Day: November 12, 2020

California hits 1 million coronavirus cases as L.A. County urges travel quarantine

Coronavirus infections in California are racing upward at a level not seen since the summer, with the state surpassing 1 million cases on Thursday, and health officials are warning dire action must be taken to stop the spread of the illness.



a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Commuters wear face coverings at Los Angeles' Union Station on Tuesday. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)


© Provided by The LA Times
Commuters wear face coverings at Los Angeles’ Union Station on Tuesday. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

If the surge continues in Los Angeles County, “additional actions” could become necessary to bring the rate of transmission back under control, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

Though she didn’t elaborate on what potential new measures could be implemented, Ferrer emphasized that L.A. County remains on a knife’s edge and that everyone needs to do their part to keep conditions from worsening. The warning comes as California joins Texas in becoming the only two states to have officially surpassed 1 million infections.

“We all need to act now,” she said during a briefing. “The actions we take today, tomorrow and next week have tremendous impact on the health and well-being of many, many people across the county. If, collectively, we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions.”

Thanksgiving is shaping up to be a particularly painful choice. The county is recommending that residents don’t travel out of state for the holiday and, if they do, that they quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

“If you are going to travel — which we are recommending you not do, we are actually recommending this Thanksgiving be a stay-at-home Thanksgiving — but if you are going to travel, we do ask when you come back that you quarantine for 14 days,” Ferrer said. “And the tighter you can restrict your activities over those 14 days, the better off we all are.”

Though the idea of not seeing family and friends after such a difficult year may strike some as untenable or unreasonable, health officials have repeatedly warned that gathering with those outside your household heightens the risk of transmitting the disease.

Ferrer acknowledged it was a sacrifice, saying she won’t get to see her grandchildren this year because they live in another state.

“Like all of you, I wish things were really different. But they’re not,” she said. “And my feeling is I don’t want to be one of the people that’s contributing to not only increasing cases that restrict our ability to continue with our recovery journey, but increasing cases that could result in other people getting sick and even dying.”

California has generally banned large gatherings, and says smaller ones of no more than three households may be held outdoors with limitations, including time limits and requirements that attendees physically distance and wear face coverings.

L.A. County, like California as a whole, is seeing a renewed spike in coronavirus infections that currently shows no signs of dissipating. As of Nov. 3, the average number of daily cases in the county was 1,464

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Lizzo keeps the vacation vibes rolling as she twerks in lingerie to relaxation music

Lizzo keeps the vacation vibes rolling as she twerks in lingerie to relaxation music

She recently vacationed in the picturesque Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.

And Lizzo appeared to be keeping the vacation vibes rolling on Thursday, when the 32-year-old songstress posted a video of herself twerking in a cabana to her Instagram Stories.

The Juice hitmaker was clad in black lingerie for the sultry display. 

Eternal vacation: Lizzo appeared to be keeping the vacation vibes rolling on Thursday, when the 32-year-old songstress posted a video of herself twerking in a cabana to her Instagram Stories

Eternal vacation: Lizzo appeared to be keeping the vacation vibes rolling on Thursday, when the 32-year-old songstress posted a video of herself twerking in a cabana to her Instagram Stories

The video was set to what appeared to be relaxation music. 

Shot from a angle low and in front of Lizzo -whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson- the video had a filter applied that made the hitmaker’s jewelry and teeth shine. 

The musical artist wore her red braids in a twist atop her head for the show.

All that glitters: Shot from a angle low and in front of Lizzo -whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson- the video had a filter applied that made the hitmaker's jewelry and teeth shine

The musical artist wore her red braids in a twist atop her head for the show

All that glitters: Shot from a angle low and in front of Lizzo -whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson- the video had a filter applied that made the hitmaker’s jewelry and teeth shine

Lizzo might be enduring the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the world, but the singer and flutist is mentally still on her recent sunshine break in Mexico. 

The fun-loving star shared a throwback video of herself looking incredible in a pink and blue bikini as she tucked into tortilla chips after drizzling them with lime. 

Grappling with her long pink nails, the superstar was also drinking the rather awkwardly named Corona beer. 

'Mentally I'm here...' Lizzo threw it back to when she wore a bikini to eat tortilla chips and drink beer during her recent trip to Mexico on Instagram on Tuesday

‘Mentally I’m here…’ Lizzo threw it back to when she wore a bikini to eat tortilla chips and drink beer during her recent trip to Mexico on Instagram on Tuesday 

Got the moves! She also shared a video of herself twerking on a sun lounger in front of a beautiful sunset on both her stories and her grid

Got the moves! She also shared a video of herself twerking on a sun lounger in front of a beautiful sunset on both her stories and her grid

She also shared a video of herself twerking on a sun lounger in front of a beautiful sunset on both her stories and her grid. 

She wrote: ‘Mentally I’m here.’   

Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo recently slipped into a string bikini and showcased her ‘scrumptious back fat’ during the final day of her recent getaway to Puerto Vallarta.

Glug! Grappling with her long pink nails, the superstar was also drinking the rather awkwardly named Corona beer

Glug! Grappling with her long pink nails, the superstar was also drinking the rather awkwardly named Corona beer

That's how it's done: Lizzo was seriously enjoying her snack on her sunshine break

That’s how it’s done: Lizzo was seriously enjoying her snack on her sunshine break 

She frequently puts her curvaceous 5ft10in figure on display for her captive, combined 24.8M social media following.

Lizzo (born Melissa Jefferson) flipped her rear-length red braids coiffed by ‘The Beyoncé Of BabyHair’ Shelby Swain as Ariana Grande’s new song Pov played in the background. 

The Joe Biden supporter also posed in a more modest purple crochet two-piece selected by stylist Marko Monroe.

Make-up artist Alexx Mayo made sure Lizzo’s ‘pretty a** face’ was camera ready as she

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Texas A&M University System Board Of Regents Approves South Campus Recreation Center Project

exterior rendering of rec center

Construction on the South Campus Recreation Center could start as early as December.


Texas A&M Division of Student Affairs

 

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today authorized the construction of a $35 million South Campus Recreation Center to enhance student recreational activities.

The 63,000 square-foot facility will have strength and conditioning areas, areas for basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer, a climbing wall, locker rooms and more. It will be located off Bizzell Street across from Krueger, Mosher and Rudder Halls and adjacent to the golf course.

“In recent years, Texas A&M has invested heavily in several facilities designed to enhance the educational experience,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “With this new recreation center, we’re supporting our students’ health and well-being, which are essential to helping them succeed not only in the classroom, but also in life.”

Rick Hall, director of Recreational Sports, part of the Division of Student Affairs, said the South Campus Rec Center project will advance the university by preparing students to assume roles in leadership, responsibility and service to society.

“The South Campus Recreation Center is a critical project to the university’s commitment to provide students, faculty and staff with the best opportunities to support and nurture their health and well-being,” Hall said. “The Department of Recreational Sports provides high-quality, inclusive experiences and facilities. Multiple assessments have shown that participants in recreational activities have higher persistence rates and graduation rates than those who do not engage in recreation. A student’s overall health and well-being, coupled with academic success, will prepare graduates for successful careers within the global economy.”

Texas A&M administrators said the facility is needed because of the school’s increasing enrollment. A study by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association shows that a university the size of Texas A&M should have at least 587,000 square feet of indoor recreational facilities, and that the school currently has about 415,000 square feet.

Since the main Student Recreation Center opened in 1995, the Texas A&M student body has grown more than 60 percent while recreational facilities have increased by only 25 percent.

In addition, Texas A&M administrators said, all current student recreational facilities are located west of the train tracks that divide the campus and are beyond a 10-minute walk from much of the academic and housing facilities on campus.

Construction on the South Campus Recreation Center project could start as early as December, and is scheduled for completion in June of 2022.

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City conducting recreation survey | Prince George Citizen

The City of Prince George is conducting a survey to get public input on how it can best support non-profit groups that provide sports and recreation programs in the city.

Residents can take part in the city’s online Community Recreation and Well-being survey until Dec. 11.

“The Community Recreation (and) Well-being Survey is part of a comprehensive project to assess if changes to the current model of community support, which has not been reviewed since 1993, are required to help ensure residents can access the recreation and well-being services that are important to them,” said Chris Bone, city senior manager of strategic initiatives and partnerships. 

“Information collected will help inform decisions about how the City can best allocate existing human and financial resources to help ensure community organizations receive the kinds of supports they need to remain viable and responsive.”

The city supports many non-profit organizations which provide a wide range of recreational and other services in the city.

To take the survey, go online to www.princegorge.ca/getinvolved.

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Thanksgiving travel will be light amid COVID-19: forecast

Fear of the coronavirus will likely be responsible for the biggest drop in Thanksgiving holiday travel by Southern Californians since the Great Recession of 2008, dealing another blow to already beleaguered travel industries.

During the upcoming five-day holiday travel period, 3.86 million Southern Californians will take trips — down 13.5% from 4.46 million in 2019 — according to a forecast by the Auto Club of Southern California. That represents the largest year-over-year drop since 2008, when Thanksgiving travel slumped 26%.

Of the Southern Californians who do plan to travel, 92% plan to get out of town by car, up from 86% in 2019, according to the Auto Club. One thing that might ease their way: Gas prices are down. On Thursday the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area was $3.156, according to AAA, down from $4.071 at this time last year.

With coronavirus cases on the rise in California and nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if people choose to have holiday gatherings at all, they should limit the number of attendees, stay outdoors and keep members of different households at least six feet apart.

The Auto Club forecast spelled more doom for the already struggling airline industry, projecting that air travel for the holiday will drop about 47% in California and the U.S. compared with last year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Air travel demand on U.S.-based airlines has been down about 65% in recent weeks compared with the same period last year, according to Airlines for America, a trade group for the country’s air carriers. It said the industry has reported pre-tax loss of $36 billion for the first nine months of the year.

At Los Angeles International Airport, one of the nation’s busiest, carriers are scheduled to offer up to 150,000 seats on flights landing and taking off during the Thanksgiving holiday period of Nov. 19 though Nov. 30, down from nearly 300,000 seats offered in the same period last year, LAX spokesman Heath Montgomery said.

But predicting how many travelers will fill those airlines seats is “basically impossible,” he said, noting that many states and international destinations have imposed travel restrictions because of the pandemic.

Some airline executives are holding out hope that travelers may book last-minute trips.

“During the Thanksgiving holiday, we will increase our flying by approximately 15% compared to the rest of the month, from an average of 3,500 daily flights to more than 4,000 flights per day,” American Airlines spokesman Curtis Blessing said.

The hotel industry predicts a bleak holiday season.

Nationwide the rate of hotel rooms that are occupied was 44.4% for the week that ended Oct. 31, down from 62.6% the same week last year, according to travel research firm STR.

To generate a profit, most budget hotels must fill at least half of their rooms, while full-service hotels must fill up to 80%, according to hotel industry experts.

More than half of the nation’s hotels report that they have

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Reese Witherspoon Sells Malibu Vacation Home

The latest property that Reese Witherspoon has relinquished from her real estate portfolio is a picturesque Malibu vacation home—sold, according to Variety, to the younger sister of her former stylist for $6.7 million. Witherspoon and her husband, Jim Toth, bought the two-acre ranch last summer for $6.25 million; prior to her purchase, the property was largely used as a wedding venue, and it shows.

The bucolic estate, known as Zuma Farms, is meticulously landscaped, with a main house, a barn-style guesthouse, a horse stable and a riding ring, and numerous other outbuildings. It was originally built in 1949 as a ranch, and the aesthetic of the multiple structures can now best be described as boho chic. For instance, there are multicolored wooden floorboards that contrast with stark white walls and white wood-beam ceilings. An old-fashioned stove stands just opposite the front entrance, adding a rustic touch.

There are three bedrooms spread throughout the home, some of which have glass doors that open directly out onto the backyard. The barn-style guesthouse is a stunning open-floor-plan space, with its own kitchen, several lounge spaces, an office area, and a lofted bedroom. The property also includes an art studio and a screening room, each its own separate structure. The grounds feature dozens of 1,500-year-old ancient sycamore trees, as well as fruit tree orchards and vegetable gardens. Additionally, there’s a bocce court, a firepit, and plenty of patios and grassy lawns for alfresco dining.

Earlier this year, Witherspoon and Toth sold off their Pacific Palisades East Coast traditional for $17 million after it spent three years on the market. The actor still maintains several homes in Nashville, as well as an oceanfront mansion in the Bahamas.

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Top-Performing Fund Isn’t Swayed by Travel, Stay-at-Home Trends

(Bloomberg) — A high-performing equity fund manager isn’t buying into Covid-19 thematics like the so-called stay-at-home or reopening trades that are sensitive to virus developments.

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Instead, Castle Point Funds Management Ltd.’s Richard Stubbs said he’s targeting companies with strong fundamentals that he expects can withstand such short-term market gyrations. Focusing on near-term earnings, election outcomes and other uncontrollable factors can often prove unproductive in times of volatility, said the Auckland-based fund manager, who invests in Australian and New Zealand shares.

News about a possible vaccine breakthrough earlier this week prompted a global shift among equity investors from fast-growing companies into parts of the market that have struggled with lockdowns and economic pain. That transition has since tempered on the realization that a return to normalcy is still a ways off.

“Trying to predict what sectors are going to do better than others in this period of extreme uncertainty is unlikely to be successful,” said Stubbs. His Castle Point Ranger Fund has returned about 22% this year, beating 92% of peers, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Vaccine Hopes Boost Asia Travel Stocks as Stay-at-Home Falters



chart, line chart: Travel shares rose while tech stocks fell on vaccine developments


© Bloomberg
Travel shares rose while tech stocks fell on vaccine developments

Stubbs’s bets on some of his top holdings, such as Corporate Travel Management Ltd. and online marketplace Redbubble Ltd., have been driven by their long-term fundamentals. He also owns shares in engineering contractor Macmahon Holdings Ltd. and Auckland-based Fletcher Building Ltd.

Corporate Travel rallied on the vaccine news while Redbubble slumped. Stubbs didn’t make significant changes to his NZ$154.3 million ($105.9 million) fund, but used the rotation out of technology stocks to increase his position in Redbubble.

Equity derivatives along with cash and debt have helped protect the fund during unexpected downturns, Stubbs said. Derivatives make up about 1% of the fund, while cash and debt instruments account for almost 19%, according to the fund’s latest performance report.

The fund used to hold Afterpay Ltd., one of Asia-Pacific’s hottest technology shares this year. Stubbs offloaded the stock in February as the payment company’s market capitalization approached what he considered to be the firm’s potential value.

“We exited, in hindsight, obviously way too early,” he said. “But you just never know how exuberant the market can get.”

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Coyo Taco team to open six concepts at new Miami Beach hotel, including rooftop bar

The Moxy South Beach hotel isn’t even open yet, but you can officially start to look forward to eating and drinking there.

Lightstone, the developer of three Moxy Hotels in New York, has just made a deal with the Coyo Taco team to open six eating and drinking spots in the Miami Beach hotel, located on Washington Avenue.

The six new concepts are:

Como Como: a seafood restaurant and raw bar

Mezcalista: a mezcal lounge

Serena: an open-air rooftop restaurant and bar with seasonal dishes (and cocktails)

Los Buenos: a taco stand and bodega in the hotel lobby

Bar Moxy: a lobby bar and contactless check-in area

The Upside: a rooftop bar on the hotel’s eighth floor with views of Miami Beach, exclusively for hotel guests and private events

“This exciting partnership with Moxy South Beach gives us an opportunity to expand our creativity, showcasing our love for Miami’s diverse cultures and exploration of cuisines across regions,” said Alan Drummond, co-founder of Coyo Taco and 1-800-Lucky in a press release. “We pride ourselves in offering menus and experiences that transcend generations and demographics, just like Moxy Hotels, so we couldn’t be more thrilled for this like-minded collaboration to come to life.”

The eight-story Moxy South Beach is due to open early in 2021 with 202 rooms, a 72-foot, cabana-lined pool; an outdoor movie screening room on the roof and an exclusive beach club.

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©2020 Miami Herald

Visit Miami Herald at www.miamiherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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‘Canadian wanderlust’ still strong amid COVID-19 concerns, Expedia report finds

Travel has been one of the hardest hit industries by the global COVID-19 pandemic but the new 2021 Travel Trends Report from Expedia shows that “Canadian wanderlust” is still strong.

In previous years, top trending destinations for travel by Canadians included a variety of international locations but in 2020, the destinations with the most interest were domestic locations, primarily Jasper, Alta., Gaspesie-Iles de la Madeleines, Que., Banff, Alta., Tofino-Ucluelet, B.C., and Okanagan Valley, B.C.

Of the top 20 most-search destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel, over half are islands in the southern hemisphere or other warm weather escapes that attract “sun and beach seekers.”

The top searched international destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel are:

• Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum (#1)

• Puerto Vallarta (#2)

• Orlando (#3)

• Cancun (#4)

• Oahu (#5)

• Maui (#7)

• Punta Cana (#8)

• Maldives (#9)

• French Polynesia (#11)

• Bali (#13)

• Barbados (#15)

• Turks and Caicos (#16)

• St. Lucia (#17)

Nearby getaways are expected to remain popular into next year as Canadians continue to manage the COVID-19 situation, with travel interest from “slope and coast” explorers or people looking for some warmer temperatures close to home.

The top searched domestic destinations by Canadians for 2021 travel are:

  • Banff, Alta. (#6)

  • Okanagan Valley, B.C. (#10)

  • Whistler, B.C. (#12)

  • Mont Tremblant, Que. (#14)

  • Victoria, B.C. (#18)

  • Collingwood, Ont. (#19)

  • Tofino-Ucluelet, B.C. (#20)

Canadian travellers want flexibility, enhanced safety protocols and alternative accommodations

For Canadians booking travel plans for 2021, the Expedia report highlights some clear priorities in the post-COVID-19 world.

First and foremost, flexibility in booking is “required” for travellers, with Canadians booking refundable rates 10 per cent more often in 2020 compared to last year. Additionally, Expedia.ca lodging data shows average daily rates for refundable bookings were about 15 per cent cheaper in this year, compared to 2019.

Health and safety enhancement are a concern going into 2021, as should be expected with increasing COVID-19 cases in much of the world. Expedia found that since May, almost 300,000 properties added health and cleanliness information on Expedia.ca, including enhanced cleaning measures, contactless check-in and social distancing.

Concerns about safety is impacting trip planning as well, including accommodations. Alternative properties for travel lodging have been increasingly popular, specifically private vacation homes, cottages, glamping experiences, treehouses and house boats.

Canadians are also looking at shorter booking windows for travel plans. In 2019, the average Canadian traveller booked flights about 34 days in advance of their departure, but that window shortened to 22 days. Expedia indicates this is a trend with accommodations as well. Last minute bookings during the summer were on the rise with around half of Canadian travellers booking trips up to seven days out.

Bali, Indonesia (Expedia)
Bali, Indonesia (Expedia)

How to save money on travel bookings for 2021

The federal government is still recommending that Canadians avoid all non-essential travel but the introduction of the government-supported Alberta pilot program to test a reduction in the 14-day

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