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City News - Current

Posted on: March 9, 2020

Tracking coronavirus: Anaheim Convention Center update

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (March 9, 2020) — Anaheim Convention Center, owned and operated by the city of Anaheim, is closely tracking the coronavirus outbreak while following California guidelines and public health best practices for ongoing events.

At this time, there are no active coronavirus cases known to the city here in Anaheim.

Scheduled sporting events are set to continue as planned this weekend and next week, as well as conferences and other events continuing throughout the next few weeks, with some exceptions noted below.

The Anaheim Convention Center:

  • has increased cleaning of door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and other frequently touched surfaces
  • has added additional hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the facility
  • has put in place signs and other messaging urging everyone to wash their hands and follow other public health best practices
  • is coordinating with event organizers on best practices

The convention center also works closely with Anaheim Fire & Rescue, the city’s fire, medical and emergency first responders, on planning and courses of action should we see coronavirus cases or should the situation in Orange County change.

Orange County’s March 2 emergency declaration is a preparative, precautionary move to ensure access to state and federal resources, should they be needed. It does not reflect an actual state of emergency on the ground in Anaheim or Orange County.

As of March 9, the Orange County Health Care Agency, the lead agency for coronavirus in our region, is looking at one current, active confirmed case in Orange County.

That is in addition to three presumptive cases pending confirmation testing from the federal Centers for Disease Control.

OC Health’s running count as of March 9 includes one prior confirmed case from January, in which the patient fully recovered, for a total of five.

Four of the cases are related to travel. One is from person-to-person contact. None are from what is known as community spread — cases with no connection to travel, close contact with someone infected or some other clear cause.

As a whole, the city of Anaheim is following California Public Health guidelines for public gatherings issued on March 7. For areas without community spread, the guidelines call for:

  • coordination with event organizers and others throughout the community
  • communicating on and encouraging public health best practices
  • having contingency plans in place should we see more cases or, particularly, community spread

Deferred Events

Anaheim Convention Center has seen convention, two conferences and two smaller corporate meetings defer their events.

The postponements do not reflect any concern unique to Anaheim. They are the result of updated and evolving corporate travel policies and business decisions made by event organizers in a time of limited travel and heightened awareness.

Here is a summary of deferred events:

  • Natural Products Expo West 2020: 
    • March 4-7
    • 85,000 attendees in a typical year, projected to be 35,000 before deciding to defer on March 2
  • AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2020: 
    • March 28-April 1
    • 14,000 attendees, deferred on March 6
  • 2020 Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting:
    • March 16-18
    • 6,000 attendees, deferred on March 9
  • Corporate meetings: two corporate meetings that were scheduled for March and April, with a combined 3,800 attendees, are being rescheduled for later in 2020

Handling of Deferred Shows

Because Anaheim Convention Center reserves space for shows and turns away other events looking for space, we are not looking at refunds for deferred shows.

Instead, Anaheim Convention Center is working with event organizers on rescheduling.

Our standard practice is to offer rescheduling at no cost to a date within 12 months of the originally scheduled event. That is now being extended to 18 months.

You can learn more at Anaheim.net/coronavirus.