Fundraiser Elevates GMID
One of the major events of Global Meetings Industry Day on April 7 was the Meeting Professionals International virtual event, which drew more than 2,000 people over the course of the day for one or more of the 39 program segments. During the broadcast, attendees learned about the MPI Foundation’s commitment to assist Ukrainian students at Vistula University in Poland with scholarships to continue their hospitality studies. The Foundation directed $10,000 to the cause and agreed to match donations up to an additional $10,000. By the end of the GMID broadcast, almost an additional $7,000 had been raised for the cause. At press time, the matching campaign was up to $9,052 and still taking donations.
Lose the Q-Tips!
Swabbing nasal cavities may be effective for Covid-19 testing, but it’s unpleasant and undignified for the test taker. A new Covid breath test, authorized by the Food and Drug Administration on April 14, seems like the innovation the meetings industry wished it had from the beginning of the pandemic. The new test, the InspectIR Covid-19 Breathalyzer, involves simply breathing into a tube, with results available in three minutes. At this point, InspectIR is only producing about 100 of the small-suitcase-size instruments every week, and the tests must be performed by a trained operator. But with U.S. cases ticking up, every new Covid detection option is a good one for keeping face-to-face meetings and conventions on the books.
A Boost for International Travel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is revising its Covid-19 travel advisories for international destinations, cutting the number of countries that it recommends travelers avoid. About 90 countries and regions have had the “Level 4: Very High” label since last winter, including most of Europe, Australia, Singapore, and Brazil. Level 4 means that the CDC recommends that Americans, even if vaccinated, should avoid travel there. The new list, coming out Monday April 18, should cut that number to only countries that have extremely high or rapidly increasing case counts.
By comparison, a level 3 advisory means that Covid is still at high levels, but CDC only recommends that unvaccinated Americans avoid nonessential travel. A level 2 advisory is for destinations where Covid is moderate; CDC recommends that unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe illness from Covid should avoid non-essential travel. Level 1 is low risk. Check out this world map on the CDC website color-coded to show Covid risk.