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RSA 2020 - Statement on COVID-19

Dear RSA Members and Friends:

With the 2020 RSA Conference approaching, many of you have asked about the impact of the COVID-19 virus on this event.  The RSA is closely monitoring updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the situation in communities where cases of the virus have been confirmed. Currently, neither organization has advised that travel restrictions are necessary for air travel into or out of Oregon or any other US state. Further, there is no information or warning to suggest that there is an imminent risk to our Biennial Conference in Portland, OR, which will take place May 21-24. Unless these circumstances change, the Conference will go on as scheduled with the current cancellation policy in place.

We have seen registrations increase over the past week and thank our members for their continued engagement with the Society’s biennial event and their continued engagement with RSA. Our commitment is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for the 2020 Conference.  We acknowledge that COVID-19 does not impact all of our members equally and factors such as age, personal health status, and even a member’s home location are factors that RSA must consider as it moves forward. RSA will continue to monitor the situation and provide email updates. If you become aware of important facts or circumstances that are not otherwise being addressed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Michelle Ballif (mballif@uga.edu), or Jerry Hauser (gerard.hauser@Colorado.EDU). We also encourage members who can to either purchase insurance on their airline ticket and/or choose a ticket option that can be refunded if cancelation becomes necessary.

The CDC is working with state and local governments to implement aggressive measures to prevent the spread of this virus, and we are fully committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees.

In the meantime, RSA’s leadership and the conference organizers will:

  • Follow recommendations from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the policies of state and local government officials, especially officials of Oregon and Portland.
  • Identify local emergency care facilities that will be able to promptly care for attendees that may require immediate treatment.
  • Provide more information from the Hilton Portland Downtown as it becomes available. 

Sincerely,

Michelle Ballif

On behalf of RSA’s President, Kirt Wilson, and Executive Director, Jerry Hauser, and the conference planning committee, Diane Davis, Karma Chávez, and Byron Hawk

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