The American Dental Association (ADA) announced today that it has officially canceled plans for an in-person Annual Meeting in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.1 The association is now looking at virtual options for the event, which was scheduled to be held in Orlando, Florida, October 15–18, 2020, in partnership with the Florida Dental Association (FDA).
The association's board of trustees voted June 12, 2020, to forgo an in-person event. However, it has not been decided whether the ADA House of Delegates will meet in-person or virtually.2
An announcement on the ADA website stated, "As a science-based organization, the health, safety, and well-being of our members, attendees, staff, and exhibitors are our top priorities. The pandemic has made a significant impact on our profession and communities; however, we are certain that as we continue to stand with each of you—shifting our focus to recovery and getting back to work—we will come out of this stronger together."
The cancellation of in-person plans comes as dental conferences across the country deliberate whether to postpone, cancel, or hold digital-only events. In March, the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, became the first major dental meeting to cancel. The largest US dental conference, the Greater New York Dental Meeting, is still scheduled for November 27–December 2, 2020.3 The largest dental meeting in the world, the International Dental Show in Cologne, Germany, is taking extensive precautions and has communicated its intent to continue as scheduled in March 2021.4
Across the US, concerns about regional spikes of COVID-19 cases continued. Six states—including Florida—reported record increases in new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The others were Arizona, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. Nevada also reported its highest day of new cases.5 The CDC reported that 496 people died of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 116,140 in 2020.6
- ADA FDC 2020 to move online in light of COVID-19 pandemic. American Dental Association. June 16, 2020. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2020-archive/june/ada-fdc-2020-to-move-online-in-light-of-covid-19-pandemic
- Putting the well-being of our attendees first. American Dental Association. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.ada.org/en/meeting/general-information?utm_source=adaorg&utm_medium=adameetingrotator&utm_content=markyourcalendar
- Greater New York Dental Meeting. Home page. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.gnydm.com/
- News path after corona. [Translated] International Dental Show. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.english.ids-cologne.de/fair/ids/information-on-corona/information-on-corona.php
- Shumaker L, O'Brien B. Record spike in new coronavirus cases reported in six U.S. states as reopening accelerates. Reuters. June 16, 2020. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa/record-spike-in-new-coronavirus-cases-reported-in-six-us-states-as-reopening-accelerates-idUSKBN23N32O
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cases in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated June 16, 2020. Accessed June 16, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
Zachary Kulsrud is the group editorial director for Endeavor Business Media's dental group, publishers of Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and RDH magazine.