Home IHA: Epistemix Data Points To Significant COVID-19 Decline in Q1
December 16, 2021
IHA: Epistemix Data Points To Significant COVID-19 Decline in Q1

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The International Housewares Association, in a letter to the industry from president and CEO Derek Miller, cited information from data science company Epistemix forecasting a significant decline in COVID-19 cases during the first quarter of 2022.

IHA earlier this fall began working with Epistemix, which provides consultation on infectious disease prevention to health organizations, municipalities and schools, as well as trade show and event operators. IHA, with guidance from Epistemix data, is providing regular updates to the home and housewares industry on COVID-19 case forecasting used by IHA to make decisions regarding The Inspired Home Show 2022, scheduled for March 5-8, 2022, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

“IHA received the first data set from Epistemix in October and an update in November that predicted the recent spike in cases,” IHA’s Miller said in the letter to the industry. “Viral outbreaks are seasonal, and with the colder weather hitting much of the U.S., an increase in cases was expected.

“Important to note, Epistemix continues to forecast that cases in the first quarter of 2022 will drop off significantly from where we are at today, with early March numbers being much more favorable,” Miller continued. “It is this data that drives our decision-making process and allows us to continue to feel very positive about our ability to have a safe and productive Show in March.”

Miller said IHA will receive another update from Epistemix immediately before a meeting with the IHA Executive Committee and Board of Directors set for mid-January. The IHA Board will determine mitigation policies that may be implemented at The Inspired Home Show in March, which could include any combination of vaccine mandates, testing and face mask requirements, Miller said. IHA will provide full details to the industry once such decisions are made, he added. IHA’s Covid Readiness page provides the latest updates.

Derek Miller, President, International Housewares Association

The industry has a strong desire to return to in-person events, and we are committed to making that a reality in Chicago this March in a safe and productive manner.

-Derek Miller, President, IHA

“The industry has a strong desire to return to in-person events, and we are committed to making that a reality in Chicago this March in a safe and productive manner,” Miller said in the letter.

“The Inspired Home Show is a critical event for the home + housewares industry as it is the single best method for product discovery and networking,” Miller continued. “We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from the supplier and retail communities – both of which have communicated that the Show is a lynchpin in their sales and marketing strategy that has been sorely missed for the last two years and needs to return as soon as possible.

“Please rest assured that IHA is putting the health and safety of our industry first and foremost while also recognizing that there are real opportunities that are best met during an in-person event, including new product discovery, supplier diversification and overall relationship building,” Miller said.

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