The American Thoracic Society has canceled its ATS 2020 International Conference, scheduled for Philadelphia May 15-20, 2020.

ATS made the decision in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing public health crisis, based on guidance issued by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Governor. “We understand that your current and appropriate focus is on caring for patients and conducting important research during this critical time,” the ATS leadership group, including ATS president James M. Beck, MD, ATSF, said in a statement.

According to the statement, the ATS leadership group is working on a “seamless process” for refunds from registration and hotel rooms (those booked through ATS housing partners).

The ATS is exploring options to provide some of the planned conference content online later this year “to help fill the void from the loss of the conference,” the statement said, though details were still being discussed.

Meanwhile, the Jun 25-27 Chest Congress in Bologna, Italy is going forward as planned, according to a Mar 16 update.

“We are following the recommendations of the World Health Organization as well as those of the local health authorities in Italy. We currently anticipate that we will decide whether to postpone the event, or continue as planned, in early April,” a statement on the event’s website reads.

“We recommend attendees to book their flights and accommodation with cancellation insurance.”

As of Mar 21, Italy has confirmed 47,021 known cases of COVID-19, including the most deaths reported anywhere in the world, at 4,032.