ORLANDO, Fla. Coronavirus continues to negatively impact the Orange County conference industry, while a major health technology conference announced Thursday that it was canceling an event due to health risks.
The HIMSS global health conference and exhibition was scheduled to begin Monday at the Orange County Convention Center, where nearly “45,000 IT and health professionals, clinicians, executives and market suppliers” would attend from all over the world, according to the HIMSS website.
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President Donald Trump previously announced that he wanted to attend the conference.
“We recognize all the hard work that many have put in preparation for their presentations and panels that accompany each HIMSS conference,” said Hal Wolf, president and CEO of HIMSS. “Based on evaluating changing circumstances and coordinating with an external advisory committee 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.”
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Officials said in a press release that this is the first time in 58 years that the event has been canceled.
“It is now clear that cancellation is inevitable in order to fulfill HIMSS’s obligation to protect the health and safety of the global HIMSS community, employees and local residents, as well as for the health professionals charged with keeping our communities healthy. US and global, “said the press release.
The announcement marks the second conference to be held in Orange County this week to cancel or move an online event due to fears of the coronavirus.
Ellucian, a higher education software company, announced Tuesday that it would move to a virtual-only conference in April.
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Florida has four patients with the virus, including one case awaiting federal confirmation, Governor Ron DeSantis said Thursday. Five other Florida residents are being treated for coronavirus outside the state.
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