With the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference (HIMSS20) fast approaching, organisers have been providing regular updates to allay fears of participants over the ongoing coronavirus situation.

HIMSS20, set for 9-13 March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, will proceed "as scheduled" according to HIMSS officials in the most recent update. "The health, safety and well-being of our community remains our highest priority."

HIMSS notes that each year they draw up an emergency response plan for the global health conference. This year, amidst the current COVID-19 outbreak, "we have expanded the reach of our procedures to include the counsel of local health systems," HIMSS officials added.

HIMSS's coronavirus precautionary procedures are in line with the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization. For example, before and during HIMSS20, conference-goers will be given health tips and information about safety measures.

Also, at the convention centre, three medical offices will be set up, HIMSS said. One of them will be dedicated to addressing flu-like symptoms and will be staffed with a nurse who will have direct access to the Florida Department of Health and an epidemiologist.

HIMSS further said it is in close communication with the City of Orlando and with the Orange County Convention Center and area hotels about their protocols and disinfection procedures. Adherence to CDC and WHO guidance has been prioritised by this private-public sector coordination.

Meanwhile, HIMSS notes that travel restrictions signed by the U.S. Government on 31 January 2020, remain in effect. "We are in direct conversation with attendees and exhibitors from affected regions to accommodate their cancellations," HIMSS officials said.

HIMSS will continue to provide weekly updates to the HIMSS20 community going forward.
Image credit: iStock

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HIMSS 2020 COVID-19 saftey public health HIMSS reassures delegates that precautions are in place for COVID-19