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April 20, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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To download call notes, click here.

National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 39 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • Governors demanding wider screening; shortage of diagnostic kits persist
  • South Carolina is expected to announce the reopening of beaches and some retail stores this week
  • The President announced that the United States still wants investigators to go to China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak; the U.S. has previously made request that have been ignored; China is accused of withholding accurate information about the extent of the virus in their country
  • The Trump Administration and Congressional Leaders are working on a $470 billion deal for new funding for the small business program on Sunday; the deal would also boost spending for hospitals and coronavirus testing; Trump expressed optimism about reaching an agreement on Monday
  • United States stocks futures slid Monday morning; investors remain at odds about the extent of the economic damage from the pandemic and how quickly businesses will recover
  • In Georgia, Governor Kemp is exploring a coordinated effort with other states to jump start the regional economy. He spoke with five other governors on Saturday about how to safely reopen states. He is expected to outline details at a Monday press conference
  • In Alabama, Governor Ivey reiterated her stand on reopening the state, that they would need to see declining cases and stronger testing over at least a14 day period to make certain not to see a return in the spike of infections

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • Appreciates the daily calls; important for people to get up to date information
  • As of 10:30pm last night Muscogee County had 224 positive cases
  • More testing has become available; would like to see more
  • Encouraged that the hospital rate is holding steady; no surge yet
  • There have been 4 deaths in Muscogee County; one of which has been debated as to whether it is a direct result of COVID-19
  • Governor Kemp is allowing input from Georgia Mayors about the process to reopen the state; Mayors are providing recommendations what they think are best 
  • Focused on getting people back to work as soon as practically possible; won’t look like it did before the pandemic; social distancing will continue to be encouraged and mask could become a fashion statement
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • Testing resumes today at the Columbus Health Department. Monday thru Friday 8:30am-5:00pm and Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm
  • There are a total of 1100 positive cases in the 16-county health district
  • There 224 in Muscogee County; 118 in Crisp County; 144 in Randolph County: and 332 in Sumter County
  • Georgia Department of Public Health staff are working with nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • The National Guard has been present at the Columbus Health Department testing site
  • Mayor Henderson added that the National Guard has complied with nursing home requests for assistance and Homeland Security continues to have ongoing dialogue with all the nursing homes in Columbus
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • No new updates today. Reminder of the feeding program change beginning today. Going from five days to three days with the same number of meals
Alabama State Representative Update-Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • There are 4923 confirmed cases in Alabama
  • There have been 45,712 people tested in the state
  • There are 307 cases in Lee county with 11 deaths
  • There are 247 cases in Chambers County with 11 deaths
  • There are 44 cases in Russell County with 309 people tested. No deaths
  • There have been 164 deaths reported in the state and 113 of them have been confirmed
  • Conference call with the Governor this morning to discuss updates on how to reopen the state; he will give an update on tomorrow’s call
ValleyHelp.org Update-Gilbert Miller

Gilbert gave the following updates:

  • Privileged to be a part of these calls and proud of the work that is being done
  • Everyone is having to create a new response
  • Some people are brand new to crisis and at risk for the first time; others may be use to the system and are now having to compete due to the surge in demand
  • Navigating systems can be a challenge; Valleyhelp.org was created to be an intersection of information for people in crisis, volunteers, donors, parents, status of businesses that are open, etc.; the website has a Google translate button so that information is available in multiple languages
  • Please email updates@valleyhelp.org if you see something that needs to be updated
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Talking as a community and working on how to do crisis documentation; reached out to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) technical advisor for processes and advice on how that would look; service providers were given that information on Friday; process for everyone to be on the same page going forward
  • Passed out slides and recordings from the mega waiver meeting that happened on Tuesday
  • Participating in a webinar on tomorrow about data collecting
  • Kudos to our HUD Atlanta Field Representative, Barry Bennett for great support and outstanding service
  • https://www.hudexchange.info/trainings/courses/covid-19-planning-response-office-hours-mega-waiver-and-cares-act/
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Results will be announced soon for this week’s grants
  • Front line organizations needing assistance can go to CFCV.com/coronavirus or link from the United Way website(unitedwayofthecv.org) and fill out the form
  • Other nonprofit organizations that may not qualify for front line assistance from the fund may fill out the Coronavirus Impact Assessment Tool to tell their story
  • Potential funders can go to the tool and get a report of the needs

Open Forum Updates

Valley Healthcare System Update-Sarah Lang

Sarah gave the following updates:

  • Valley Healthcare System has drive up and walk up testing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; setting up the testing site was pending supplies
  • Prefer that individuals call for an appointment in order to avoid wait times
  • Test results turnaround started at 11 days, down to 10 days, now they are getting results back in 48 hours
  • To date they have done 50 tests with 6 being positive and 10 results are pending (they should be back tomorrow)
  • Additional information can be found on their website valleyhealthcolumbus.com

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