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July 1, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

• Coronavirus
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July 1, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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National and/or State News Updates-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates concerning the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 from national, state, and local news sources:

The New York Times: 

  • With a resurgence across the South and West, the United States hits another record for new cases. 
  • More than 47,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the United States on Tuesday, the most of any day of the pandemic. Officials in eight states — Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas — also announced single-day highs. 
  • Tuesday was the fourth time in a week that the United States posted a new single-day case record. 
  • The number of new cases in the United States has shot up by 80 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. 
  • More than 4,600 new cases of the virus were announced in Arizona, by far its most in a single day, as Vice President Mike Pence planned to travel there on Wednesday. More than 7,800 new cases were announced across California and more than 6,800 in Texas. 

Elevated Issue of Local Concern or Awareness- Ben Moser

  • Given that we had our largest number of cases in a day yesterday in Muscogee County, and the virus is surging in Georgia and across the south, we thought it was important to focus this section today on prevention.
  • The CDC updated their guidelines two weeks ago to say that COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. We are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. 
  • Person-to-person spread 
    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). 
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. 
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. 
  • The virus may be spread in other ways 
    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads. Protect yourself and others 
  • Protect yourself and others Protect yourself and others 
    The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread. 
  • Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others. 

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates 


Food-Frank Sheppard, Feeding the Valley Food Bank

Frank gave the following updates:

  • Since March 15, Feeding the Valley has distributed just over five million pounds of food throughout the community, this is two million pounds more than average
  • Thankful to their many community partners for assisting with additional distributions and to the Coronavirus Response Fund for assisting them with funding
  • If anyone on the call encounters individuals needing food, the quickest way for individuals to connect is to go the Feeding the Valley website home page(feedingthevalley.org) and put in their zip code where it says Need Food? They will receive a list of food panties closest to them with contact information and hours of operation. Individuals can also check the website and Facebook page for upcoming food distribution events around the community. Feeding the Valley is conducting about 54 community wide events a month
  • Feeding the Valley will be conducting a pop-up produce market on tomorrow, hosted by Cascade Hills Church on 54th Street beginning at 9:00am. It is drive-thru and open to the public

Health-Joel Ames, Piedmont Columbus Regional

Joel gave the following updates:

  • Thanked everyone in the community for the tremendous support given to the healthcare system through food, money, time, cards, letters, prayers, signage, lights (Callaway Garden butterflies), etc.
  • Piedmont Columbus Regional is seeing their highest levels ever of positive hospitalized COVID-19 patients; there is also an uptick in other Piedmont hospitals in the state
  • The numbers have been slowly growing and they hit a record number of admissions last night; they are cautioning everyone to do what they can to help prevent the spread of the virus in the community
  • One encouraging thing is that the treatment and therapy development that has come along since the first positive case in March, has lessened the critical treatment needs sooner for those being admitted to the hospital. However, there are still critically ill people on respirators and ventilators
  • They are watching their levels of personal protection equipment (PPE), monitoring their bed counts, tracking admissions and discharges, monitoring testing supplies and staffing levels
  • Everyone entering their hospital is required to wear a mask and have their temperature taken. They are also registered and required to wear a badge
  • They continue to have a highly restrictive visitor policy; one visitor per patient per hospital stay; end of life and neonatal intensive care visitation is handled on a case by case basis

Health-Melody Trimble, St. Francis Emory Healthcare

Melody gave the following updates:

  • St. Francis is doing the same things as Piedmont; requiring mask, screening, monitoring, treatments
  • As we are approaching the July 4th weekend, they are asking the community to protect themselves and others by practicing social distancing and wearing mask; it will take everyone working together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community
  • They also want the community to know that it is safe to come to the hospitals and not to delay other healthcare needs

Housing-Pat Frey, Home for Good/United Way

Pat gave the following updates:

Youth Services/Elder Services-Lesley Dudley, Board Chair, Girls Inc.

Lesley gave the following updates:

  • Girls Inc. is open for their Summer Camp
  • Thanked the Community Foundation and United Way for the Coronavirus Response Fund that has helped to support scholarships for girls whose parents needed assistance for them to attend summer camp
  • The girls are having fun, they are making mask and learning about social distancing. A lot of the fun things that they are doing can be seen on the Girls Inc Facebook Page
  • Unfortunately, although they have been following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, they have a few confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • The summer camp is taking a break this week and performing additional cleaning in the centers, while those who tested positive are in self quarantine
  • Girls Inc. is thrilled to announce they have hired Arlene Charles as their new Executive Director. She comes to Girls Inc. from YWCA of Greater Atlanta where she served as their Chief Operating Officer
  • Arlene Charles introduced herself. She is excited about her new role with Girls Inc. and she is looking forward to getting to know everyone in the community

Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • No new grants to announce today; some organizations have been funded through the end of July and August; they can reapply if needed
  • To date the fund has awarded 61 grants that total $1,021,782; 63% healthcare related, 20% food insecurity issues, 9% financial support for individuals, 60% housing and shelter related and 2% childcare and youth services
  • Any organization needing assistance can go to cfcv.com/coronavirus to apply

Making Connections (Open Forum) Updates

Salvation Army Update-Jason Smith

Jason gave the following updates:

  • Captain Jason Smith introduced himself and his wife Melissa. He is the new Executive Director of the Salvation Army. He thanked the Community Foundation and United Way for their support of the Salvation Army, and he looks forward to meeting everyone

Alabama Power Company Update-Sebastian Dixon

Sebastian gave the following updates:

  • Alabama Power employees are still working remotely
  • Business offices are still closed except for the drive thru
  • They are still not disconnecting services at this point

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