Coronavirus and Meetings
to see Northstar Meetings Group’s comprehensive and continuing coverage of how coronavirus is affecting meetings.
The number of confirmed global coronavirus cases has surpassed 100,000. The outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China in late December, has spread to more than 100 countries and claimed more than 3,500 lives, according to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization.
Eight new countries/regions reported their first cases over the weekend, including Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Faroe Islands, French Guiana, Maldives, Malta, Martinique and the Republic of Moldova. A lockdown of northern Italy, which has reported the most cases outside of Asia, has left 17 million people quarantined.
In the United States, CNN is reporting that 34 states and the nation's capital have been infected. More than 760 cases and 27 deaths have been reported across the country. Nine states have declared a state of emergency: Washington, Florida, California, Kentucky, New York, Maryland, Utah, Oregon and New Jersey.
High-profile cases have also been announced, including the infection of a Conservative Political Action Conference attendee, who came into contact with Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar, both of whom are now under self-quarantine. Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York, has also tested positive for the virus.
But in a press conference held March 9, New York governor Andrew Cuomo tried to assuage fears and reminded people that the death rate remains low.
"This is not Ebola and this is not SARS. This is not some science fiction movie come to life," said Cuomo. "The hysteria here is way out of line with the actuality and the facts. But for a vulnerable population member -- senior citizen or underlying illness -- be careful. Be careful the way you would with be careful the flu."
Cuomo said the state is actively monitoring the situation. While an uptick in cases is to be expected, he noted that New York will continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate the outbreak.
"These numbers are only going to continue to go in one direction and that direction is up. They’re going to continue to increase. The quarantines are going to continue to increase," said Cuomo. "I said the first day that you’re going to see these numbers go up exponentially every day because it is mathematics. The more we test, the more the numbers will go up."
As the number of cases across the country grows, some events such as South by Southwest have been called off. Others, such as Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress and the Risk and Insurance Management Society's annual conference are scheduled to go on, as the CDC has not issued any travel restrictions within the United States. Click here for a frequently updated list of events that have been either confirmed to happen, canceled or postponed.