Need to Know
The CDC issued guidelines in early March that those who have been fully vaccinated can gather in small groups with other fully vaccinated people. And you can do that without masks or social distancing. You can even visit indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease. However, the fully vaccinated should still avoid social settings that include multiple unvaccinated households and medium to large crowds. Worshipping indoors is still not advisable unless all attending are vaccinated.
Suit attacks relaxed fines for nursing homes
The AARP Foundation has filed suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for weakening safety penalties for nursing homes in 2017. Previously, fines accrued for each day of past violations; the new regulation allows for a one-time fine. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to reverse the 2017 rule change and restore daily fines for failure to comply.
Mandated hospital worker flu shots reduce deaths
New research from UGA shows that state laws promoting flu vaccinations for hospital workers can substantially reduce the number of influenza-related deaths, with the reductions primarily occurring among older adult populations. The study compared mortality rates in 13 states and Washington, D.C. that mandate flu shots for hospital workers with states that had no such laws. The study’s authors say its results have implications for COVID-19 transmission and mortality.
Good to Know
Outpace Parkinson’s 5K virtual again
The sixth annual Outpace Parkinson’s race will be virtual again this year. Jane Armistead, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, and her husband Jack, co-lead the planning. Runners and walkers will complete 3.1 miles anytime, anywhere, and submit times online by noon, April 17. See pdathens.com for more details, including how to register, submit times, make a donation, and pick up awards and t-shirts.
Older adult couples needed for exercise-related study
UGA’s department of kinesiology is seeking couples who are 65+ and living together to participate in a study of their activity habits, relationship dynamics and support behaviors. The study requires an initial online screening, and if eligible, completion of another online questionnaire (20 minutes). For more information, email Rachel Salyer at CHAMPS.UGA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Loop
Concerned about all the trash in the world, be it plastic, paper, or anything else? Want to do more to get rid of it? Then subscribe to “In the Loop,” the new ACC Recycling Division newsletter where you can get all the latest information and updates on ACC’s waste reduction programs. Go to: accgov.com/9830/newsletter.
In the meantime, easy to recycle, but often landfilled:
- Cardboard. It’s not exciting, but about 750,000 TONS of plain old cardboard boxes still get landfilled in Georgia every year (last we knew – State of Georgia stopped funding this sort of research.)
- Aluminum cans. Duh. Ours go two counties away to Novelis Aluminum in Greensboro, and find their way into products like Ford F-150s. That’s ‘Murican.
- Paper for packaging and reading – not eating or wiping. Most of Georgia’s 20+ paper mills use at least some recycled content.
- Clean, rigid, plastic containers. No Styrofoam. Caps can stay on.
- Glass bottles. Still recyclable in Athens’ mixed recycling collection.
Volunteers needed to watch videos
The UGA Brown Media Archives needs volunteers for a project watching decades of archived WSB television news video clips and describing them in enough detail that future researchers can determine if a particular clip meets their need. For more information, contact Mary Miller at email@example.com.
Atlanta-based filmmakers are working on a documentary about menopause called “The Body Is Not a Thing.” This film will explore different women’s experiences of this rite-of-passage as well as what post-reproductive life could be. Women are needed who are open to sharing their experiences and are especially interested in changing the narrative about menopause and aging. The film is currently in pre-production, with support from the Southern Documentary Fund. More info: https://www.madebyxerophile.com/menopause
HortClub@UGA Spring Plant Sale
April 3-4 and April 10-11, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Perennials, woody plants, veggies, houseplants, and succulents. In-person shopping by appointment only. Sign up at calendly.com/hortclubuga/plantsale. View the plant list on Facebook @ugahortclub
Gardens of the South : April 16 – May 28
The Southworks 2021 exhibit at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation in Watkinsville will feature Greyson Smith’s works on paper, depicting public gardens located in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Smith has incorporated his photographs of nearly two dozen public gardens into mixed-media works using drawing and painting.
Botanical Garden trails now more accessible
The roughly half dozen miles of nature trails at the UGA State Botanical Garden are now accessible to visitors in wheelchairs, those pushing strollers or anyone who has trouble navigating natural terrain. This multi-year project focused on creating easier access to sections of the trail that run alongside the Middle Oconee River, specifically the White and Orange Trails. Improvements include a new accessible boardwalk and adjacent ADA accessible parking spots.
Fun to Do
Farmers Markets 2021
The Athens Farmers Market opened on Saturday, Mar. 6, in Bishop Park. The market is open every Saturday through Dec. 18, providing locally grown produce and locally sourced products. Only 50 guests are allowed in the market at a time and are required to wear masks and encouraged to stay six feet apart as they explore the market. For more information, go to athensfarmersmarket.net.
The Oconee Farmers Market will open its 2021 season on Saturday, May 15, 9 a.m.-noon in front of the Oconee County Courthouse in downtown Watkinsville. The weekly Saturday market, which features fresh and prepared food vendors and arts and crafts vendors, will run through Oct. 16. To meet COVID guidelines, masks and social distancing are required. See the list of market vendors and activities at oconeefarmersmarket.net.
Bluegrass, blues and BBQ
The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center will sponsor Balsam Range on Saturday, May 1, for an outdoor evening of music at the Madison Municipal Airport. The award-winning bluegrass group has headlined major festivals and appeared many times at the Grand Ole Opry since 2007. Tickets are $45 and are on sale through mmcc-arts.org or by calling the Center at 706-342-4743. Food not included in ticket price.
Athens Symphony returns live!
Get your free tickets now for the first live performance of the Athens Symphony in over a year on Sunday, April 18, at 3 p.m. at the Classic Center. Using health and safety protocols for the musicians and the audience, the string section will perform three selections first, followed by two selections by the woodwind and brass sections. Get your free tickets at classiccenter.com and select Buy Tickets or if you need assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you miss the concert, you can view it at the Symphony’s YouTube and Facebook sites.
Welcome back to the Georgia Museum of Art
The state art museum is now allowing on-site visits with free timed ticketing that can be reserved online: georgiamuseum.org. Their hours are limited to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Masks and distancing are required. The permanent collection is open as well as a variety of temporary exhibits including:
Emma Amos: Color Odyssey, through April 25
Extra Ordinary: Magic, Mystery, and Imagination in American Realism through June 13
Modernism Foretold: The Nadler Collection of Late Antique Art from Egypt through Sept. 26
Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection through Sept. 26
Georgia Trailblazers: Honoring the 60th Anniversary of Desegregation at UGA
In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of the UGA, the Main Library is hosting an exhibit chronicling the historic 1961 admittance of UGA’s first African American students Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault. The exhibit includes images, documents, and other items from this significant time. Designed in collaboration with Hunter-Gault and the Holmes family, the exhibit includes items from the Special Collections Libraries as well as items borrowed from the Holmes family. A complementary exhibit, “Making Space: Fighting for Inclusion, Building Community at UGA,” is on display at the Special Collections Libraries through July 2.
Torrance Festival of Ideas
The Torrance Center for Creativity & Talent Development at UGA’s College of Education presents the annual Torrance Festival of Ideas on Friday, April 23 at 1:30 p.m. This public engagement festival features imaginative and innovative experts across diverse fields of human endeavor presenting their projects and groundbreaking ideas to the general public. The festival spotlights local non-profit organizations, including the Athens Chautauqua Society, that serve the community in creative and crucial ways. Registration is free and limited to the first 1,000 attendees. Register at: tinyurl.com/FestivalofIdeas2021.