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May 29, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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May 29, 2020 Coronavirus Community Call

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National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 78 of the National Emergency over the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state and local news sources:

New York Times:
  •  The latest sign of the economic strain and the government’s role in easing it came Thursday when the Labor Department reported that millions more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. More than 40 million have filed for benefits since the crisis began, and some 30 million are receiving them. 
Washington Post:
  • Slowing rates of infection in some of the hardest-hits part of the United States have offered hope, as New York City, once the country’s main coronavirus hot spot, announced plans Thursday to ease restrictions after 10 weeks under lockdown. 
  • Globally, the pandemic has shifted to Latin America and the Middle East and in the United States, rural areas are reporting surges, too. 
 Wall Street Journal:
  • U.S. shoppers likely pulled back on purchases at a record pace in April, but since then signs are emerging that consumer spending is starting to pick up, albeit slowly. 
  • Economists forecast that spending dropped nearly 13% in April, which would be the largest monthly decline for records tracing back to 1959. 
In Georgia: 
  • Gov. Kemp has renewed a state of emergency for the state of Georgia. The declaration helps to free-up resources to respond to the pandemic. The renewed declaration now will expire at on July 12. 
  • The governor also announced the roll out a series of opening dates for different businesses and organizations beginning with summer overnight camps on May 31. 
In Alabama: 
  • From AL as a reminder – For COVID-19 resources for businesses and individuals, please visit altogetheralabama.org

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • The Governor held a press conference on yesterday the city has received a copy of the order; bars and night clubs as well as some amusement parks and carnival activities have been allowed to reopen in the state with some restrictions
  • Shelter in place for the medically fragile and elderly will continue through June 12, 2020
  • Locally, cases are ticking upward, as of this morning there were 593 cases
  • Weeklong steady increase in the number of patients hospitalized; however, we are still running at a favorable percentage rate; hospital resources are still in good shape and outpacing the need
  • Will continue to monitor the numbers to determine if there is a trend of increase
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Man

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • There is a total of 2,109 cases in the 16-county health district
  • Update of testing times at the Columbus Health Department: 8:00am until 1:00pm, Monday-Friday
  • This Saturday, May 30, 2020, the Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) will conduct drive thru testing at Carver High School (3100 8th Street, Columbus, Georgia) from 9:00am until 12:00noon
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • Reminder that virtual summer school begins June 1-June 18 for high school students
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 committee will be meeting after this call to start deliberation for next week’s grant awards
  • Grace Burton-Edwards, the rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church is spearheading an effort to involve area churches in helping to make contributions to the Coronavirus Response Fund to pay for bottled water for summer camps. Thanks to everyone that is involved in this effort
  • If anyone would like additional information, please email Betsy at bcovington@cfcv.com

Open Forum Updates

MercyMed Update-Billy Holbrook

Billy gave the following updates:

  • MercyMed will be conducting walk up testing over the next several weeks. This is to assist individuals that may not be able to participate in drive thru testing
  • They will be testing at Highland Community Church (3408 5th Avenue, Columbus, Georgia) on next Tuesday, June 2, 2020 from 9:00am-2:00pm; they will be testing at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church (4400 Old Cusseta Road, Columbus, Georgia) on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, from 9:00am-2:00pm
  • They are working in partnership with the Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department), Valley Healthcare and Tree of Life Healthcare
  • Valley Healthcare is conducting testing today at Fourth Street Baptist Church (222 5th Street) from 11:00am-2:00pm
New Horizon Behavioral Health Update-Susan Gallagher
  • New Horizons has prepared COVID-19 mental health brochures. If anyone is interested in having some for display in their office, please contact Susan Gallagher at 706-596-5517. The brochure is also available in an electronic PDF format
  • New Horizons can provide QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) training.  This Suicide Prevention and Intervention training is free to the community. If your organization is interested, please contact Susan Gallagher at 706-596-5517.The training is also available in a Zoom format

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