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April 24, 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 43 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

  • In New York, 1 of every 5 New York City residents has tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, according to preliminary results described by Governor Andrew Cuomo, suggesting that the virus has spread far more widely than known. If the pattern holds, the results from random testing of 3,000 people raise the prospect that many New Yorkers, as many as 2.7 million had been unwittily infected by the virus
  • The parent company of the disinfectant Lysol warns that human consumption of disinfectant products is dangerous. It issued the statement following recent speculation and social media activity
  • The COVID-19 death toll nears 50,000 in the United States
  • Futures pointed to modest gains for United States stocks after a week in which shares have been buffeted by a collapse in oil prices and signs of a severe economic downturn
  • In Georgia, Georgia released a new count of deaths and illnesses form COVID-19. The death toll reached 881 up by 35 from Wednesday and almost 22,000 COVID-19 diagnosis have been confirmed by laboratory test
  • In Alabama, reminder for COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals, visit altogetheralabama.org

Columbus Area Updates

Alabama State Superintendent of Education Update-Dr. Eric Mackey

Dr. Mackey gave the following updates:

  • Alabama was the 4th state to close schools for the year and there are now 36 states that have joined them; glad that they were proactive; enabled them to plan for the end of the school year
  • Distance learning is going remarkably well with a few glitches which are to be expected; learned a lot and will be better prepared the next time with more broadband internet access to every home; more devices in the hands of students and better professional development for teachers so they can better understand how to delivery online verses delivery in the classroom
  • Nothing replaces classroom instruction; the best way to learn is with a highly qualified teacher with a group of students
  • Focusing now on what summer and next August will look like; current health orders expire April 30; staying in contact with the Governor and the State Health Officer; not sure what the summer or next August will look like: discussions are taking place, but no decisions have been made about summer school, football practice, etc.; Hope to have new guidance out by next week
  • Notified that the Alabama plan has been approved to add additional funds on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards for families with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and children in school. School children whose families qualify for free and reduced lunch but don’t otherwise qualify for SNAP will get EBT cards as well; this is being handled by the Department of Human Resources, the Department of Education is assisting with information so that they can get these processed
  • Appreciates all the work that is being done to support our communities; communicates and collaborates regularly with the Georgia State Superintendent of Education
Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • There are 256 confirmed cases in Muscogee County with 4 deaths officially designated as passing away due to COVID-19
  • The curve remains flat; all the hard work that people have put in over the past several weeks is keeping it that way and we need to continue down this path at least for a few more weeks to keep the curve flatten
  • Working to get guideline information out through inspections and code and law enforcement to the businesses that are reopening. Information can also be found on the Governor’s website and at the Department of Economic Development website; city of Columbus will also post the guidelines in the form of a press release
  • There will be a press release in a few days with plans to continue to limit employee and public access to the government center
  • Yard waste pick up will resume on April 27; recycling is still suspended
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • Testing resumed today at the Columbus Health Department. Testing tomorrow from 9:00am-12:00noon
  • There are 1232 confirmed cases in the 16-county health district
  • There are 256 cases in Muscogee County; 141 in Crisp County; 149 in Randolph County and 344 in Sumter County
  • We are doing contact tracing for our district
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Nothing new to report today
Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update
Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Conference call with the Governor’s task force on yesterday. Will send information out to all service providers and as a part of the weekly announcements
  • Meeting coordinated by the Department of Community Affairs with all Continuum of Cares across the state to get to know each other; talked about sharing resources and messaging to make sure that everyone is up to date on the guidelines as we transition
  • Webinar on how to use federal funding going forward to address homelessness and prevention; flexibility now is greater than ever
Coronavirus Response Fund (Crisis Fund) Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Thanked Home for Good for their work
  • The fund is receiving fantastic support as funds continue to come in
  • Reminded organizations to let them know when they need help
  • Asked callers to email her at bcovington@cfcv.com to let her know who has been on the call, so that they can reach out and fill gaps in groups that are not on the call; want to make sure that they are being responsive to the community

Open Forum Updates

PMB Broadcasting Update-Dave Arwood

Dave gave the Following updates:

  • Please contact them if you have any news that you would like to get out to the public
Peachtree Mall Update- Ms. Rice

Ms. Rice gave the following updates:

  • If anyone receives any questions about how retailers are opening, they can contact her at the mall
  • The mall is not reopening yet, only the body care services in the mall; clients will be able to access these services by appointment only, but the mall will not be open to the public
Stewart Community Home Update-Melissa Moore

Melissa gave the following updates:

  • They have 3,000 masks. If anyone is in need, they can contact mmoore@stewartcommunityhome.com
  • Dave Arwood gave Melissa his contact information and added that he could get the information about the mask on the air. He can be reached at darwood@pmbradio.com
Call Notes Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates:

  • Reminded everyone that the call notes are posted on the United Way website each afternoon or the next morning
Senator Perdue Office Update-Kathy Burns

Kathy gave the following updates:

  • The Paycheck Protection Program received additional funds yesterday in the amount of $310 billion dollars; this program includes $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers, $25 billion to expand testing and $60 billion for economic loans and grants
  • Details can be found on the Small Business Administration website sba.gov and Senator Perdue’s website perdue.senate.gov
Valleyhelp.org Update-Gilbert Miller

Gilbert gave the following updates:

  • Reminder to visit valleyhelp.org and post a link to your Facebook pages and websites; valleyhelp.org was created to be an intersection of resources

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