AAPA Cancels D.C. Spring Conference Due to COVID-19

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By The Maritime Executive 03-11-2020 10:00:00

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) announced Wednesday that it is canceling its spring conference event in Washington, D.C., citing health precautions related to COVID-19. 

"Due to an abundance of caution and in the best interests for the safety, health and well-being of its many members and supporters in light of the coronavirus pandemic, I’m writing to let know that the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has decided to cancel its March 17-19 2020 Spring Conference event in Washington, D.C.," wrote AAPA public affairs director Aaron Ellis in a message to members. "It’s disappointing to cancel this annual port industry conference, particularly since AAPA had planned an excellent agenda . . . These concerns, however, pale in comparison to the importance of keeping people healthy and assisting authorities in their efforts to contain the virus and get the necessary care and attention to those who need it."

The announcement came on the same day that D.C. mayor Muriel E. Bowser declared a citywide state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak. The declaration gives Bowser the authority to limit public assembly; the District's health department has already recommended that non-essential mass gatherings, including conferences and conventions, should be postponed or canceled through March 31. 

The mayor's office has already revoked permits for two large sporting events in March, the Rock and Roll DC Marathon and the Scope It Out 5K, and may take further action. “We will take the step now of all the publicly permitted events, events that we permit, we’re going to pull those permits,” Bowser said at a press conference Wednesday. 

10 coronavirus cases have been confirmed within D.C., including two individuals who had no contact with known infection hotspots or known infected persons.