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IHRSA 2019 Photo by Pamela Kufahl.
IHRSA announced this week that IHRSA 2020 will go on despite concerns around the coronavirus, but organizers are taking precautions at the event and are urging a no-contact policy.

IHRSA 2020 Is Still On March 18-21 in San Diego

IHRSA is proceeding with its event later this month and has offered a variety of recommendations for keeping attendees safe. On March 4, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency due to the spread of the virus across the Golden State. On March 5, a retail worker at an AT&T store in San Diego tested positive for coronavirus, according to Fox 5.

[Editors' Note: Club Industry has updated this article, originally published on March 3, on both March 4 and March 5 to reflect updates regarding coronavirus in San Diego and California.]

Despite some conferences and trade shows, such as FIBO Cologne, being cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus, IHRSA is proceeding with plans to hold the IHRSA 2020 conference and trade show March 18-21 in San Diego, according to a March 3 communication sent out from Joe Moore, president and CEO of IHRSA.  

IHRSA is monitoring the situation and holding daily executive staff meetings. The trade association has a page related to its monitoring efforts on its website.

On the page, IHRSA notes: “IHRSA is carefully monitoring developments related to coronavirus and will adhere to any policies put forth by the United States federal government. IHRSA is, therefore, following the Presidential Proclamation on travel restrictions. IHRSA will not be implementing any further restrictions beyond the Presidential Proclamation.”

The page also states: “IHRSA is committed to ensuring our response during this challenging time is responsibly based in facts, not driven by fear.”

IHRSA is working with the hotel venues in San Diego as well as the San Diego Convention Center where the event is being held to ensure safety. The city is continuing to hold conferences and trade shows.

On March 5, a retail worker at an AT&T store in San Diego tested positive for coronavirus, according to Fox 5. In response, AT&T has temporarily closed and sanitized six of its local stores. San Diego County is also monitoring 11 other patients whose test results are currently pending.

A handful of vendors from China have cancelled their booths due to travel restrictions, an IHRSA spokesperson told Club Industry.

IHRSA is recommending that people refrain from handshakes, hugs or kisses at the event and that they refrain from exchanging business cards, instead using the app or taking photos of cards or scanning badges.

IHRSA also has updated a story about how to keep members safe in your clubs.

More than 120 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in 14 American states including California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the 11 reported deaths, 10 have occurred in Washington state and one in Northern California.

California currently claims 53 positive cases of the virus, according to the California Department of Public Health. Of the cases, 24 originated from repatriation flights between the U.S. and Mexico, 12 from general travel, seven from person-to-person exposure, four from community exposure, three from healthcare facility exposure and three from unknown sources.

On March 4, Los Angeles County, along with the cities of Pasadena and Long Beach, declared a health emergency after six new local virus patients were identified, the Los Angeles Times reported. Hours later, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the entire Golden State.

"The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said in a public address. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”

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