Good Update-Kristin Barker

Kristin gave the following updates:

  • Thanked United Way and the Community Foundation for the support that they have provided the community throughout this crisis
  • They are looking for volunteers to help job seekers virtually as they are going through their initial job search
  • Anyone can volunteer but perfect opportunity for anyone with basic human resource knowledge and/or needs volunteer hours
  • If anyone needs more information or would like to volunteer, please contact Kristin at kristin.barker@georgiaopportunity.org or go to the Hiring Well Doing Good website at hiringwelldoinggood.com
Salvation Army Update-Josh Hinson

Josh gave the following updates:

  • Thanked United Way, the Community Foundation and the entire community for their support during the crisis and over the past several years
  • This will be his last time on the call, Josh will be leaving Columbus for a new appointment in Atlanta next week
St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • Uptick in COVID-19 patients continue in the critical care area; monitoring carefully; hope to see a downward turn soon

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