Tag: Upcoming

COVID-19 impact from Thanksgiving travel and gatherings could be ‘precursor’ for upcoming holidays

Fallout from Thanksgiving travel and festivities could intensify challenges Massachusetts will face as it continues to battle the pandemic through the December holidays, when officials will be navigating more uncertain terrain amid soaring numbers of cases.

a person standing in front of a store: A passenger made a purchase Sunday from the PPE vending machine inside Terminal B at Logan Airport.

© Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
A passenger made a purchase Sunday from the PPE vending machine inside Terminal B at Logan Airport.

While more indications emerge that people are chafing under pandemic restrictions, those measures are vital to curb the spread and ease pressure on the state’s health care system, officials said.


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“Until we have a vaccine, we’re the vaccine,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Our behavior, and what we do, can help prevent the spread of this virus in our community.”

In the wake of Thanksgiving, public health officials will be closely monitoring state metrics to see what effect holiday travel and gatherings will have on the state’s COVID-19 levels. They will be looking at new cases, positivity test results, hospitalizations, and the presence of coronavirus in wastewater, which is seen as an early warning system.

Some experts, including Dr. Robert Horsburgh, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University, warn that in order to limit additional cases, Governor Charlie Baker will need to roll back the state’s economic reopening.

“We need to ratchet things down and get on top of things like transmission before hospitals fill up and we’re having the crises we had before,” Horsburgh said. “It’s definitely going in the wrong direction, and we can’t sit pat, because with more infections out there, the risk is increasing.”

Dr. Alessandro Vespignani, director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, said public health results from those Thanksgiving activities could help officials project how upcoming holidays will affect coronavirus numbers.

“We need to be very careful. What happened during Thanksgiving could be a precursor of all the other many holidays,” Vespignani said. “So if we see a surge after Thanksgiving, then we have to think [about] and factor other possible surges for Christmas, for New Year’s Eve, et cetera.”

On Sunday, the state Department of Public Health reported 2,501 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts, which brought the total to 217,163. The state’s death toll from confirmed cases reached 10,487, with 46 new deaths reported Sunday.

The state reported 43,709 people were estimated to have active cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, up 1,160 from 42,549 reported Saturday.

A Baker spokesman said Sunday that the administration “is not considering changes to public health protocols at this time and will continue to monitor COVID-19 data.”

Dr. Mauricio Santillana, who is director of the Machine Intelligence Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and is affiliated with Harvard Medical School, said adherence to some public health recommendations has fallen in Massachusetts.

Santillana was part of a group of researchers who reviewed survey data collected from respondents in the state that included questions on public health matters.

The findings from October showed that since April the number of people taking steps such as frequently washing hands, avoiding

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School employees urged to avoid travel during upcoming mid-year vacation

The Shared Services Department at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has issued a circular calling upon school personnel to avoid travel during the upcoming mid-year vacation, according to a report in local Arabic daily Arrayah.

Addressed to schools, the circular has been issued based on the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the State to limit the spread of Covid-19, the ministry’s concern for the health and safety of children, students and employees, and in the light of another wave of the virus being seen in many places worldwide.

Employees have been advised not to travel in the said period so that they do not expose themselves to accountability as a result of not commencing work on the specified date.

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Disney Previews Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ Hotel at Disney World

Earlier this week, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experience and Products, provided a sneak peek of what’s on the horizon for next year and beyond at the IAAPA Expo: Virtual Education Conference.


Among the attractions in the works includes an Avengers Campus at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. The most highly-anticipated experience, however, may be the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. 

Once guests arrive, they will be whisked away onto a starship which will take them through the galaxy and to their temporary sleeping quarters for a two-day, two-night stay that will include a “trip” to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened last year. From the cabins to the dining and everything in-between, the entire experience is shaping up to be mesmerizingly unforgettable, as you’ll witness in the video above. 

The announcement of the progress on the Galatic Starcruiser resort and more is a bittersweet moment for Disney after the company laid off 28,000 employees due to the crushing financial impact of the pandemic. CNBC reports 67 percent of the workers who were let go worked on a part-time basis. 

Last year, the parks, experiences and products division of Disney made up 37 percent of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue. Disney estimates that the pandemic will cost this segment around $2.4 billion. These significant losses have been met with the news that Disney+ has exceeded expectations by amassing 73.7 million subscribers in its first year. Disney hoped to reach between 60 and 90 million subscriptions by 2024. 

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Snooki doll to appear on upcoming episode


A LOOK BACK (2011): Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi talk about MTV’s Jersey Shore during an interview in the ‘Smoosh’ room.

Asbury Park Press

You’ve heard of the Sammi doll?

Now get ready for the Snooki doll. A doll representation of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi will be featured on an upcoming episode of the current season of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

The real Snooki announced that she was leaving the series last year.

“We can tease that there is (a Snooki doll),” said Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino on the Friday, Nov. 20 episode of “It’s Happening with Snooki & Joey” podcast. “It is pretty funny and hilarious but we want the real Snooki back.”

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

A life-sized Sammi doll was abused and thrown into a pool by Polizzi and Deena Cortese on the “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” Season 1 premiere in 2018.  Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola had opted out of the “Jersey Shore” reboot.

A doll that, well, didn’t look a whole lot like Polizzi was shown in a season teaser.

Polizzi said she’s retiring from “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” because of the “serious” direction the show was going.

Sorrentino, who was a guest on the podcast Friday with wife Lauren Sorrentino, wants her to return.

“You are a legend, and I want to put it out there that all legends come out of retirement at least once,” Sorrentino said. “I will be hopeful but we did miss you unbelievably and we did keep your spirit alive.”

More: Jersey Shore Family Vacation: 5 candidates to replace Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi

More: Jersey Shore meets RHONJ: Snooki joining ‘Real Housewives’ is legit, says Andy Cohen UPDATE

More: Jersey Shore Family Vacation: Lauren causes situation with Angelina on Season 4 debut

Polizzi said she has no regrets.

 “I miss everyone filming and even the crew but do I regret my decision?” Polizzi said. “Hell no.”

The cast, and family members, will travel to the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa in Henderson, Nevada later in the current season to try to reconcile feelings frayed by the roomies’ speech at Angelina’s wedding at the end of Season 3.

Sorrentino said that Jenni “JWoww” Farley’s boyfriend, Zack “24” Carpinello, did not make the trip.


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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]

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What the Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccines Mean for the Travel Industry

Each day it seems there are new developments in the world’s search for a successful COVID-19 vaccine. In the last two weeks, both Pfizer and Moderna have announced two vaccine contenders that are over 90 percent effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that Americans should keep their Thanksgiving celebrations restricted to those they already live with. Though this time of the year is typically one of the busiest for traveling, AAA predicts at least a 10 percent drop in travel this year—the largest one-year decrease since 2008 amid the Great Recession.

a close up of a toy store: A passenger stands at the check-in area of Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on November 12, 2020 in Munich, Germany. Lufthansa, Germany's biggest airline, is launching the tests initially for flights between Hamburg and Munich.

© Alexander Hassenstein
A passenger stands at the check-in area of Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic on November 12, 2020 in Munich, Germany. Lufthansa, Germany’s biggest airline, is launching the tests initially for flights between Hamburg and Munich.

Looking beyond the holiday season, the promise of a new vaccine becoming available in the coming months has provided a possible light at the end of the tunnel for the travel industry. While the CDC continues to advise against non-essential travel, these developments could bring a promise to an industry that has been suffering since the pandemic’s start.

From the start of the pandemic in early March, countries began imposing travel restrictions as an attempt to stop the spread of the virua — many of those restrictions held steady through the end of the summer. Destinations such as Ireland and the United Kingdom still hold strict quarantine guidelines for travelers coming in from other high-risk countries. Countries such as New Zealand, which has been able to keep their number of cases low for the duration of the pandemic, is not allowing entry of any foreign nationals. The CDC still imposes a level 3 travel risk on the majority of countries globally.

The initial announcement said that in partnership with BioNTech, Pfizer had developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is 90 percent effective. Now the company is saying upon further analysis the vaccine will be 95 percent effective and that they have yet to observe any serious side effects. Though it will still be a few months until this vaccine could be widely available, the company has said they expect to have 50 million doses ready by the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021 globally. On Monday, another Moderna emerged as another vaccine hopeful when they announced that their experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94 percent effective.

How Does A Vaccine Work? What To Know Amid COVID-19 Pandemic



How Much Has The Travel Industry Suffered?

This announcement has given hope to many individuals, but also could be a saving grace for some industries that have suffered greatly throughout this pandemic. The travel industry, particularly airlines and cruise lines have been hit hard economically by the virus as many countries maintain strict travel restrictions and travelers remain wary of the health risks. TSA records the daily number of passengers that travel through each of

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Here’s a sneak peak inside Allen’s upcoming recreation center

Allen’s new recreation center is set to feature airy, open spaces and multiple exercise options when it opens in the spring of 2023. The public was given the first glimpse of the new facility’s interior during a city workshop on Oct. 13, when the City of Allen Parks and Recreation division revealed interior renderings for the future Stephen G. Terrell Recreation Center.

The new 149,000-square-foot facility will sit on Exchange Parkway, south of Ridgeview Drive. The $54 million project by BRS Architects will feature a modern, sleek interior with some flexible spaces and community rooms.

According to the parks department, amenities will include:

  • An indoor playground
  • A child watch area
  • Two gymnasiums with multiple courts
  • A vaulted indoor walking and jogging track
  • An adventure track
  • Weight and cardio areas
  • Group fitness areas
  • A catering kitchen
  • An outdoor fitness deck
  • An open, spacious lobby

Parks and Recreation Director Kate Meacham also discussed the city’s goals for memberships during the city workshop.

It’s estimated that 20% of households in Allen’s market area have at least one type of membership to a local fitness facility. Whether its a youth, family, adult or senior membership, Meacham added that the division’s conservative goal for the Stephen G. Terrell Recreation Center is to pull in at least one type of membership from about 7% of households in Allen’s market area.

She said most Allen facilities currently have an al la carte model, which means members pay for each activity they participate in, in addition to a monthly or annual membership. But to compete with other fitness facilities in the area, the city is looking at other operational methods.

“The al la carte method is a tried and true method,” Meacham said during the workshop. “However, more of the fitness facilities today are going to the more all inclusive. We try to bundle as many things as possible to that membership package, so they get more bang for their buck.”

She said, if they choose an all-inclusive model, they would try to build the biggest bundle they could, which may include access to about 50 group fitness classes per week, child care and discounted facility rentals, as well as some other amenities.

Discussions about the bundle package have also included potential access to Joe Farmer Recreation Center, Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium, Allen Senior Recreation Center and Ford Pool — and maybe even the Allen Community Ice Rink, Meacham said.

The goal is to cross-promote and build the biggest collection of services possible for its members, she added.

The street rehabilitation project approved by city council on Oct. 13 will restore six streets, including Austin Drive, Boyd Drive, Anna Drive, Ash Drive, Bonham Drive and Young Drive.

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Atari-themed hotels unveil design for upcoming Las Vegas and Phoenix locations

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Looking to live your pop culture fantasy and get nostalgic?

GSD Group and architecture and design firm Gensler unveiled early renderings for the brand new video-game inspired Atari Hotels.

The first two Atari Hotels will open in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona, with additional locations planned in Austin, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.

The new hotels “offer guests a wholly unique hospitality experience inspired by, and built with, classic and modern video game culture in mind.”

Guests at the hotels can expect to enjoy the latest in video games, immersive entertainment and retro-style gaming arcades. The hotels will also feature nightclubs and themed restaurants and bars.

Video of the hotel concept features a massive light and screen display on the outside of one of the hotels, mimicking the upside down “V” shape of the Atari logo.

You can watch the video of the hotel concept in the video player above.

Sony Playstation 5 to release Nov. 12 at $500

Gaming industry booming with people stuck at home during COVID-19 pandemic

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Two Kamala Harris Campaign Members Test Positive for COVID, VP Candidate Cancels Upcoming Travel

Senator Kamala Harris has canceled her upcoming campaign travel schedule after two campaign members tested positive for COVID-19.

Late Wednesday, Harris’ communications director Liz Allen and another non-staff flight crew member involved in Harris’ campaign were found to be infected with the coronavirus, according to the campaign’s statement.

Although Harris was not in close contact with either of these individuals, her campaign has made the decision to cancel her travel plans through Sunday “out of an abundance of caution and in line with [the] campaign’s commitment to the highest levels of precaution.”

The vice presidential candidate will continue to campaign virtually and return to in-person campaigning next week.

Kamala Harris
Vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wears a facemask as she listens to her running mate speak to reporters at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, October 8, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona. On Wednesday night, Harris’ campaign learned that two of her staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP

The campaign said that Democratic nominee Joe Biden also did not come in contact with sick staff.

“Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results,” the statement read.

Biden is still expected to participate in Thursday’s town hall event on ABC News.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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