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Guess & Co. Corporation Shareholders Elect Directors

Guess & Co. Corporation Shareholders Elect Directors

Directors Elected at 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

MIAMI, Oct. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Guess & Co. Corporation is pleased to announce its Board of Directors following their election at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Board of Directors is responsible for overall governance of Guess & Co. Corporation. The following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders that was held on Friday, October 30, 2020.

Mr. Jerry D. Guess, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ms. D. Michelle Stewart, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. James R. Jackson, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Mitchell M. Cohen, Lead Director of the Board of Directors

Ms. Paris N. Smith, Director

Ms. Kyra A. Anderson, Director

Mr. Stephen T. Baldacci, Director

Jerry D. Guess,
Director & Chairman

Jerry D. Guess

Jerry D. Guess, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Guess has been a serial entrepreneur since the age of 13 years old. A strategist and visionary, Mr. Guess is committed to leveraging his experience of over 20 years to improve the lives of others. He partnered with others to launch Guess & Co. Corporation as a company focused on providing solutions to problems in communities throughout the U.S. and abroad. As someone who has had personal and business setbacks, Mr. Guess is a resilient leader who brings intestinal fortitude to the table for his team and the company’s clients. Mr. Guess has completed Business coursework at Adams State University. He is currently enrolled at Purdue University Global where he is pursuing a degree in Finance. His business experience spans many areas including start-ups, finance, mergers, acquisitions, turnaround, restructuring, bankruptcy, reorganization, business development, strategic planning, marketing, public relations and community development. He successfully launched a for-profit social enterprise as senior deputy chairman and president. He also served as chairman and president of a midwestern general contractor. Mr. Guess has made contributions to the community over the years. He served two terms as voting member of the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he reviewed and approved grant proposals for at risk-youth. He was also a candidate for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board following the resignation of a member. Mr. Guess was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Guess & Co. Corporation in January of 2019. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Guess was principal and responsible for strategy and development. As chairman of Guess & Co. Corporation, Mr. Guess has provided leadership to the Board that has encouraged contributions from all members in guiding the company’s future.

D. Michelle Stewart,
Director & Deputy Chairman

D. Michelle Stewart

D. Michelle Stewart, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ms. Stewart joined the company as interim executive vice-president and managing director in 2017. She was then appointed interim executive vice-president and chief corporate officer. Ms. Stewart was the initial architect of the company’s strategy during its start-up phase. She was in charge of analyzing market and expansion opportunities. In late 2017 she became president of the company. Following a brief retirement, Ms. Stewart returned to Guess & Co. Corporation in February of 2019 to assume her role as deputy chairman. Ms. Stewart has two decades of business experience. She began her career as a real estate investor. She has handled $500 million in transactions over the years. Ms. Stewart has completed coursework in Organizational Leadership at Colorado State University Global. Prior to joining Guess & Co. Corporation, she was a partner in a commercial finance company for small businesses. As deputy chairman of the board of directors, Ms. Stewart works closely with the chairman to oversee the board.  Ms. Stewart is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors.

James R. Jackson,
Director & Vice-Chairman

James R. Jackson

James R. Jackson, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Jackson is an experienced financial professional. He retired from Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) after over 37 years of service. He began his financial career as a fiduciary tax associate for the financial institution. Mr. Jackson became a charitable trust officer for the bank and was responsible for managing over 500 accounts for the bank’s wealth management clients. Following his retirement, Mr. Jackson became a partner in a private security service. In that role, he facilitated training, handled administration and business development. Mr. Jackson joined Guess & Co. Corporation initially as special adviser and worked closely with the board of directors and senior management on important matters. As a director and vice-chairman, Mr. Jackson is responsible for overseeing the governance of the company along with the chairman and deputy chairman. He is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors. Mr. Jackson is chairman of the nominating and governance committee of the board of directors, and a member of the audit committee of the board of directors.

Mitchell M. Cohen,
Director & Lead Director

Mitchell M. Cohen

Mitchell M. Cohen, Lead Director of the Board of Directors

Mr. Cohen is a seasoned executive and corporate director. Mr. Cohen is chief executive officer at Pursuit Management LLC. He served as chief financial officer of Athenian Venture Partners. He has more than 30 years of financial, operations and general business experience as a senior executive at several public and private companies. Prior to Athenian, Mr. Cohen completed an engagement as the interim financial executive of a publicly traded asset manager. He also spent nearly five years as the CFO and secretary of Asta Funding, Inc. Mr. Cohen has also spent over seven years in public accounting with a heavy emphasis on financial audits of hedge funds and mergers and acquisitions engagements. Mr. Cohen has experience raising money in intricate PIPE transactions, reverse mergers, public offerings, and private company financings. Mr. Cohen served as the chief financial officer, executive vice-president and secretary of Ramp Corp. from November 2003 to September 2004 and served as its principal accounting officer since November 2003. Mr. Cohen joined Ramp Corp. (Formerly Medix Resources Inc.) in November 2003. From June 2002 to October 2003, he was a financial and business consultant to three public companies. From November 1998 to May 2002, he served as chief financial officer of Siebert Financial Corp. and served as its executive vice-president. The public companies included Siebert Financial Corporation, Everything’s Jake and Ehrlich Bober Financial Corporation. Mr. Cohen has taught continuing professional education classes for accountants with a focus on Securities and Exchange Commission matters and has taught continuing education classes at Hofstra University. He has also been a featured speaker at investment and industry conferences. He served as the chief financial officer of two other publicly traded companies. Mr. Cohen graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Accounting and with a minor in Economics. As lead director, Mr. Cohen has an important oversight role for the company’s board to ensure that the company adheres to high standards of governance. He is a member of the nominating and governance committee of the board of directors. Mr. Cohen is chairman of the audit committee of the board of directors.

Paris N. Smith,
Director

Paris N. Smith

Paris N. Smith, Director

Ms. Smith is a public sector professional. Ms. Smith served as initial and interim lead director of Guess & Co. Corporation at the company’s launch in 2017. Prior to Guess & Co. Corporation, Ms. Smith was lead director for a multi-million dollar diversified private holding company following her tenure as vice-chairman and secretary. Ms. Smith is an experienced business and cyber security professional with over a decade of experience. She completed studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte before studying Network Security at ECPI College of Technology. Ms. Smith earned a Cyber Security Degree from Strayer University. She has held several technology management positions including serving as deputy director of Technology for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Most recently, Ms. Smith has been an electronic discovery and forensics analyst for the U.S. government. Ms. Smith holds an active Top-Secret/SCI Clearance. She is a member of the audit and nominating and governance committees of the Guess & Co. Corporation Board of Directors. Ms. Smith was re-appointed to the board of directors in March of 2019.

Kyra A. Anderson,
Director

Kyra A. Anderson

Kyra A. Anderson, Director

Ms. Anderson is an experienced business professional. Ms. Anderson is currently deputy chairman, president and CEO of The Guess Corporation Holding Co., Inc. (TGC), a for-profit social enterprise company that operates businesses that provide second chance employment opportunities.  She is also chairman and president of The Guess Construction Company, Ltd. which is a full-service general contractor. Prior to her business career, she was a performing music artist and model. She also owns an independent record label. Ms. Anderson worked for Guess & Co. Corporation as vice-president, assistant secretary, and assistant treasurer in 2018. She has a keen understanding of the company’s operations. She was appointed to the board of directors in August of 2020. Ms. Anderson is a member of the nominating and governance committee and compensation committee of the Guess & Co. Corporation Board of Directors.

Stephen T. Baldacci,
Director

Stephen T. Baldacci

Stephen T. Baldacci, Director

Mr. Baldacci is a seasoned business executive with a wealth of experience. Mr. Baldacci previously served as senior executive vice-president, chief corporate officer and group president of operations for the company. Mr. Baldacci served as president and chief marketing officer of The Washington Redskins, a professional team in the National Football League. In that role, he was responsible for reviving a legendary brand and he succeeded in making it one of the most valuable franchises in the league. He was an equity partner and chief marketing officer for Snyder Communications, an advertising firm, where he helped successfully grow the company from $4 million in annual revenue to over $1.4 billion, and facilitated the firm’s eventual sale. As founder and CEO of Baldacci Communications/BC Worldwide, Mr. Baldacci provided consulting, marketing and post-merger integration management to many clients including AMTRAK, GEICO, Apogen Technologies and Virginia Tourism. Mr. Baldacci earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Hartwick College and participated in graduate studies at Georgetown University.  Mr. Baldacci was appointed to the Board of Directors in September of 2020.  He is a member of the executive committee, nominating and governance committee and compensation committee of the board of directors.

About Guess & Co. Corporation

Guess & Co. Corporation is an emerging global stewardship solutions company with energy, health care, technology and real estate businesses. We partner with communities, companies and governments to improve the welfare of people. Guess & Co. Corporation is a registered contractor with the U.S. Government to provide solutions to federal government agencies and members of our company have active top-secret/SCI clearances. We are based in Miami, Florida and have over 20 subsidiaries. Guess & Co. Corporation was founded in August of 2017. The management team of Guess & Co. Corporation has over 50 years of combined experience.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c8a0e310-7671-4a35-8393-6b4420066ed8

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c9988bcc-93a3-43a0-b42a-c928baaa86b8

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/34d3d3bb-6d15-4af7-8435-00fe1cbe3903

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6c352e5e-4564-492f-8f40-873066faaf01

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7de7dc84-e142-4f38-b0b7-d73270743166

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/677c1a94-72f1-499f-8324-77866d01a932

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8c2c124a-b48b-46af-a45a-1af3d80fe051

Media Contact:

Media Relations
media@guessandcocorporation.co

Guess & Co. Corporation Shareholders Elect Directors

Guess & Co. Corporation Shareholders Elect Directors

Directors Elected at 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

MIAMI, Oct. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Guess & Co. Corporation is pleased to announce its Board of Directors following their election at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Board of Directors is responsible for overall governance of Guess & Co. Corporation. The following individuals were elected to the Board of Directors at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders that was held on Friday, October 30, 2020.

Mr. Jerry D. Guess, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ms. D. Michelle Stewart, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. James R. Jackson, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Mitchell M. Cohen, Lead Director of the Board of Directors

Ms. Paris N. Smith, Director

Ms. Kyra A. Anderson, Director

Mr. Stephen T. Baldacci, Director

Jerry D. Guess,
Director & Chairman

Jerry D. Guess

Jerry D. Guess, Founder & Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Guess has been a serial entrepreneur since the age of 13 years old. A strategist and visionary, Mr. Guess is committed to leveraging his experience of over 20 years to improve the lives of others. He partnered with others to launch Guess & Co. Corporation as a company focused on providing solutions to problems in communities throughout the U.S. and abroad. As someone who has had personal and business setbacks, Mr. Guess is a resilient leader who brings intestinal fortitude to the table for his team and the company’s clients. Mr. Guess has completed Business coursework at Adams State University. He is currently enrolled at Purdue University Global where he is pursuing a degree in Finance. His business experience spans many areas including start-ups, finance, mergers, acquisitions, turnaround, restructuring, bankruptcy, reorganization, business development, strategic planning, marketing, public relations and community development. He successfully launched a for-profit social enterprise as senior deputy chairman and president. He also served as chairman and president of a midwestern general contractor. Mr. Guess has made contributions to the community over the years. He served two terms as voting member of the Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he reviewed and approved grant proposals for at risk-youth. He was also a candidate for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board following the resignation of a member. Mr. Guess was appointed chairman of the board of directors of Guess & Co. Corporation in January of 2019. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Guess was principal and responsible for strategy and development. As chairman of Guess & Co. Corporation, Mr. Guess has provided leadership to the Board that has encouraged contributions from all members in guiding the company’s future.

D. Michelle Stewart,
Director & Deputy Chairman

D. Michelle Stewart

D. Michelle Stewart, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ms. Stewart joined the company as interim executive vice-president and managing director in 2017. She was then appointed interim executive vice-president and chief corporate officer. Ms. Stewart was the initial architect of the company’s strategy during its start-up phase. She was in charge of analyzing market and expansion opportunities. In late 2017 she became president of the company. Following a brief retirement, Ms. Stewart returned to Guess & Co. Corporation in February of 2019 to assume her role as deputy chairman. Ms. Stewart has two decades of business experience. She began her career as a real estate investor. She has handled $500 million in transactions over the years. Ms. Stewart has completed coursework in Organizational Leadership at Colorado State University Global. Prior to joining Guess & Co. Corporation, she was a partner in a commercial finance company for small businesses. As deputy chairman of the board of directors, Ms. Stewart works closely with the chairman to oversee the board.  Ms. Stewart is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors.

James R. Jackson,
Director & Vice-Chairman

James R. Jackson

James R. Jackson, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Mr. Jackson is an experienced financial professional. He retired from Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) after over 37 years of service. He began his financial career as a fiduciary tax associate for the financial institution. Mr. Jackson became a charitable trust officer for the bank and was responsible for managing over 500 accounts for the bank’s wealth management clients. Following his retirement, Mr. Jackson became a partner in a private security service. In that role, he facilitated training, handled administration and business development. Mr. Jackson joined Guess & Co. Corporation initially as special adviser and worked closely with the board of directors and senior management on important matters. As a director and vice-chairman, Mr. Jackson is responsible for overseeing the governance of the company along with the chairman and deputy chairman. He is a member of the executive committee of the board of directors. Mr. Jackson is chairman of the nominating and governance committee of the board of directors, and a member of the audit committee of the board of directors.

Mitchell M. Cohen,
Director & Lead Director

Mitchell M. Cohen

Mitchell M. Cohen, Lead Director of the Board of Directors

Mr. Cohen is a seasoned executive and corporate director. Mr. Cohen is chief executive officer at Pursuit Management LLC. He served as chief financial officer of Athenian Venture Partners. He has more than 30 years of financial, operations and general business experience as a senior executive at several public and private companies. Prior to Athenian, Mr. Cohen completed an engagement as the interim financial executive of a publicly traded asset manager. He also spent nearly five years as the CFO and secretary of Asta Funding, Inc. Mr. Cohen has also spent over seven years in public accounting with a heavy emphasis on financial audits of hedge funds and mergers and acquisitions engagements. Mr. Cohen has experience raising money in intricate PIPE transactions, reverse mergers, public offerings, and private company financings. Mr. Cohen served as the chief financial officer, executive vice-president and secretary of Ramp Corp. from November 2003 to September 2004 and served as its principal accounting officer since November 2003. Mr. Cohen joined Ramp Corp. (Formerly Medix Resources Inc.) in November 2003. From June 2002 to October 2003, he was a financial and business consultant to three public companies. From November 1998 to May 2002, he served as chief financial officer of Siebert Financial Corp. and served as its executive vice-president. The public companies included Siebert Financial Corporation, Everything’s Jake and Ehrlich Bober Financial Corporation. Mr. Cohen has taught continuing professional education classes for accountants with a focus on Securities and Exchange Commission matters and has taught continuing education classes at Hofstra University. He has also been a featured speaker at investment and industry conferences. He served as the chief financial officer of two other publicly traded companies. Mr. Cohen graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Accounting and with a minor in Economics. As lead director, Mr. Cohen has an important oversight role for the company’s board to ensure that the company adheres to high standards of governance. He is a member of the nominating and governance committee of the board of directors. Mr. Cohen is chairman of the audit committee of the board of directors.

Paris N. Smith,
Director

Paris N. Smith

Paris N. Smith, Director

Ms. Smith is a public sector professional. Ms. Smith served as initial and interim lead director of Guess & Co. Corporation at the company’s launch in 2017. Prior to Guess & Co. Corporation, Ms. Smith was lead director for a multi-million dollar diversified private holding company following her tenure as vice-chairman and secretary. Ms. Smith is an experienced business and cyber security professional with over a decade of experience. She completed studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte before studying Network Security at ECPI College of Technology. Ms. Smith earned a Cyber Security Degree from Strayer University. She has held several technology management positions including serving as deputy director of Technology for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Most recently, Ms. Smith has been an electronic discovery and forensics analyst for the U.S. government. Ms. Smith holds an active Top-Secret/SCI Clearance. She is a member of the audit and nominating and governance committees of the Guess & Co. Corporation Board of Directors. Ms. Smith was re-appointed to the board of directors in March of 2019.

Kyra A. Anderson,
Director

Kyra A. Anderson

Kyra A. Anderson, Director

Ms. Anderson is an experienced business professional. Ms. Anderson is currently deputy chairman, president and CEO of The Guess Corporation Holding Co., Inc. (TGC), a for-profit social enterprise company that operates businesses that provide second chance employment opportunities.  She is also chairman and president of The Guess Construction Company, Ltd. which is a full-service general contractor. Prior to her business career, she was a performing music artist and model. She also owns an independent record label. Ms. Anderson worked for Guess & Co. Corporation as vice-president, assistant secretary, and assistant treasurer in 2018. She has a keen understanding of the company’s operations. She was appointed to the board of directors in August of 2020. Ms. Anderson is a member of the nominating and governance committee and compensation committee of the Guess & Co. Corporation Board of Directors.

Stephen T. Baldacci,
Director

Stephen T. Baldacci

Stephen T. Baldacci, Director

Mr. Baldacci is a seasoned business executive with a wealth of experience. Mr. Baldacci previously served as senior executive vice-president, chief corporate officer and group president of operations for the company. Mr. Baldacci served as president and chief marketing officer of The Washington Redskins, a professional team in the National Football League. In that role, he was responsible for reviving a legendary brand and he succeeded in making it one of the most valuable franchises in the league. He was an equity partner and chief marketing officer for Snyder Communications, an advertising firm, where he helped successfully grow the company from $4 million in annual revenue to over $1.4 billion, and facilitated the firm’s eventual sale. As founder and CEO of Baldacci Communications/BC Worldwide, Mr. Baldacci provided consulting, marketing and post-merger integration management to many clients including AMTRAK, GEICO, Apogen Technologies and Virginia Tourism. Mr. Baldacci earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Hartwick College and participated in graduate studies at Georgetown University.  Mr. Baldacci was appointed to the Board of Directors in September of 2020.  He is a member of the executive committee, nominating and governance committee and compensation committee of the board of directors.

About Guess & Co. Corporation

Guess & Co. Corporation is an emerging global stewardship solutions company with energy, health care, technology and real estate businesses. We partner with communities, companies and governments to improve the welfare of people. Guess & Co. Corporation is a registered contractor with the U.S. Government to provide solutions to federal government agencies and members of our company have active top-secret/SCI clearances. We are based in Miami, Florida and have over 20 subsidiaries. Guess & Co. Corporation was founded in August of 2017. The management team of Guess & Co. Corporation has over 50 years of combined experience.

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c8a0e310-7671-4a35-8393-6b4420066ed8

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c9988bcc-93a3-43a0-b42a-c928baaa86b8

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/34d3d3bb-6d15-4af7-8435-00fe1cbe3903

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6c352e5e-4564-492f-8f40-873066faaf01

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/7de7dc84-e142-4f38-b0b7-d73270743166

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/677c1a94-72f1-499f-8324-77866d01a932

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8c2c124a-b48b-46af-a45a-1af3d80fe051

Media Contact:

Media Relations
media@guessandcocorporation.co

Britain Joins France, Germany in Locking Down

For weeks, Britain’s Boris Johnson has resisted mounting calls to impose a national lockdown as coronavirus cases have risen inexorably, saying that closing the country for a second time this year would be a “disaster.” But the British leader Saturday joined his counterparts in France, Germany and Belgium in ordering a nationwide shutdown.

New national lockdown restrictions will take effect across England on Thursday and last for a month. Wales announced a lockdown last week, and Scottish leaders say the next few days will be critical for Scotland to avoid a lockdown north of the border with England, too.

Schools and universities as well as courts are to stay open, though. The construction industry will also be allowed to operate. But there will be no household mixing, and nonessential stores, pubs and restaurants are to shutter. Employers will be asked to encourage their employees to work from home where possible.

Speaking to the country in a televised news conference from Downing Street, Johnson said: “We have got to be humble in the face of nature.” He added: “No one wants to be imposing these types of measures.”

Opposition politicians welcomed the containment measure, but some lawmakers from Johnson’s ruling Conservatives were critical, fearing the economic damage. Britain’s economy is 10 percent smaller than before the pandemic struck, almost double the hit on the recession caused by the 2008-09 global financial crash.

The British prime minister met his top Cabinet members Friday to discuss toughening restrictions in light of worsening coronavirus infection rates and rising hospital admissions.

Cabinet ministers had been chorusing all week that another lockdown wasn’t likely, saying a regional tiered strategy they have been following for weeks would work. “We are confident we’ve got the right measures in place — which is not to have a blanket approach,” said Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

Johnson had previously warned that a second national lockdown would be like checking into “Hotel California” with no end in sight once it had been entered, a riff on a 1977 rock song by the Eagles. But “alarming data,” according to government insiders, shifted his opinion. Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, warned Downing Street on Thursday that the coronavirus was running out of control and that hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed.

The government’s main scientific advisory group, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, known as Sage, had also been cautioning ministers that the pandemic was on course to breach the “reasonable worst-case scenario” it had previously outlined. Projection modeling had suggested that under a tiered regional lockdown approach, daily infections in England would run at between 12,000 and 13,000, but the actual numbers are now running more than four times as much, with confirmed daily cases coming in at between 43,000 to 74,000.

Daily COVID-19-related deaths are now approaching 200 in England, twice the level projected under the previous worst-case scenario. On Friday, top infectious-disease expert and government adviser Jeremy Farrar tweeted that to bring the coronavirus under control, “we have to act now.”

He added: “The best time to act was a month ago but these are very tough decisions, which we would all like to avoid. The second-best time is now.”

Opposition politicians and many government advisers had been clamoring for several weeks for a two-week so-called “circuit breaker” lockdown. But ministers had opted for a lighter approach that has seen them impose tougher restrictions on regions as flare-ups occur. But earlier this month, Patrick Vallance, the government’s leading scientific officer, had warned publicly he doubted the regional strategy would work to curb rising case numbers.

London University’s Imperial College warned at midweek that case numbers have been picking up speed in the south of England to match big jumps in northern England. One of their models projected that about 96,000 people would become infected in England daily without a national lockdown.

Johnson’s U-turn came just days after Germany, France and Belgium opted to impose national lockdowns.

French President Emmanuel Macron said midweek he had to “brutally apply the brakes” and announced the banning of social gatherings, the closure of restaurants and bars, and a prohibition on non-essential travel, with citizens only allowed to leave home for essential work or medical care. “The virus is circulating at a speed that not even the most pessimistic forecasts had anticipated,” he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday a lockdown would take effect November 2 and last until November 30, with restaurants and bars only allowed to provide carry out service. Beginning Monday, all theaters, gyms, swimming pools, and movie theaters will be closed. Merkel said Germany’s health system “can still cope” with current cases, but “at this speed of infections it will reach the limits of its capacity within weeks.”

Italy has so far held out from imposing a formal national lockdown, but pandemic rules have been toughened, promoting violent protests in Milan, Turin, Naples and Rome.

On Thursday, European Union leaders pledged to cooperate on the latest lockdowns, hoping to avoid the border closures seen earlier this year when the pandemic first struck the continent. During a three-hour videoconference, the bloc’s 27 heads of state and government also discussed developing plans for the swift manufacture and distribution of vaccines.

“I want to stress that I understand how tired and worried everyone is,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a news conference after the video-conference concluded. “We are all wondering when we will come out of this crisis. But now is the time for patience, for determination and for discipline from all of us, from governments right down to each of us individually,” she added.

The EU has earmarked $257 million to help fund the transfer of COVID-19 patients across borders to help prevent hospital systems in the bloc from being overwhelmed. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 10 million Europeans are now infected with the virus.

Source: Voice of America

US College Campus Gets COVID-19 Warning from Wastewater

BOULDER, COLORADO – Colorado’s flagship university is getting a head start spotting COVID-19 outbreaks among students at residential dorms — by testing the wastewater.

Cresten Mansfeldt, an engineering professor at University of Colorado-Boulder, heads out with students to start an early warning system on the campus for SARS COV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19. The warning system involves a plastic bin and what can be found below a sewage manhole.

As for the project’s name…

“Well, we call our project ‘Project Half-Shell,’ because it’s an homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Mansfeldt says. “Hanging out in the sewers.”

Mansfeldt’s team all wear masks to guard against COVID-19. Plus, they’re dressed for dirty work, in overalls and work gloves. There’s some heavy lifting up ahead, too. That manhole cover weighs over 100 kilograms. Mansfeldt lifts the lid then points a flashlight into the hole. Ten feet underground, a concrete ditch carries a glistening stream of sewage water.

‘Domestic wastewater’

“So, what’s flowing through here is actually domestic wastewater,” Mansfeldt says. “Things we send down the drain either through the toilets or through showers or laundry systems. Basically, any drains that are coming out, end up flowing into these river networks that exist underneath most municipalities and cities.”

“Here,” he said, “we’re most interested in what’s coming out of the toilets. In feces, because that seems to be where individuals can shed the SARS COV-2 virus here.”

Engineering student Jessica Darby says checking wastewater this way gives an early warning about COVID-19 infections.

“COVID is in your intestines,” she says. “And so even if you don’t have symptoms, or before it actually is more of a disease or infection, it can be found in your intestines. So if you shed it into the sewer system, you can kind of determine if people have it, even if it’s before they have symptoms, or if they don’t ever have symptoms.”

To test this dorm’s wastewater for COVID-19, Mansfeldt’s team unlocks a large plastic bin that’s beside the manhole. Inside is a 2-liter jerry can and some very long tubes. The team snakes the tubes down until they touch the sewage water. Back inside the plastic tub, they switch on a little pump.

Once each day, the Project Half-Shell team will unlock the tub and take a few vials of wastewater over to the lab, to screen an entire dorm for COVID-19.

An early warning

Mansfeldt says that testing wastewater this way saves on testing time and testing supplies.

“A single sample here is reflective of hundreds of people’s contribution,” he says.

Earlier this fall, data from the team warned the campus about a rising spike in COVID-19 cases. Individual saliva tests of dorm residents then identified who was sick, and it was quite a few.

“This led the administration to actually invoke some of the social-distancing options that were available,” Mansfeldt says.

Two weeks later, data showed the restrictions could be relaxed.

Wastewater testing can also provide an early warning in countries that have cholera and polio. As for COVID cases in the U.S., Mansfeldt says that in addition to screening college dorms, some communities are also screening sewers for early signs of SARS-COV2 outbreaks at nursing homes and schools.

Source: Voice of America

Rising New Tide of COVID-19 Cases Worldwide Force Leaders to Consider New Lockdowns

 

A rising tide of new coronavirus cases worldwide is forcing leaders to consider new lockdown measures to contain an increase in infections.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in an interview with BBC television Friday a national lockdown in his country is not inevitable to prevent the further spread of the disease, adding that a localized approach would be efficient if rules for each area were strictly observed.

Raab’sstatment followed announcements by leaders of France and Germany earlier in the week to impose new lockdowns.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide monthlong lockdown that will take effect Friday. Macron said restaurants, bars, cafes and other nonessential businesses will be closed, while citizens will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, shopping and doctor appointments.German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a set of similar measures in her own month-long lockdown which takes effect Monday. In addition to restaurants and bars, all gyms, theaters and opera houses will be shut down under Merkel’s order, while the majority of businesses, shops and hair salons will be allowed to remain open.

Schools in both nations will remain open during their respective lockdowns.
The restrictions were announced by Macron and Merkel as both nations struggle with a record number of new COVID-19 cases practically every day.

France and Germany joined several other European nations that have been forced to impose a new set of restrictions to deal with a second and growing wave of the virus as the cold weather season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ukraine reported Friday a record 8,312 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, up from the October 23 high of 7,517, with total infections at 378,729. The deaths also jumped by a record 173, for a toll of 7,041.

In Japan, the health ministry said Friday that the coronavirus cases topped 100,000, nine months after the first case was reported in mid-January. Japan has more than 1,700 deaths.

As of early Friday, there are more than 45 million total COVID-19 cases worldwide, including over 1.18 million deaths. India has reached the milestone of over 8 million total novel coronavirus cases, second only to the United States, with 8.94 million total confirmed cases.

As the effort to develop a safe and effective vaccine continues, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration said it would ensure that everyone in the United States will be able to be inoculated free of charge.

 

 

Source: Voice of America

 

UPDATE – Trip.com LIVE series revitalizes regional markets, boosting global travel recovery

Trip.com LIVE Singapore livestream promotion banner

Trip.com LIVE Singapore livestream promotion banner

Trip.com LIVE Singapore livestream promotion banner

SINGAPORE, Oct. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — From 10 October to 11 November 2020, leading online travel services provider, Trip.com Group has launched the “LIVE for Trip” campaign as part of its Travel On initiative to bolster the recovery of the global travel industry.

29 October marked a key day in the LIVE for Trip campaign, with Trip.com LIVE broadcasts from Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Hosted on Trip.com’s regional Facebook and YouTube social media accounts, localized Trip.com LIVE shows targeted audiences in the region with specialized product offerings and huge discounts, part of the USD 150 million in discounts and subsidies given out by Trip.com Group during the LIVE for Trip campaign.

Following the recent announcement of the planned Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble, the Singapore Trip.com LIVE livestream was dedicated to showcasing Hong Kong and local hotels with the Halloween-themed tagline: “#TripFlashSale – Come in for a Spooktacular deal!” According to Trip.com Group data, on 15 October in the two hours after the announcement of the in-principle agreement to open a SG-HK travel bubble, search volumes in Singapore for flights grew by 56.4%, followed by a 40% increase in local hotel searches.

In light of this announcement, the Hong Kong Trip.com LIVE advertised a wide range of Singapore hotel discounts as well as local staycation hotel deals, in addition to useful information for Hong Kong customers planning on venturing to Singapore for their next trip.

The Trip.com LIVE Japan broadcast was hosted by well-known YouTube travel KOL Onada, who shared a series of “workcation” resorts with viewers. The two-hour special featured discounts on therapeutic hot springs and ryokan innsfor Trip.com’s Japanese audience to enjoy the new ‘working from hotel’ trend.

From 23 March to 28 October, Trip.com Group’s livestream series have altogether generated more than USD 360 million in GMV and received more than 150 million global views. Throughout this year, Trip.com Group has deployed innovative solutions to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 to encourage the recovery of travel. Trip.com LIVE is an important element in Trip.com Group’s efforts to inspire customers to plan their next trip. By working with local travel industry partners and KOLs, Trip.com LIVE shows engage customers to consider traveling again with incredible discounts and tailored products.

On October 28, LIVE for Trip’s livestream marathon and four-hour BOSS Live show generated GMV of USD 56 million, offering customers discounts on a huge range of hotels, flights, attraction tickets and more. Trip.com Group’s Boss Live broadcast debuted on 23 March, 2020 in Shanghai, China. It has since become a regular live broadcast on every Wednesday, featuring Trip.com Group Chairman and co-founder, James Liang. Trip.com Group’s use of innovative marketing channels and formats – with livestream shows engaging customers during the pandemic – is an industry first.

Since June 2020, following the announcement of the Travel On initiative, Trip.com LIVE shows have taken place in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Customers around the region have tuned in for top discounts on travel products tailored to their local market, boosting domestic travel and laying the foundations for the future global travel recovery.

About Trip.com Group:
Trip.com Group is a leading one-stop travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group enables local partners and travelers around the world to make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services, through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related information and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of mobile apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centers. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel brands in the world, with the mission of ‘making every trip the perfect trip’.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5094b58e-a25f-4862-956a-2fdde6cb236a

For additional information, visit Trip.com Group Newsroom 
Media Relations Contact:
Trip.com Group PR 
pr@trip.com 
Tel: (+86) 21 3406 4880 ext 196455

US Coronavirus Cases Surpass 9 Million

The U.S. surpassed 9 million confirmed coronavirus cases Friday, recording 1 million new cases in just two weeks, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Previously, it had taken the country three weeks to jump from 7 million cases to 8 million.

As of Friday afternoon, the U.S. had more than 9,018,500 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and 229,356 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The increase in cases has been a result of a resurgence of the coronavirus since mid-October, health officials said.

The death rate attributed to the virus has risen 14% over the past two weeks, with more than 800 every day.

Confirmed cases are on the rise in 47 U.S. states, and dozens of states set records Thursday for new infections in a single day, including the Midwestern states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio, according to Johns Hopkins. Record daily highs were also reported in Texas, California and Florida.

The rising tide of new coronavirus cases worldwide is forcing leaders to consider new lockdown measures to contain an increase in infections.

Great Britain

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said in an interview with BBC television Friday a national lockdown in his country is not inevitable to prevent the further spread of the disease, adding that a localized approach would be efficient if rules for each area were strictly observed.

Raab’s statement followed announcements by leaders of France and Germany earlier in the week to impose new lockdowns.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron announced a nationwide, monthlong lockdown that will take effect Friday. Macron said restaurants, bars, cafes and other nonessential businesses will be closed, while citizens will be allowed to leave their homes only for work, shopping and doctor appointments.

Officials in Paris said people eager to escape the effects of the new lockdown created traffic jams Thursday evening with a total length of 730 kilometers.

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a set of similar measures in her own monthlong lockdown, which takes effect Monday. In addition to restaurants and bars, all gyms, theaters and opera houses will be closed under Merkel’s order, while the majority of businesses, shops and hair salons will be allowed to remain open.

Schools in both nations will remain open during their respective lockdowns.

The restrictions were announced by Macron and Merkel as both nations struggle with a record number of new COVID-19 cases almost every day.

France and Germany joined several other European nations that have been forced to impose a new set of restrictions to deal with a second and growing wave of the virus as the cold weather season approaches in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ukraine reported Friday a record 8,312 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours, up from the October 23 high of 7,517, with total infections at 378,729. The deaths also jumped by a record 173, for a toll of 7,041.

In Japan, the health ministry said Friday that the coronavirus cases topped 100,000, nine months after the first case was reported in mid-January. Japan has more than 1,700 deaths.

Europe

European countries, meanwhile, are calling on the global community to grant the World Health Organization greater authority to independently investigate outbreaks after the pandemic exposed the agency’s deficiencies.

After European Union ministers met to discuss the matter, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday that countries should give the agency more political and financial support.

WHO

The WHO does not have the authority to independently investigate epidemics, forcing it to rely on countries to approve their lists of suggested experts and to abide by the agendas developed by them.

As of Friday, there are more than 45 million total coronavirus cases worldwide, including more than 1.18 million COVID-19 deaths. India has reached the milestone of more than 8 million cases, second only to the U.S.

 

Source: Voice of America