ASTRO says it is the first major medical conference to hold an in-person meeting in Chicago since the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the cancellation of such events in early 2020. Medical societies have shifted to holding virtual events since then.
The 2020 edition of ASTRO's annual conference had been scheduled to be held in Miami Beach, FL, in October. But soon after the pandemic began, the radiation oncology group announced the shift to an online event instead.
ASTRO 2021 will be held in McCormick Place, and ASTRO is working with the city of Chicago and venue staff to ensure that COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. These include the following:
- Modified layouts to allow more space in session rooms
- A redesigned exhibit hall with wider aisles
- Cleaning and sanitizing in rooms between sessions
- Touch-free technology and sanitization stations throughout the conference hall
Additionally, ASTRO noted that structural enhancements have been made to McCormick Place to improve air quality; the facility has also received certification from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC).
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