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Greetings,
 

UACC has a vast community outreach - from community organizers to old-time musicians, our breadth of affiliates is quite impressive. In this week's blog post, Mike Templeton (a self-described jack of all trades) reflects on UACC's virtual Cultural Resources Directory located on our website at www.uacvoice.org. There, users may browse a catalog of artists, community groups, businesses, etc. that are associated with the urban Appalachian community. You can even create your own profile! Keep reading to learn more.

Plus, a reminder that February 28th (this Sunday) is the last day you can submit your work to the Nothern Appalachia Review, a BBC News article discussing equity and Over-the-Rhine, COVID reminders, and upcoming events and opportunities within our community.


Sincerely,
UACC
January Coronavirus Update
Core Members Mike Maloney and John Bealle have been keeping and will continue to keep a close eye on COVID-19 infection rates and vaccinations for those living in the Cincinnati area.

INFECTION RATE. Since early January, the infection rate in Cincinnati has continued its dramatic decline, reaching levels not seen since early November. In Cincinnati the test positivity rate has been steady at 12.4%, not following the decline in new infections. MSD Wastewater detection measurements included two very good numbers in late January, although these are the only two readings reported during the previous month.
 
There were two worrisome spikes in late-2020 that were attributed to holiday travel and gatherings during the Thanksgiving and Christmas periods. The absence of gatherings since then has been mentioned as a likely factor in the decline. In Ohio, around 10% of the population has received the first dose, so this may have played a role also.

On the horizon, however, we are watching two circumstances that could trigger new spikes. In late January, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reported two cases of the new UK Covid-19 variant, which is considerably more infectious than what is in current circulation. The vaccination initiative has been depicted as a race against time as we anticipate the spread of the UK variant.


 
The other pertains to effects from Super Bowl gatherings. These trigger annual spikes in flu infections particularly in the cities whose teams are playing. Thus far infection numbers have not reflected any effects from these circumstances.
 
VACCINATIONS. For those eligible for vaccinations, we continue to recommend the Heath Collaborative Vaccine Info page as a resource for making appointments. Vaccine supplies have been limited recently so that most providers have had no open appointments. Moreover, searching for open appointments is an arduous process. For online appointments, some providers make you complete an eligibility questionnaire each time you check if appoints are available. Others, such as Kroger, don’t report openings for their entire system, you have to check each store one-by-one. This system favors those with the resources to carry out time-consuming online searches.
 
Some providers, such as the Cincinnati Health Department, allow you to register to be notified of openings. Although there is little or no feedback from registration, such as an acknowledgment of registration or status updates, our experience is that you will indeed be notified if appointments are available. The same is true for established patients with electronic medical records (MyChart) in the major health networks. When it works, this is certainly the easiest way to get a vaccination appointment. There seems to be no downside to registering with any provider that schedules appointments in this manner. If you are notified of availability, you should act quickly if you aim to make the appointment, or if not just ignore the notification.

 
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE JANUARY REPORT
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL BLOG POST
Over-The-Rhine: Is this a model for urban renewal or a warning sign? - BBC News
This candid article discusses the revitalization of Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and discusses what equitable development means for those who call Over-the-Rhine home. Read the full article HERE.

Tweet from Berea Archives
Check out this Tweet about this article from the Brea Archives that features a resource from UAC and Mike Hanson (one of the many treasures preserved at the Berea Archives).
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PERFORMANCES

   
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
ABOUT THIS ARTIST ON OUR CULTURAL DIRECTORY WEBPAGE

New Platform Connecting Philantropyh with Community

UACC Core members Maureen Sullivan and Debbie Zorn recently learned about a new project at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a partner organization that focuses on eliminating the gap in philanthropy for nonprofits, schools, and community organizations in Ohio’s Appalachian counties. On February 10, the Foundation is launching a new online giving platform, Cause Connector, that allows potential donors to search for projects to support by specific communities or areas of interest. We are excited to see this “matchmaker” tool come to life this Wednesday (just in time for Valentine’s Day!). Information about Cause Connector can be found at www.CauseConnector.org.


COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Info 

For private sector providers, Cincinnati-area residents are being advised in the media to use the website of the Health Collaborative for accurate information on appointments once they reach an eligible category. To do this, click on the "Vaccine Info" link on their website http://testandprotectcincy.com and then scroll down to the “Are You Eligible?” section.
 
Under “Are You Eligible?” there are large icons with appointment links and phone numbers for thirteen prominent providers, each linked to their vaccination registration portals. Below are links to longer “Vaccination Location” lists from state-run sites for Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The Indiana link goes directly to its provider list. On the Kentucky page, you click on the Vaccine Provider Enrollment “Register” link to go to a statewide registration portal.
 
The State of Ohio list is two levels down at the webpage, https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov. To sort the list by county, hover over the "County" heading and click the small “A-Z” button that as you hover appears at the right of the heading text. Then scroll down and you’ll see the providers for your county.
 
The City of Cincinnati Health Department has a vaccine registration portal for city health clinics and facilities at the site https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/covid-19/vaccine-information-sign-up/. If you register at this site, you should expect to be contacted once you become eligible. Those who have signed up before they become eligible are reporting not having received any response at all. When you become eligible and are contacted, you are invited to a pre-screening portal where you can verify your eligibility and make an appointment.
 
THE REGISTRATION EXPERIENCE
 
There is a shortage of vaccine doses that will become more dramatic as more demographic groups become eligible. What we are hearing is that each provider opens up appointments only for their available doses. These appointments are quickly taken, and then you won't be able to register for an appointment with that provider. With new deliveries arriving at unpredictable times, a provider might open appointments at any time. Making an appointment may mean making repeated attempts with several providers.
 
Some of the providers are health care networks where you may be an established patient. If you have an electronic medical record (MyChart), you may be automatically registered and will receive appointment info through the electronic system when you become eligible. The health care network appointment portals are available for anyone to use. If you are not an established patient, the website will explain how to register.
 
The appointment process may vary with the different providers. They may or may not allow you to register ahead for an appointment date later when you become eligible. Appointment availability may differ with phone vs. website access. If vaccine supplies are scarce, you may spend several hours trying one provider after another. You may get an appointment based on an expected vaccine delivery, and then find the appointment canceled if the delivery hasn’t arrived.
 
OTHER VACCINE INFO
 
Here are some area websites with information about getting the vaccine and the phases of eligibility through early February.  Recheck websites often as information changes frequently.
 
THE VACCINE EXPERIENCE

UACC’s Michael Maloney became eligible on January 19th and has received the first dose. Here is his story: “I am 80 years old.  I went to the Cincinnati Health Department site and was able to register and get my shot within 2 days.  The registration process was frustrating because it seemed like I had to repeat the same information over and over and my partner had to help.  And then they sent me multiple e-mails with instructions.  At the site, a gym in Corryville, things went very well.  I got the shot in 7 minutes and had to sit on a bench 15 minutes to make sure I was OK.  The shot was painless and I do not even have a sore arm.  Maybe some fatigue the second day.” 
Other stories we are hearing: That some providers are overbooking, and then sending email appointment cancellations when supplies run out. That some are having hour-long waits outdoors. That health care networks are indeed more sophisticated, with waiting lists, alerts when doses are unexpectedly available, etc.
 
WHAT VACCINATION MEANS FOR YOU
 
Much has been said about the approximately-95% efficacy of the first group of vaccines. What this number means is that soon after the two-dose vaccine regimen your risk of infection is reduced by 95%. But remember that in the clinical trials, some vaccinated people did get sick, so there is some chance you will also. And it is not known if vaccinated people shed pathogens if they are exposed. Because a vaccinated person still has some risk of getting sick and infecting others, you still need to take precautions such as wearing masks and limiting contacts.
 
In the period after the first dose, manufacturer data show that your risk of infection is reduced by around 50%. In the first two weeks after your first dose, there is little protection at all. After two weeks the first dose efficacy increases substantially, but manufacturers did not test the long-term efficacy of a single dose. Once you get the second dose, you reach 95% efficacy after about one week.
 
Remember that when you are in contact with another person, your risk of infection is reduced not just by your vaccination but theirs also, just as by your mask and their mask also. Your vaccination does not mean you can take your mask off, it means if you wear your mask you'll be much safer. We will be free of Covid when enough people reduce their risk (by vaccination and other means) so that the virus can no longer find hosts to spread to.

 

Cincinnati Action for Housing Now Petition Update
They are proud to share that as of February 16th, they have collected a total of 9,541 signatures (nearly double the required 4,680 to get on the ballot), calling for funding of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to be on the May 4, 2021 ballot.

These signatures were collected by an incredible team of more than 200 dedicated volunteers, entirely in a  global pandemic. They are so grateful to them and to everyone at our Member Organizations who played a role in getting us to this point. They are thankful for the thousands of Cincinnatians who found a way to sign this petition, reiterating the importance and necessity of ending the Affordable Housing crisis in our city, because everyone in Cincinnati deserves a place to call home.

Passage of this initiative in May, by Cincinnatians, will ensure that every year, at least $50 million is invested into the construction and preservation of affordable housing in Cincinnati. Together, as a community, through the use of our own local dollars, we will start down the road of closing our shortage of more than 28,000 affordable homes.

The next step is for the Hamilton County Board of Elections to verify the signatures. Once verified, city council will take the necessary steps to put it on the May 4th ballot.

Keep an eye out on their social media for more information!

https://www.instagram.com/cincyhousingnow/?hl=en

https://www.facebook.com/CincyHousingNow


Cincinnati Public Library Virtual Events

Selected upcoming virtual events:

  • Race & the City: Critical Conversations on the Roots of Systemic Racism in Cincinnati, Feb. 24, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. Click on the link to learn more and reserve your free seat in this virtual event.

Resources:

  • As part of a grant funded project, the library is partnering with the Cincinnati Museum Center to bring virtual programs to underserved parts of the community, including children from low income households and senior citizens. We’re assisting by providing technology and tech support for community members. As a part of this effort the CMC is offering virtual field trips, conversations with an expert, and programs on wheels. Schools that have 60% or more of students enrolled in the Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility program, or whose campuses are located in Avondale, Price Hill, St. Bernard, West End or Westwood may qualify for free unlimited virtual field trips and a limited number of Programs-on-Wheels and Conversations with an Expert. Call 513-287-7021 to confirm eligibility and submit program requests. Learn more: https://www.cincymuseum.org/virtual-field-trips/
  • Visit https://cincinnatilibrary.kanopy.com/ to stream dozens of wellness videos on topics ranging from yoga to mental health. These are free with a library card!

Reminders:

  • All our locations are open Mon. – Sat. from 10 am to 6 pm.
  • We offer free wi-fi, faxing and printing at all locations
  • All locations offer curbside service if you prefer not to visit our indoor spaces
  • Get accurate vaccine information from our web site: https://cincinnatilibrary.org/services/vaccine/





Submit your work to the Northern Appalachia Review
Accepting Submissions beginning January 1st, 2021-February 28th, 2021 

The Northern Appalachia Review welcomes submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction written about, representing, or engaging with the experience of living in or being from what we define in our mission statement as northern Appalachia. We at the Review believe that this region, while part of greater Appalachia, is also distinct in its culture, its cultural landscape, and, as a result, its literature. As such, we seek to publish writers whose work contributes to establishing a voice and literary identity for northern Appalachia, exemplifies the region and its nuanced culture, and/or furthers the ever-evolving definition of Appalachia as a whole. 

Northern Appalachia has a rich past, an ever-changing present, and an uncertain future as we inch toward a post-pandemic world. Volume 2 of the Northern Appalachia Review seeks submissions that explore how the region has undergone transformations in both the recent and distant past in its landscape, ecosystems, economics, industry, and culture. Amidst these changes, our perspectives, identities, and relationships with others and the region may be affected. We celebrate the region’s resilience and welcome work that explores this idea of transformation and the forces that contribute to it. General submissions are still welcome.

Read more about submission guidelines and deadlines HERE.

Over-the-Rhine Museum's Spring Season is Coming! Here's How You Can Get Involved

The Over-the-Rhine Museum's Spring Season is almost here and we need your help! They are seeking volunteers for the following activities:
  • Walking Tour guides
  • Spring Auction Fundraiser donation solicitors
  • Spring Auction Fundraiser pick-up and delivery drivers
  • Oral History interviewers and transcribers
Learn more about events, opportunities, and how you can help at www.otrmuseum.org


 
Want to learn more? Vsit us at www.uacvoice.org or follow us on Facebook!

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Urban Appalachian Community Coalition · 5829 Wyatt Ave · Cincinnati, OH 45213-2122 · USA

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