2020 AAC Cancelled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

We regrettably announce that the 2020 Annual Ataxia Conference has been cancelled due to evolving concerns over the fast moving situation with coronavirus COVID-19. We want everyone to know that this decision was not made lightly. The health and safety of our Ataxia community is our main priority. We did not want to put anyone at increased risk of exposure to the virus.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment that this decision may cause. The well-being of our Ataxia families, physicians, researchers, organization partners, staff, and volunteers always comes first. We look forward to our next opportunity to see you and provide meaningful educational content.

Why the Decision Was Made

Due to developments over the last few days, an emergency meeting of NAF’s Medical Research Advisory Board was held late on Saturday night (February 29, 2020) to discuss concerns about patient safety and risk of potential exposure to coronavirus COVID-19 at the 2020 Annual Ataxia Conference. The Medical Research Advisory Board consists of some of the world’s most experienced Ataxia researchers and doctors, many of whom were scheduled to attend the conference themselves.
 
The conclusion at the emergency meeting was unanimous. Dr. Brent Fogel summarized their findings: 

"We cannot, at this time, assure attendees that the risk of possible infection is minimal as these events will bring international travelers from geographic areas with active infections (e.g., China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea). Lastly, we cannot risk exposure of our vulnerable patient population to infection or, by proxy, risk bringing health care practitioners from around the country who serve vulnerable populations in close proximity to travelers from infected geographic areas. We also cannot, in good conscience, risk exposure to the city of Denver, which at present has no confirmed cases. Although the risk may be considered low by some, the situation is changing on a daily basis, both nationally and internationally, and we have therefore chosen to adopt a zero-risk policy to prevent any potential harm to those we care and serve." 

Brent Fogel, MD, PhD

What to Do Next If You Are Registered for 2020 AAC

Registration Fee Refund

We will begin issuing refunds for your registration fee as soon as possible. To receive a refund, no further steps are required. We will assume that you wish to receive a refund unless you notify us otherwise.
 

Several of our NAF Board members have offered to donate their registration fee to NAF to help cover the costs associated with canceling the meeting. If you would like to offer your registration fee as a gift to NAF, we will issue a new receipt to reflect your tax-deductible donation. We appreciate your consideration of this option. Email naf@ataxia.org if you wish to donate your registration fee.

Hotel Accommodation Options

As you can imagine, there are numerous details to work through with the hotel following the decision to cancel. We wanted you to have the information about the cancellation as soon as possible so that you could make decisions about your travel plans.
 
We do know that Sheraton Denver Downtown will allow hotel reservation cancellation at no charge up until your reservation date as long as you mention that you are cancelling because of coronavirus. If you plan to cancel your trip, contact the Sheraton Denver Downtown at 1-888-627-8405. 
 

Flight Cancellations

Flight cancellation options will depend on the arrangements you made with the airline when you booked your ticket. If you booked a non-refundable flight, we recommend that you contact your airline by phone instead of cancelling online. Inform them that you are cancelling your flight because of coronavirus concerns at an event you were planning to attend. The airline may be willing to work with you or offer alternative options.

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns, please email naf@ataxia.org. We will respond as quickly as possible.

Read More Blog Posts

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *