CONFERENCE ON RETROVIRUSES
AND OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS

March 8–11, 2020

 

February 28, 2020: UPDATES ON CROI AND COVID-19

CROI 2020 Meeting Planning

  • As all CROI participants are no doubt aware, we are in the midst of an expanding global coronavirus outbreak.  The conference extends its sympathies and messages of support to all of those who have been affected by the outbreak to date – either directly or indirectly.

  • CROI continues to be fully committed to its key role of serving as a major nexus for the exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge related to HIV and its medical and social consequences.

  • As of February 28, 2020,  we are planning to hold CROI 2020 in Boston from March 8 to 11 in the Hynes Convention Center. 

  • We have been closely monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and are taking into full consideration the geographic extent of the outbreaks as we adjust CROI plans to ensure the safety of our attendees. We recognize that some who have planned to attend will not be able participate in this meeting because of the coronavirus outbreaks and their associated travel restrictions. We are also aware that some of our attendees have local commitments related to public health or the delivery of medical care that will prevent them from leaving their institutions over the next several weeks to months.

  • At this time, full registration refunds will be given to residents of China or other countries that are under a specific travel ban due to COVID-19 and given remote access to meeting materials, such as the abstract book and the Mobile App with electronic posters. Poster presenters who cannot attend in person and do not have a coauthor attending the conference will not have their abstracts withdrawn. They are asked to prepare their electronic posters for the Mobile App and for printing and hanging in the poster halls, as has been required for all poster presenters. Conference organizers will print and display the posters. We will provide more detailed instructions in updates to presenters. Additional arrangements are being made for oral presentations. If logistics can be arranged, oral presenters will be able to deliver their work via electronic media. 

What CROI Is Doing to Protect Attendees

  • Extra hand sanitizers and boxes of tissues are available throughout the Hynes Convention Center.

  • Most food in the group breakfasts and snack breaks are packaged or offered in individual servings.  Napkins and wax paper sheets are provided at food functions for use in picking up food; reminders about these precautions are set on all food stations.

  • Extra trash bins have been set throughout the center.

  • Microphones will be sani-wiped after every session; sponge microphone covers have been removed from microphones.

  • As a reminder to attendees, CROI will be posting personal protective precautions and instructions throughout the venue as described below.

Personal Protective Precautions for All CROI Attendees

Attendees should follow standard infection control recommendations and everyday preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections. Reminders to attendees will include the following information:

  • Face masks are in short supply globally and are being reserved for use by health workers and persons who are ill. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend use of facial masks for people who are well as a means to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. CROI will not supply face masks or gloves but attendees may bring and use their own items if they feel it necessary.

  • Avoid close personal contact such as handshakes, hugs, or kisses; elbow or shoulder bumps are preferred if a greeting is desired.

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water regularly (with attention to between fingers and under fingernails), scrubbing for at least 20-30 seconds.

  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching face, eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, forearm/elbow, or shirt sleeve, and wash hands ASAP after a cough or sneeze; dispose of used tissue immediately.

  • Food and drink for group breakfasts, coffee breaks, and afternoon snacks will be protected to the extent possible. Napkins and wax paper sheets will be available to use to pick up items. If you touch an item, take it—do NOT put it back on the table.

  • Stay home if you are ill.

What to Do If You Have Symptoms (Cough and Fever)

  • If you have symptoms before the conference starts, do NOT attend CROI.

  • If you develop respiratory symptoms during the conference, you are asked to self-isolate to the extent possible. The Hynes Convention Center has an EMT center on site.  Further details will be forthcoming.