We’ve been carefully monitoring the situation with COVID-19, and as it develops and evolves, we’ve been keeping track of developments. In the interest of all of our employees and partners, Lucky Eight Media will be suspending all non-essential travel to events, including trade shows and conferences until further notice.
The health and well-being of our members, presenters, sponsor-partners, and guests, as well as the larger community, is our priority. The quickly changing status of the epidemic, including the following, prompted our decision:
- As of this writing on Wednesday, March 11, the state of New York has 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases has more than tripled in the Tri-state Area since Friday, with the expectation that these numbers will continue to increase rapidly. Adding the numbers from New Jersey and Connecticut, the current count in the area is approximately 242. New cases have also emerged in Delaware with a professor from UDel being the latest case.
- The World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic on Wednesday morning and included the following message: We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.
- A State of Emergency has been declared by the Governors in several US states.
- According to the CDC, all older adults (60-65+) and those persons with underlying health conditions face significantly elevated risk for severe illness, complications, and fatality from COVID-19 and are strongly advised to take more aggressive precautions including limiting travel, avoiding crowds, and minimizing social interactions. Even under best case scenarios, the range of projected impacts (infections, hospitalizations, and intensive care admissions, and morbidity) is serious and sobering.
- Recent CDC recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 have strongly cautioned against bringing sizable groups together. To date, the countries that appear to have had the most successful responses to the epidemic have slowed the rate of the spread of the virus by employing large-scale social distancing as one of the primary mitigation strategies. These measures have also helped to decrease the burden on the respective healthcare systems, assisting not only those who have contracted the virus and experienced severe responses but also helping other patients with chronic conditions and those with acute care needs.
- Recommendations provided by City and State authorities in New York City and the Tri-state area that impact travel are increasing.
- Yesterday, the Governor of New York deployed the National Guard to establish a “containment area” in New Rochelle, NY, just north of New York City. New Rochelle is the current epicenter of the regional COVID-19 outbreak.
- The delay and the lack of consistency in the official response, including the systemic failure to provide sufficient testing, over the last several weeks coupled with vulnerabilities in our healthcare system (limited spare capacity of hospital beds, ventilators, and medical professionals) present an elevated risk that the most impacted areas of the United States could be hit especially hard.
- Leading corporations, universities, and organizations, including some of the most recognizable in healthcare and biosciences, have prohibited employee travel, encouraged or required employees to work from home, and have postponed or canceled business meetings and event participation.
- An expanding number of conferences and annual gatherings, especially in the fields of healthcare (encompassing academics, R&D, delivery, and specialty professional associations) have likewise postponed or canceled their gatherings. Partial list is available here: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/life-science-conference-disruptions-due-to-coronavirus-67221
Thank you for your understanding during these challenging times and we hope that everyone stays safe and stays healthy. Remember to wash your hands frequently with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to use at least a 60% blend of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in order to minimize the changes of transmission and spread.
The Lucky Eight Media team will still be working throughout this crisis and please feel reach out to us at anytime at [email protected]