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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Paul Duke STEM High School PTSA Awarded Grant to Continue COVID-19 Relief Efforts

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mathnasium of berkely lake grant to paul duke hs
National PTA has awarded Paul Duke STEM High School PTSA with a $2,500 grant to continue their efforts to meet critical needs of students. Photo provided by Tina Budnitz, Paul Duke STEM PTSA

National PTA has awarded Paul Duke STEM High School PTSA with a $2,500 grant to continue their efforts to meet critical needs of students, families and teachers in their school community due to COVID-19. The funding is made possible by PTA Proud National Sponsor Mathnasium. The funding is in addition to the $5,000 grant National PTA awarded to Paul Duke STEM PTSA in 2020 to empower their COVID-19 relief efforts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and National PTA and PTAs nationwide remain committed to making sure students, families, teachers and schools have what they need during this challenging time,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Paul Duke STEM PTSA has been working hard every day to provide essential resources, tools and information to support families and educators amid the pandemic. With the grant, Paul Duke STEM PTSA will be able to continue to provide critical support to their school community.”

 “This year presented many disruptions for students and teachers” Principal Jonathon Wetherington explained.  “Some of our students are learning from home, and some at school.  Our traditional lessons where students work closely in lab spaces on shared equipment could not work during the COVID outbreak.  We are grateful to National PTA and Mathnasium for their support to help us engage our students in new and innovative ways and keep our school community connected”.

The grants enabled our Engineering Department to expand the Maker Space and mentor students through several unique hands-on educational experiences.  The science department created and distributed over 600 at-home science experiment kits. Our care team was able to provide assistance to students whose families were experiencing extreme financial hardships.  The continuation funds will allow us to host Saturday intervention session for students, support our teachers to share innovations in distance learning techniques, and add to our outdoor classroom.   

Paul Duke STEM PTSA’s grants are part of over $1.5M in funding that National PTA has provided to PTAs across the country for COVID-19 relief efforts.

“With the grant funding, PTAs will be able to continue their important and impactful work,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We are grateful to our sponsors, including Mathnasium, for enabling us to provide resources to PTAs to help them care for their school communities.” 

In addition to these COVID-19 relief grants, Mathnasium also supports PTAs nationwide with programming intended to increase families’ enthusiasm and confidence in math. Mathnasium is a founding sponsor of National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative.  Mathnasium of Berkeley Lake is a long-time partner and supporter of schools in the Paul Duke STEM cluster. 

Source: Paul Duke Stem HS Press Release

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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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