The 2020 Medical Dermatology Society (MDS) Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place, as planned, Thursday, March 19, in Denver, Colorado. We have heard from attendees that they are committed to attend the MDS Meeting and we thank them for their continued engagement. The MDS Leadership and Management respects the decision of those who decide to cancel their participation and look forward to seeing them in the future.
Due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak, the MDS is closely monitoring the ongoing potential impact for our attendees, sponsors, and staff. We are reviewing the guidelines from Worldwide Health Organizations (WHO) and other experts and are committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees.
The MDS understands that individuals may be unable to attend due to travel restrictions. In line with the response of the AAD, the MDS will refund meeting registrations to those who choose to cancel. The MDS will waive cancellation fees and issuing full registration refunds for attendees until 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 17; after that date no refunds will be issued. Refunds are being offered, without penalty, to anyone who wishes to cancel…due to any reason (country/institution travel restrictions, uncomfortable about traveling, etc.).
As you know, the MDS relies on the Annual Meeting registrations for much of the organizational work, benefits, and funding. If you would like to cancel but waive receiving a refund or consider your registration/meeting fee a donation to the MDS to support the organization, that would be of great help to the MDS.
The U.S. Government has taken steps to mitigate the concerns regarding COVID-19. This includes, suspending entry of any foreign national who has been to restricted areas within the past 14 days. Please reference links below for more information.
The MDS will:
- Follow recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the policies of the local government and city officials
- Identify local medical facilities that will be able to promptly care for attendees that may require immediate treatment
The MDS is also planning to implement additional onsite tools for registrants, sponsors and onsite personnel, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Increased availability of hand-sanitizing stations
- Partnering with the Embassy Suites for increased cleaning and disinfection process across all high-volume touchpoints (catering areas, surfaces, handrails, restrooms, entrances/exits, touchscreens, etc.) along with the use of cleaning/sanitizing materials and product
- Awareness campaign via online and onsite information and signage
- Create an environment to promote a ‘touch-free’ exhibition and conference:
- Communicating the adoption of a ‘no-handshake policy’
- Reduce/eliminate business card exchanges
We strongly urge exhibitors and attendees to implement appropriate guidelines and protocols as suggested by the CDC/WHO and other health authorities. The MDS will endeavor to provide a safe and healthy environment for all attendees.
Additional information regarding COVID-19 can be found at the following links:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/
- CDC Meetings https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/gathering/index.html
- World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int/
The MDS will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed.