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August 26, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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August 26, 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:

New York Times: 
  • At least 1,212 new coronavirus deaths and 38,761 new cases were reported in the United States on August 25. Over the past week, there have been an average of 42,078 cases per day, a decrease of 22 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • As of Wednesday morning, more than 5,792,900 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 178,400 have died, according to a New York Times database.
  • 10 states and territories showed an increase in cases
  • 19 states and territories remained mostly the same and
  • 25 states and territories, including GA and AL, are seeing a decrease in cases
Elevated Issue of Local Concern or Awareness-Ben Moser
  • Aerosol transmission: A very detailed article came out in online Time Magazine yesterday by Jose-Luis Jimenez. Jose-Luis Jimenez is a Professor of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is a highly cited researcher and a Fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research and the American Geophysical Union.
  • The article discusses the three ways COVID-19 can be transmitted and it lands firmly on the main mode of transmission being aerosols. The article states that:
  • Contact tracing shows that, when it comes to COVID-19, being outdoors is 20 times safer than being indoors, which argues that aerosol transmission is much more important than droplets; outdoors, there’s plenty of air in which aerosols can become diluted; not so indoors.
  • It’s a great article and we will post the link in the notes, I would encourage everyone to check it out.
  • The article has a great conclusion with a catchy acronym, and of course we all love those:
    “We should continue doing what has already been recommended: wash hands, keep six feet apart, and so on. But that is not enough. A new, consistent and logical set of recommendations must emerge to reduce aerosol transmission. I propose the following: Avoid Crowding, Indoors, Low Ventilation, Close Proximity, Long Duration, Unmasked, Talking/Singing/Yelling (“A CIVIC DUTY”). These are the important factors in mathematical models of aerosol transmission and can also be simply understood as factors that impact how much we would inhale.
  • So please check it out: https://time.com/5883081/covid-19-transmitted-aerosols/

Economic Sector and Impact Area Updates 

Columbus Consolidated Government Update-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • Our numbers continue to improve some and are trending downward; continuing to watch the 7-day rolling average and monitoring the 14-day number of cases per 100,000 residents. However, the reality is we are still seeing 150-200 cases per week in Columbus, Georgia.
  • Hospitals continue to do a fantastic job of managing their resources. The hospitalization rate has plateaued some and there are 60-65 cases on any given day. However, this is still 50% higher than the highest point in April during the surge.
  • At some point we have got to get our children back in school. Dr. David Lewis and his staff have done a tremendous job of trying to navigate what to do and when to do it. Also, high school football will resume at some point and universities are back in session. 
  • It is important that we keep our numbers down so in the event of another surge our hospitals will not be overwhelmed. Hospitals are taking care of people who are sick that don’t have COVID-19 as well.
  • The mask mandate that was issued last week was ratified through ordinance by city council last night. The mask mandate is not political, it is a health and safety issue and an economic issue.
  • The city is doing what it can to encourage citizens to follow the guidelines.
  • The city still has not reopened sporting facilities and they continue to evaluate. They meet weekly to discuss.
  • The Mayor gives credit to the citizens of our community who have worked hard and sacrificed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. He is grateful for the way that the community has responded.
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

  • The school district is monitoring the numbers to see how and when students will be able to return to school. They hope to reach a decision by next week so that parents can know how to plan.
  • Dr. Lewis is meeting later today with his medical panel to get their insight to help guide the decision about returning to the Choice Model.  
  • This past Monday, there was a Zoom outage throughout the entire country. The issue has been resolved and they are back up and running.
  • Dr. Lewis thanked teachers and parents for their grace and patience during this time.
  • He also thanked the community for their patience and understanding.
Feeding the Valley Update-Frank Sheppard

Frank gave the following updates:

  • There will be a Pop-Up Food Market on tomorrow, August 27, 2020, beginning at 8:00am at Spencer High School (fresh produce, frozen meats and canned goods). Georgia and Alabama residents are eligible. 
  • The Mobile Pantry will be in Harris County tomorrow. Georgia residents are eligible.
St. Francis Emory Healthcare Update-Melody Trimble

Melody gave the following updates:

  • The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations are trending in a positive(good) direction.
  • Wearing mask, washing hands and social distancing have been key in helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
  • The hospital remains busy, but they are doing well. They will continue to reevaluate their visitor’s policy.
Home for Good/United Way Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

Grants/Projects Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • No new grants this week from the Coronavirus Response Fund. However, there are a few in the works. The Columbus CARES Act application deadline last week may have affected grant applications.
  • Reminder to non-profits that serve the vulnerable population to apply at cfcv.com/coronavirus if they need help.

Making Connections (Open Forum) Updates

  • Betsy asked organizations to email her if they need volunteers. She has received some inquiries from individuals wanting to volunteer. She can be reached at bcovington@cfcv.com
  • Ben reminded everyone of the 2020 United Way Virtual Campaign Kick-Off live on Facebook and YouTube tomorrow at 12:30pm. Join us for our Virtual Campaign Kickoff on Aug 27th! Register now

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