The American College of Cardiology Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) is to run as a virtual meeting, following its cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak. It was scheduled to take place on 28–30 March 2020 in Chicago, USA.
The society says that materials related to late-breaking clinical trials and featured clinical research will be available closer to the start of the virtual meeting.
Describing the decision to cancel as “difficult and unprecedented”, the College said it has been taken following close monitoring of updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local governments. A press release from the ACC also outlines that in the past week it has become aware of the increasing number of travel advisories and restrictions being placed on healthcare providers and hospitals and institutions in the USA and globally.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our members, staff, exhibitors, faculty and other stakeholders is of paramount importance,” says ACC President Richard J Kovacs in the statement. “With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the frontlines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, 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.”
The ACC has indicated that virtual options for science and award presentations will be announced in the coming days, and that it has prepared an initial FAQ document to help with answering travel, refund and other questions for attendees. This document will continue to be updated. An updated clinical bulletin on COVID-19 preparedness is also now available.
The ACC acknowledged the work of individuals and institutions that contributed to the meeting’s organisation, including member volunteers and staff, partners and stakeholders, and the host city.