ASPS cancels Spring Meeting amid COVID-19 concerns
Amid ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus), ASPS announced Tuesday that it has canceled its Spring Meeting and Coding Workshop slated for March 12-14 in New Orleans. In doing so, the Society joins a growing list of organizations and academic institutions canceling events and instituting travel restrictions related to the coronavirus.
The ASPS Executive Committee reviewed the current statistics on COVID-19, the escalation in the number of people affected – and the effect that even one exposure to the virus could have on our members, staff and other attendees (some institutions are even imposing a two-week quarantine for returning travelers). Ultimately, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed that the potential for increasing the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 made the cancellation of the meeting the most responsible course of action.
"We were looking forward to another exciting meeting and seeing our colleagues from across the country and the world – but if just one person were to contract COVID-19 during travel to or participation in an ASPS meeting, it would be devastating and not worth the risk," says ASPS President Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA. "As physicians, it's important that we limit potential exposure to the coronavirus until it is under control. Ensuring the health and safety of our members, patients, staff and others is always our top priority."
More than 500 attendees were expected to attend the Spring Meeting and Coding Workshop. All registrants will receive a refund of registration fees and reimbursement for any cancellation fees associated with travel, provided flights and hotels are canceled by March 10 and submitted to ASPS within 14 days. Any registrants who require instructions for submitting documents for reimbursement are encouraged to contact the ASPS Member Services Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 766-4955.
The Executive Committee, ASPS/PSF Board of Directors and committee meetings scheduled to take place in New Orleans will be held via video conference during the times and dates originally planned. ASPS staff will contact committee members with specific dial-in instructions to join remotely.
"We all look forward to the resolution of the current level of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19," adds Dr. Jeffers. "And hope that we will be able to see everyone at Plastic Surgery the Meeting in San Francisco in October."