What You Need to Know:
– Amidst growing fears of exposure to the COVID-19 Coronavirus HIMSS announced the cancellation of the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, marking the first cancellation in 58 years.
– The advisory panel recognized that industry understanding of the potential reach of the COVID-19 Coronavirus h has changed significantly in the last 24 hours.
– Over the last week, COVID-19 Coronavirus has become a global topic of concern. Gov. Ron DeSantis directed State Health Officer and Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees to declare a public health emergency in Florida on March 1, 2020.
– Congressional leaders have agreed on an $8 billion emergency funding package to help fight the coronavirus that is headed to the House for approval.
Today, following recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, HIMSS formally announced it is necessary to cancel the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition. The cancellation marks the first time in 58 years the event has been canceled.
The decision to cancel HIMSS20 was taken by HIMSS leadership in coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making. HIMSS will coordinate with the Office of the President on how to share the content of the planned speech.
“We recognize all the hard work that so many have put into preparing for their presentations and panels that accompany every HIMSS conference,” said Hal Wolf, president, and CEO of HIMSS. “Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances and coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making, it is clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together in Orlando next week.”
Here are six things to know about the HIMSS20 cancellation:
1. The advisory panel recognized that industry understanding of the potential reach of the virus has changed significantly in the last 24 hours, which has made it impossible to accurately assess risk.
2. There are concerns about the disproportionate risk to the healthcare system given the unique medical profile of Global Conference attendees and the consequences of potentially displacing healthcare workers during a critical time, as well as stressing the local health systems were there to be an adverse event.
3. HIMSS20 exhibitors and attendees will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts and registrations. HIMSS20 exhibitors will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts within 14 working days
4. Coupled with limited exhibitor and speaker availability, make it unlikely for HIMSS20 to be rescheduled to later this year.
5. Travel Costs: HIMSS20 policy states refundable airline tickets should be purchased in the event of a cancellation; therefore, airline tickets will not be refunded. HIMSS is working with the hotels to address reimbursement. Advisement will be sent within 14 working days.
6 There are no plans to make previously scheduled sessions and panels available virtually.