The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) has placed members on notice that the Vascular Annual Meeting (VAM) slated for June 17–20 in Toronto looks increasingly “unlikely” in the shadow of the coronavirus outbreak.
Writing on SVSConnect, the online community of the SVS membership, Society secretary Amy Reed, MD, said leadership figures continue to work through a slew of issues related to the conference—including potential alternative arrangements—after social gatherings of more than five people were banned in Toronto.
The City of Toronto instituted an events ban yesterday, while an emergency order issued by Ontario premier Doug Ford, head of the Canadian provincial government under which Toronto falls, declares that residents are no longer permitted to gather in such numbers for social gatherings and public events such as weddings and communal services at places of worship.
“The SVS Executive Board met March 31 to discuss VAM 2020 and plans moving forward,” writes Reed. “Given the current and projected challenges presented by COVID-19, and the likely recuperation period in its aftermath, it is increasingly clear that holding VAM 2020 in Toronto is unlikely.
“Just yesterday, the city of Toronto issued a new edict to cancel all public events and close many public buildings through June 30. SVS has reached out to the convention center and hotels to clarify and confirm that this edict renders Toronto unable to host the VAM June 17–20.
“SVS appreciates your patience over the next few days as it works to protect the health and safety of its members and VAM attendees, as well as the Society. As soon as SVS has a confirmed path, members will be notified immediately. In the interim, the SVS Program Committee and Postgraduate Education Committee have embarked on planning for potential alternatives. Please stay tuned to the weekly Pulse for further updates.”
An update published to the SVS website added: “Part of our monitoring process includes the tracking of our members’ institution-imposed travel bans. Please review the known list of travel bans. If your institution is not currently listed and has instituted a travel ban, please let us know by email.”