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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Gov. Kemp Signs New COVID-19 Executive Order

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Today Governor Brian P. Kemp signed Executive Order 06.11.20.01 – Empowering a Healthy Georgia. The order addresses ongoing emergency response efforts for fighting the spread of COVID-19. Unless noted otherwise in specific sections, the order goes into effect at 12 AM on June 16, 2020 and runs through 11:59 PM on June 30, 2020.

Sports: Effective June 16, professional sports teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their respective leagues. High school and collegiate teams and organizations must follow the rules and guidelines set by their applicable conferences or associations. Amateur sports teams and organizations must follow the criteria for non-critical infrastructure entities outlined in the order.

Sheltering in Place: Effective immediately, residents and visitors of Georgia who are sixty-five years of age or older are no longer required to shelter in place unless they meet any of the following categories:

  • Those persons who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, including inpatient hospice, assisted living communities, personal care homes, intermediate care homes, community living arrangements, and community integration homes
  • Those persons who have chronic lung disease
  • Those persons who have moderate to severe asthma
  • Those persons who have severe heart disease
  • Those persons who are immunocompromised
  • Those persons, of any age, with class III or severe obesity
  • Those persons diagnosed with the following underlying medical conditions: diabetes, liver disease, and persons with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

Gatherings: Effective June 16, gatherings of more than fifty people are banned unless there is at least six feet between each person. This rule does not apply to critical infrastructure entities, incidental or transitory groupings, or cohabitating individuals.

Drinking and Eating (effective June 16): In restaurants and dining rooms, there is no longer a party maximum for the number of people who can sit together. There is no longer a limit on the number of patrons allowed per square foot. Workers at restaurants, dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues are only required to wear face coverings when they are interacting with patrons. In a bar, now you can have fifty people – up from twenty-five – or thirty-five percent of total listed fire capacity, whichever is greater. For salad bars and buffets, a worker can use cafeteria-style service to serve patrons or the establishment can provide hand sanitizer, install a sneeze guard, enforce social distancing, and regularly replace shared utensils to allow patron self-service.

Overnight Summer Camps (effective June 16): Campers and workers may not attend an overnight summer camp unless they have received a negative COVID-19 test within twelve days – up from seven days – prior to starting camp.

Conventions: Effective July 1, a “convention” may occur if it meets twenty-one specific requirements in addition to the requirements for non-critical infrastructure entities. “Convention” means “an organized event of more than 100 persons that are required to register or obtain a license to gather for a common purpose at a single indoor facility or grouping of indoor facilities for more than four hours and in some cases for more than one day” and “shall include exhibitions, trade shows, conferences, and business retreats.” The term “convention” does not include any regular operation of a business that occurs on property owned or leased for the exclusive operation of such business, nor does the term encompass regular religious services, business meetings, sports competitions, or events categorized by O.C.G.A. § 16-11-173(b)(1)(A).

Live Performance Venues: Effective July 1, a “live performance venue” may reopen for business if it complies with specific criteria based on whether it is designated Tier I, II, or III. There are certain exceptions in the order for drive-in performances; private recording sessions, livestream performances, practices, fanless events, and rehearsals; and non-ticketed or free events. “Live Performance Venue” means “any indoor or outdoor location that requires patrons to purchase a license to attend an event featuring live musical, dramatical, automotive, educational, or any other type of entertainment performed before in-person patrons.” The term does not include restaurants and dining rooms, banquet facilities, private event facilities, private reception venues, weddings, drive-in venues, or events held as part of a convention, and the term does not include outdoor recreational fields used for amateur sporting events.

Effective June 16: At indoor movie theaters and cinemas, there is no longer a limit on the number of people who may sit together in a party. Walk-ins are now allowed at body art studios, barber shops, hair salons, their respective schools, massage therapy establishments, and tanning facilities subject to specific requirements.

Mandatory requirements for operating non-critical infrastructure businesses, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, and organizations are extended through the end of the month. Specific requirements for previously closed businesses remain in effect.

Source: Press Release from the Office of Governor Brian Kemp

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

GeneCure Biotechnologies launches first-in-human therapeutic vaccine to treat Covid-19 patients

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GeneCure Biotechnologies, a clinical stage biotechnology company located in Peachtree Corners and developing novel human vaccines based on its patented SimVec platform technology, announced August 10 that it has launched a therapeutic vaccine program for Covid-19 infection.

The outbreak of Covid-19 has spread to 5 continents and caused near 20 millions confirmed cases. Recent clinical evidences suggest SARS-COV-2 may have a long incubation period and infected individuals may take several weeks to develop symptoms or disease. After infecting with Covid-19, the majority of individuals develop mild symptoms, yet some still transmit virus to others even without clinical symptoms. The treatment option for patients with mild or no clinical symptoms is very limited at this time. This situation becomes a serious public health issue — community transmission.

Dr. Tung, CEO, stated “Traditional vaccines are given to healthy people to prevent infection. However, a therapeutic vaccine is given to infected or uninfected high-risk people to prevent disease and infection. A therapeutic vaccine aims to prevent severe complications of an infection by reinforcing or broadening defenses when specific immune responses are unable to do so during the natural course of the disease and when a conventional antiviral therapy is not sufficient.” 

GeneCure’s therapeutic Covid-19 vaccine is based on the SimVec platform which has been utilized for therapeutic vaccines for HIV and HCV. The SimVec delivery platform elicits rapid and strong cell-mediated immune responses, which play critical roles in eliminating viral infected cells. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that the therapeutic HIV vaccine was well tolerated and effective in boosting cell-mediated immunity in HIV infected patients. Durable control of viral load was seen after a 12-week treatment interruption in vaccinated participants. Furthermore, the markers of systemic immune activation/inflammation were also significantly reduced in vaccinated patients.

Dr. Tung also stated “We believe that an effective therapeutic vaccine will prevent disease progression in infected persons and reduce viral transmission which will not only be critical for people at risk for Covid-19 infection but also alleviate the excessive burden on our healthcare system.” 

Source

Press release from Genecure Biotechnologies.

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Business

City of Peachtree Corners to celebrate safety-conscious businesses

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The City of Peachtree Corners is preparing a list of all local businesses practicing the safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Those businesses taking steps to keep citizens healthy will be published on the city website, in the Shop and Dine app, and in the monthly business newsletter as part of the city’s “Stay Healthy” campaign.

The Stay Healthy campaign is getting creative in its approach to public service announcements related to Covid19. The city is working to promote staying healthy through the use of comic book superheroes and popular TV show characters. In the coming weeks, expect to see banners, signs, posters and billboards, as well as social media posts spreading the message to wash hands frequently, wear face coverings, and practice social distancing.

Take part in the campaign! If you operate a safe business, let Jennifer Howard from the city office know so it can be added to the list of safety-conscious businesses in the city. Let the community know what steps you are taking to keep your business, patrons, and employees healthy.

Source:

Jennifer Howard, Economic Development Manager- City of Peachtree Corners

Email all entries to jhoward@peachtreecornersga.gov

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City Government

From the Mayor’s Desk: The Path Forward

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Mayor Mike Mason’s July 2020 column

It would be an understatement to say these are troubling times for our country. The coronavirus pandemic has swept through our lives like wildfire. And the racism that has gripped our country long before it was founded over 250 years ago has come to the forefront once again. The time has come for our nation to face the racism that has divided our country for too long.

The greatest strength we have in America is the freedom of our citizens.  Our country’s Declaration of Independence states in the second paragraph: “We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Clearly, every one of us has the right to expect to be treated equally—and respectfully.

Yet, still, the ugliness of racism remains in our society. As a white man, I expect to be treated with respect when a police officer pulls me over. I cannot honestly say I understand the racial prejudices that our Black citizens must deal with each day. The events that have occurred since George Floyd’s death have again brought to the forefront the ugly reality of racism. We are better than this, and those of us in public office have a duty to listen – and to act – to do our part, however small, in righting the wrong that has been pervasive in our country for centuries.

The magic of the American system is that although we decide individually, we must act jointly, to make collective change.  Eliminating racism won’t happen overnight, but only by individually admitting and taking action to correct racism, will we be able to make our nation one that offers equality to all, no matter their skin color.

As you may know, on June 20, the City issued a Proclamation condemning racism and urging the Georgia General Assembly to enact hate crimes legislation. We wanted to make a strong statement that there is no place in our community for racism, hate and bigotry and to show our citizens we are committed to safeguarding their rights. We wholeheartedly supported the passage of House Bill 426 known as the Hate Crimes Bill, which was passed during this year’s legislative session.

Dealing with COVID-19

When Gov. Kemp first announced the shelter-in-place mandate in early March, we adhered to those orders. Several months later, it appeared our efforts were beginning to pay off, restrictions began to be lifted and businesses began to reopen with a long list of safety protocols. But the recent news of a significant increase in cases prove this is not over. The reality is, COVID-19 is not going to go away anytime soon. We must all deal with it until an effective vaccine is found. We must not let our guard down.

Though we all may feel powerless, the CDC states there are a few simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy: 1) WEAR A FACE MASK when out in public, 2) practice social distancing, and 3) wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Just last week the nation’s chief public health official, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, joined our governor in a “Wear a Mask” campaign to stress the importance of wearing a face covering when away from home. The Surgeon General pointed out during the tour that “wearing a face covering or a mask is not a restriction of your freedom. As a matter of fact, this is an instrument of freedom because we know if we wear face coverings, we will have less spread in our communities and more places will be open.”  

Of most concern is the steady increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Gwinnett. As of Thursday, July 7 there were 9,666 cases, 174 deaths reported in our county with 1.504 requiring hospitalization. These statistics are provided by the Gwinnett County Health Department and are updated weekly. While the county Health Director Audrey Arona has attributed the rise in part to the increased number of tests being administered, the fact remains, COVID-19 is spreading in our county.

This week, the City will be implementing a public service announcement campaign to remind and encourage each of us to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19.  It’s the right thing to do — for you, for your family – for everyone you come in contact with each day.

Be PTC Strong – Wear a Face Mask

Mike Mason, Mayor

Updated 7/22/20

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