Covid-19 impacts another show

Lawrence Pinto

The International Housewares Association’s (IHA) board of directors has decided not to hold The Inspired Home Show 2020, which was scheduled to take place March 14-17, 2020 at McCormick Place in Chicago. The decision comes following the on-going spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) around the world and recent cases in the US.

“For the last several weeks, we have been carefully observing the situation, with our primary concern being the safety and wellbeing of the home + housewares industry,” said Derek Miller, IHA president.

“The IHA Board of Directors made this decision after consulting with industry constituents, including exhibitors and retailers. In the end, the global nature of our event, combined with the worldwide concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak and on-going travel restrictions make it impossible for us to hold The Inspired Home Show next week,” he added.

The IHA board of directors and staff will be working together over the next several weeks to measure the financial impact on the industry and the association.

IHA had previously announced that the International Sourcing Expo, which primarily houses Chinese-based suppliers, would not open in 2020 due to the restrictions on travel between China and the US.

In the meanwhile, US President Donald Trump is weighing more restrictions on arriving overseas travellers. The US death toll rose to nine, including two who died last week. The total reported cased in the US are 132, eight have recovered.

US vice president Mike Pence said the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was lifting all restrictions on testing for coronavirus. It would be releasing new guidelines to fast track testing for people who fear they have the virus, even if they are displaying mild symptoms.

“Today we will issue new guidance from the CDC that will make it clear that any American can be tested, without restrictions, subject to doctor’s orders,” Pence told reporters at the White House on March 3.