By Jessica DePillisCommunity advocates say that they are experiencing significant and ongoing health challenges related to the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Southeast.
The Southeast Community College Foundation (SCCF) has announced that it is seeking to raise $100,000 to support community groups to fight the spread of the virus.
SCCFs emergency manager said the goal of the fundraising effort is to support health care and community groups in the area, including the SCCF’s partner, the Michigan State University Center for Health and Aging Services.
“We are working closely with the MSU Center for Human Resources to ensure that the MSUCHS staff, nurses and medical professionals are prepared to provide timely, accurate and compassionate care to individuals impacted by the coronave virus,” said Chris Stoltenberg, SCCFs executive director.
A recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the number of new coronaviruses reported in the United States jumped by more than 1,400 from January 1 to March 30.
But there are still nearly 2,000 new cases reported each day, and the CDC warned that more than 11,000 people have tested positive for the virus, with an estimated 1,500 new cases expected in the coming weeks.
Dr. David B. Thomas, the medical director of the MSUF Health Care Network, said that SCC Fonds are in the midst of the most challenging phase of the pandemic.
“The challenge is that we are dealing with people who are suffering and living in communities where there is not enough care, and we are not able to reach them and provide care to them as efficiently as we would like,” Thomas said.
“We don’t have a lot of funding, but the SCCCF has been working with local partners to get to where we need to be.”
He said that in the past, they have relied on volunteers who were not connected to the MSUS Center for human resources, which is also located in the city.
“There are a lot more resources available to us than we had in the previous outbreak, but we need help,” Thomas added.
This is the third pandemic outbreak in the region, and Dr. James J. Kohn, president of the Michigan Association of Community Colleges, said the crisis is not unique.
“In the past we’ve had a pandemic, but it was different because there was a national epidemic, and now the pandemics are happening in different places,” Kohn said.
“This pandemic is really different because it’s happening in a state, and that has not happened in the last 10 years.”
According to the Centers, there are 2.5 million people in the US living with the coronaves illness, with more than 40 percent of the population living in counties affected by the virus in the southeastern United States.
The outbreak began in the state of Georgia, and is now spreading to the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries.