HIMSS Update on the Coronavirus, Feb. 24

HIMSS is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and continues to provide regular updates.

As of February 24, 2020, HIMSS20 is proceeding as scheduled March 9-13, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Currently, registration is experiencing an upswing of 11% over HIMSS19 participation. Cancellations are under 0.05 %.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has publicly deemed the health risk of coronavirus for the general American public to be low at this time.

The health, safety and well-being of the community is our highest priority.

Onsite Plans for HIMSS20

  • We have collaborated with a regional hospital system to engage with a preparedness plan, including a direct line to ER physicians to address onsite questions or concerns and to direct access to telehealth services.
  • There will be three medical offices onsite at the Orange County Convention Center. One of the medical offices will be dedicated to addressing flu-like symptoms and will be staffed by a trained medical professional who will have direct access to the Florida Department of Health and an epidemiologist.
  • There will be an increased number of hand sanitation sites available in the Orange County Convention Center and surrounding HIMSS20 venues, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer for all attendees and staff.
  • Disposable, disinfectant wipes will be provided so commonly used surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, keyboards, presentation materials, desk surfaces, etc.) can be routinely wiped down by staff.
  • Interested attendees can access medical-grade face masks at any HIMSS20 information booth.
  • Orange County Convention Center has a disinfectant procedure in place for nightly and day cleaning during move-in and conference, and adhering to the CDC and the World Health Organization guidance.

Pre-conference Guidance

  • All attendees are encouraged to check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices prior to departure.
  • All attendees should check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel.

Situation Monitoring

  • HIMSS staff is meeting on a regular basis with key conference stakeholders, including Orange County, the Orange County Convention Center and Florida Public Health agencies to evaluate any risk in the host city. HIMSS is also actively monitoring CDC and WHO updates for further information.
  • HIMSS is collaborating with local Orlando health systems in finalizing an onsite readiness and reaction plan.
  • Orlando Airport (MCO) is complying with the travel restrictions signed by the U.S. Government on January 31, 2020, prohibiting entry to the United States of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the 14 days immediately prior to arrival in the United States.
  • HIMSS is also in contact with the Orange County Convention Center and area hotels regarding protocols and disinfection procedures, which follow the recommendations of the CDC and WHO.
  • HIMSS is providing guidelines and updates to attendee hotels on healthy procedures and tips for conference attendees. All guests checking in will receive printed copies of safety measures.
  • Between now and the HIMSS20 conference commencement, HIMSS will continue to provide routine updates.