Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Board of Trustees at The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has decided to cancel its annual meeting, scheduled to take place May 1–7 in Baltimore.
The ARVO organizers released an emailed statement to its membership outlining the decision.
“The health, safety and well-being of the ARVO global community is our highest priority. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yesterday’s announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic, numerous university and institutional travel restrictions and ever-increasing numbers of confirmed cases all provide a clear need to take this action,” the statement read. “Our eye and vision community is greatly affected by the lost opportunity to present the latest research and collaborate with colleagues. Please look for additional communication from us in the next two weeks that will provide alternative presentation options as we continue to work through those details.”
ARVO officials said its urges those who were planning to attend the annual meeting to expedite flight cancellations. Attendees who booked through ARVO housing do not need to do anything; reservations will be cancelled automatically. Individuals who booked reservations on their own should cancel them immediately. Annual meeting registration fees will be fully refunded for individuals that do not select an alternative presentation option when that information is released in the next two weeks.