In light of Coronavirus concerns, the WQA Convention & Exposition 2020 has been cancelled
The following is a press release the Water Quality Association (WQA) released on Thursday, March 12, 2020, regarding the upcoming WQA Convention & Exposition and concerns surrounding the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19):
After much deliberation in the wake of rapidly changing and unprecedented circumstances surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Water Quality Association has made the extremely difficult decision to cancel its 2020 Convention & Exposition, originally scheduled for Orlando, Fla., April 1-3.
WQA also will not host the WQA Business Boot Camp, on March 31 in Orlando.
We understand what this signature water treatment industry event means to our members, exhibitors, presenters, sponsors, clients and all our many attendees. This was not a decision made lightly or without significant deliberation. But, in the face of increasing concerns and the guidance of governmental and health agencies, the decision was compelled and required. In the last 24 hours we learned:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified COVID-19 a pandemic and repeated its call for comprehensive strategies to prevent infections, save lives and minimize the virus’ impact.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued clear guidelines advising that community-based organizations cancel gatherings of more than 250 people.
These are at the national and international level, but as you know, there are many more actions being taken at the state and local level to protect individuals and communities. In the end, these recommendations and actions, coupled with our concerns for attendees’ health and safety and the related travel restrictions imposed on many of our exhibitors and attendees, left us with no choice but to cancel the 2020 WQA Convention.
WQA staff is beginning the hard work now of determining what alternatives we can offer in another format or at a different time. As you have come to expect with WQA, we are committed to delivering a quality alternative that ensures the work of the association moves forward. Look for more information from us in coming weeks.
Please be patient as we develop reimbursement procedures and the many details that need to be addressed following this significant decision. We will keep you updated through email and the convention website, wqa.org/convention.
Meanwhile, attendees will need to cancel their own hotel and travel arrangements directly. Be sure to review hte hotel's cancellation policy to understand requirements and avoid penalties.
Again, we regret that we had to make this decision, but we greatly appreciate your concern and your support in the recent weeks. This industry has faced many changes and challenges in the past, and we will do so again, together, as we advance the invaluable work this great industry performs and the solutions we provide every day.
Stephen Ver Strat
WQA President 2019-20
WQA Executive Director