GEOINT 2020 Symposium and COVID-19

March 2, 2020

The GEOINT 2020 Symposium is progressing as planned. The health and safety of our community is USGIF’s highest priority, and we are committed to being a trusted resource and maintaining open channels of communication to support your onsite planning for the GEOINT 2020 Symposium, April 26-29, in Tampa, Fla.

USGIF stands firm in its commitment to hold GEOINT 2020 as planned and is monitoring reports on COVID-19 (commonly known as the Coronavirus Disease) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), should plans need to be adjusted.

As the GEOINT Community finalizes plans for the Symposium, we want to assure attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and partners that we are proceeding as planned to hold a safe, productive, and successful event.

USGIF is implementing all guidance and recommended safety measures issued by WHO, CDC, and state and local health authorities. We are continuing to work with the Tampa Convention Center, all show partners, and Tampa-area hotels to ensure the safety of all show participants. The Tampa Convention Center and the City of Tampa continue to maintain rigorous cleanliness and safety standards throughout public spaces, resorts, and meeting facilities.

Attendees and exhibitors can expect to see heightened levels of cleanliness and onsite accommodations to actively encourage all show participants to take common-sense precautions following CDC guidelines. As a standard practice at the GEOINT Symposium, medical care will be readily accessible onsite to address immediate health concerns.

For the most current information about COVID-19, see the following resources:
World Health Organization
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Recommendations to Prevent COVID-19

USGIF will be sure to communicate timely updates pertaining to COVID-19 and the GEOINT 2020 Symposium.

COVID-19 Background

On January 30, 2020, WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus, now known as COVID-19, was first identified in January in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Confirmed cases are concentrated in China but have spread throughout Asia and more recently into Europe and other regions, including a small number in the U.S. and Canada.

The CDC and President Trump both addressed the U.S. government’s preparedness measures for addressing COVID-19 transmission in the U.S., and has implemented a containment strategy that requires detecting, tracking, and isolating all cases along with a series of actions to minimize impact on local communities.

How COVID-19 spreads

According to the CDC, when someone who has COVID-19 coughs or exhales they release droplets of infected fluid. Most of these droplets fall on nearby surfaces and objects, such as desks, tables, or telephones. People could catch COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. If they are standing within one meter of a person with COVID-19 they can catch it by breathing in droplets coughed out or exhaled by them. In other words, COVID-19 spreads in a similar way to the flu. Most persons infected with COVID-19 experience mild symptoms and recover. However, some go on to experience more serious illness and may require hospital care. Risk of serious illness rises with age: people over 40 years of age seem to be more vulnerable than those under 40. People with weakened immune systems and people with conditions such as diabetes and heart and lung disease are also more vulnerable to serious illness.

Prevention and travel tips – for COVID-19 and Influenza

• Never cough into your hands – cough into your elbow.
• Wash your hands.
• Avoid touching surfaces – use elbows if you can to open doors, hit elevator buttons, etc.
• Travel with high-alcohol content wipes and wipe all surfaces including air vents on planes.
• If you feel ill, avoid contact with other people and seek medical attention if necessary.
• Do not wear a mask, unless you are ill.
• Be safe and smart.