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April 21, 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 40 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • President Trump said on Monday evening that he intended to close the United States to people trying to immigrate into the country
  • World share prices skidded Tuesday after the price of U.S. crude plunged below zero, with demand collapsing as the pandemic leaves factories, automobiles and airplanes idle
  • The crash in global oil prices accelerated Tuesday, as pain spread to currencies of major exporters and shares in energy producers
  • Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil markets, plunged 28% to $18.31 a barrel, their lowest level since 2002. The decline came a day after the price of West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, dropped below zero for the first time in history
  • In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp outlined plans Monday to allow some businesses shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic to reopen by the end of the week. The governor’s order will allow gyms, bowling alleys, salons and some other indoor facilities closed under his shelter in place order to resume operations by Friday if they comply with social distancing requirements and meet other safety standards. Restaurants, which were banned from in-person dining, will be allowed to reopen on April 27 if they meet guidelines his office will release later this week. Theaters will also be covered by those new standards. Bars and nightclubs will stay shuttered 
  • In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey is asking lawmakers in Washington to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, which ran out of funding last week. Saying: “In Alabama, small businesses are the backbone of our economy.” 

Columbus Area Updates

Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • There are a total of 1130 positive cases in the 16-county health district
  • There are 229 cases in Muscogee County; 125 in Crisp County; 145 in Randolph County and 332 in Sumter County
Alabama State Representative Update-Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • 5,092 cases in Alabama as of this morning
  • 311 in Lee County- 14 deaths from the virus (2,102 tested)
  • 257 in Chambers County- 13 deaths from the virus (796 tested)
  • 48 in Russell County- 0 deaths from the virus (328 total tested)
  • 48,387 people have been tested statewide
  •  699 (up 58 from yesterday) total hospitalized statewide
  • 175 reported deaths and 144 (up 33 from yesterday) confirmed from the virus statewide
  • 40% of all unemployment claims have been paid as of yesterday
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Reminder to service providers to communicate with each other concerning any changes in operations to make sure that they are continuing to meet the needs of the vulnerable population
  • Encouraging everyone to use the flexibility that they have access to in order to make sure that they are moving ahead with housing and helping to prevent homelessness
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • This week’s grants will be announced tomorrow
  • Reminder to front line organizations who are serving vulnerable populations to fill out the form on the Community Foundation website. CFCV.com/coronavirus
  • Money continues to come into the fund which is great news; Reminder of Global Payment/ 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
  • Visit valleyhelp.org and link it to your organization’s website; great addition to area resources
  • Reminder of the Coronavirus Impact Nonprofit Assessment Tool for non-profit organizations who do not necessarily serve on the front line. CFCV.com/coronavirus
  • Potential funders can also go to CFCV.com/coronavirus to get a report of the needs

Open Forum Updates

River Valley Area Agency on Aging-Katie Howard

Katie gave the following updates:

  • They are looking for volunteers to help with their meal delivery (Meals on Wheels). Let Candace at United Way know if you or your organization would like to volunteer
Additional Note:

Several questions were asked on the call today in response to Governor Kemp’s press conference yesterday announcing that some businesses will be allowed to reopen this Friday and some to reopen on next Monday.

Betsy referred the question about small business resources to the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce website. However, we will try to get more information on future calls.

Ben answered that the question about the special social distancing and sanitation mandate should be answered when the Governor’s office releases detailed guidelines in the next several days.

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