ORLANDO, Fla. - Coronavirus fears have caused one conference scheduled to take place in Orlando to cancel their entire event while another major conference, which President Trump is still expected to speak at, lost the attendance of several large tech companies.
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced on Tuesday that three people so far have tested 'presumptive positive' for the coronavirus. The CDC has confirmed that two of those three have the virus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The newest patient is from Hillsborough County, where a 20-year-old woman with a travel history to Italy is quarantined at home. The newest patient is said to be a travel companion of the woman. The other patient is a 60-year-old Manatee County man, who does not have a travel history to an area of concern and he also remains under isolation at home.
The HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition takes place between March 9 and 13 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando this year. The event gathers health information and technology professionals, clinicians, executives and market suppliers together from around the world.
HIMSS has not yet canceled their conference but they did announce on their website that they have "assembled an external panel of medical professionals to further advise our evidence-based decision-making and review our procedures. While the risk remains low at this time, we cannot ensure a virus-free environment and have instituted the measures outlined below."
They also assured that their top priority remains the health and safety of all participants at the conference.
However, several companies have announced that they are dropping out of the conference amid coronavirus fears. For example, Amazon, Salesforce, Intel, and Cisco have all announced their withdrawal. FOX 35 News has contacted Microsoft but no word yet on if they will drop out of the conference as well.
President Trump is still expected to attend the HIMMS Global Health Conference & Exhibition. The Orange County Convention Center said that he will speak at the conference on Monday afternoon.
Ellucian Live 2020, a technology conference that was also planning to take place in Orlando, has canceled their entire conference.
"Ellucian has made the decision to cancel Ellucian Live 2020 to protect the health and well-being of our customers, partners and employees," the company said on the event website. "We will replace the in-person event with a virtual experience that will be free to all registered Ellucian Live 2020 attendees."
Ellucian is issuing full registration fee refunds, they said.
FOX 35 News spoke to the Orange County Convention Center about the coronavirus fears and said that they will "continue to monitor the situation through updates from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health, along with Orange County Government officials" regarding COVID-19 in Florida.
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