The American College of Cardiology has canceled its annual scientific sessions scheduled for March 28-30 in Chicago because of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it announced on March 9.
The “difficult decision” to cancel ACC.20/WCC, held together with the World Congress of Cardiology this year, was made not only in consideration of information and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization but also because institutions are increasingly putting travel restrictions on personnel.
“With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the front lines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel the meeting and ensure our members are able to do what they do best – help and heal,” ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, said in a press statement.
Here are key points from the college, according to an FAQ page created for attendees:
- The meeting is canceled, not postponed. The meeting’s tremendous size and years-long organizational requirements make rescheduling in 2020 impossible.
- All ancillary events are canceled. This includes independently certified sessions and noncertified prime-time exhibitor events, run by the ACC, exhibitors, nonprofits, universities, and others.
- Registration fees will be refunded, but no travel or hotel expenses. If you booked your hotel through ACC’s housing block, Experient will automatically cancel the reservation. You’ll have to cancel your flight directly. The major airlines are rolling out refunds and change fee policies in response to the COVID-19–related cancellations, Market Watch reported.
- Late-breakers and simultaneous publications, virtually. Organizers are working on virtual presentations. Priorities listed include embargoed Late-Breaking Clinical Trial presentations, and studies to be published simultaneously with presentations in journals. Whether other presentations will occur as scheduled has yet to be worked out.
- Presenters, stay tuned. If you were planning on presenting science, the organizers stress that you should continue your preparations as options for virtual presentations are worked out.