After careful deliberation and consideration of thoughtful input from coronavirus, infectious disease, and public health experts, and feedback from CROI Program Committee leaders and CROI registrants, we plan to proceed with CROI 2020 with the following additional guidance and restrictions. We understand that the situation remains fluid and may change, so we ask that potential attendees check the website daily and remain as flexible as you can in helping us to plan the best conference that we can put together under very uncertain circumstances. Public health authorities in the U.S. and in Massachusetts continue to indicate that the risk to the general public of acquiring COVID-19 is low. We will be putting into place numerous preventive measures before and during the conference. We are committed to disseminating the important science to be presented at CROI to the greatest extent possible. We may have substantially fewer attendees, which will reduce crowding and congregating in constrained spaces. We are working to develop a number of creative avenues for making more of the conference available through real-time webcasting, internet and electronic media. We understand that a number of registrants will not be able to travel due to government- or institution-based restrictions, involvement in local hospital or health system responses to COVID-19 outbreaks, or who decide not to attend for personal considerations. CROI will be as flexible as possible in making electronic programming, mobile app, and meeting materials available to all registrants. There will be no penalty for abstract authors with regard to attending future CROIs for those unable or unwilling to attend. There will be no hotel penalty if you cancel your reservation before 24, 48, or 72 hours before arrival, depending on the individual hotel policy. Further information about cancellation and any possible registration refund policies will be forthcoming.
The following is a list of initial guidance to registrants as you make your decisions about your own participation; additional guidance will be posted as it is developed. We hope you will continue to support CROI and our efforts to make the science and discourse of CROI as openly available as we can and we look forward to your input as we work through the necessary steps to manage CROI 2020.
Registrants who should not attend CROI:
- Attendees from countries on the U.S. State Department list of level 4 travel advisory (do not travel), which currently includes China;
- Attendees from countries where their own national or local governments or public health authorities have banned or restricted travel;
- Anyone who is ill with respiratory symptoms or develops symptoms before reaching Boston
Registrants who should consider not attending CROI:
- Attendees from countries on the U.S. State Department list of level 3 travel advisory (reconsider travel), which currently includes Italy, South Korea, Iran and Mongolia
- Attendees who are immunocompromised or fit into other high risk categories for serious disease if they acquire an infectious respiratory illness (you should seek the advice of your physician)
On-site at CROI, we will be providing the following prevention activities and supplies throughout the duration of the conference:
- Extra hand sanitizers and tissues throughout the venue;
- A limited number of disposable face masks only for people who might develop symptoms or need to be isolated (attendees may bring and use their own facemasks at their discretion);
- An EMT will be available on-site as will a designated space to isolate attendees who might develop symptoms during the conference;
- Guidance for seeking medical attention if participants become ill on-site;
- More intensive cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and surfaces in the convention center;
- Reconfigured seating and presentation logistics within larger rooms with more space between seating and posters to reduce crowding.
- Extra wax paper and napkins for handling food items during meals and breaks
We will continue to follow CDC guidance and recommend everyday preventive actions to reduce the risk of exposure as previously posted on the website. Signage with these preventive actions will be posted throughout the venue.