With a number of annual meetings that often attract a global audience, and organizations are taking a cautious approach with the cloud of COVID-19 looming, and several organizations have cancelled planned events.
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology has cancelled ARVO 2020, to have taken place May 1-7 in Baltimore, has been cancelled. In a statement posted to the ARVO 2020 website, the organization said “the health, safety and well-being of the ARVO global community is our highest priority.”
“Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yesterday’s announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic, numerous university and institutional travel restrictions and ever-increasing numbers of confirmed cases all provide a clear need to take this action,” ARVO leaders said in the statement.
Leadership also noted the lost opportunity to present the latest research, and announced it would offer additional communication in the coming weeks that will provide alternative presentation options as we continue to work through those details.
In cancelling the event now, ARVO said it wanted to provide all attendees with ample time to manage air travel and hotel reservations.
“We urge those who were planning to attend the annual meeting to expedite flight cancellations,” the statement said. “Attendees who booked through ARVO housing do not need to do anything; reservations will be cancelled automatically. Individuals who booked reservations on their own should cancel them immediately.” ARVO also will fully refund annual meeting registration fees for individuals that do not select an alternative presentation option when that information is released in the next two weeks.