Dear colleagues and fellow mammalogists:
As most are aware, the novel coronavirus strain, COVID-19, is leading many institutions to adjust their policies on social gatherings, and some professional societies are cancelling meetings altogether out of an abundance of caution. Of course, many of our peers are grappling with campus closures and travel bans. ASM has been actively monitoring this situation, and we have been in constant communication with our 2020 hosts at the University of Colorado. As you might expect, there are many moving parts here. We have alerted the Board of Directors that the situation is likely to require a decision very soon as to whether we proceed, or make the unprecedented step of cancelling the annual meeting.
While we gather additional information, however, we have closed ASM 2020 registration and abstract submission until we can provide a full, informed response to the membership and our registered attendees. We fully recognize that COVID-19 presents an unprecedented situation; be assured that the ASM will fully reimburse your registration fees if the meeting is cancelled, or if you find yourself unable to attend because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions. We may have little influence over reimbursement for any housing, however, and we strongly recommend that if you have made flight reservations to check with air carrier to see what options for cancellation are available. As you know, the situation remains fluid.
For the moment, please be patient as we gather information, consult with the Board of Directors, and with our hosts at the University of Colorado. We hope to resolve this within a week, and we understand that those of you hoping to attend this meeting – or debating whether you can do so – need to know our decision as soon as possible. In the interim, the University of Colorado has developed the following website with updated information on the outbreak and campus policy. Please also consult the CDC and WHO websites for additional information and recommendations.
Douglas A. Kelt, President
Enrique Lessa, President-Elect
Cody Thompson, Program Director
Christy McCain, 2020 Meeting Host