Despite there currently being a reported 13 cases of Coronavirus in Washington State, and two deaths, the organisers of the Emerald City Comic-Con have pledged to go ahead with the show, which is due to be held March 12-15 at the Washington State Convention Centre.
In a statement released earlier today Reedpop, the company responsible for organising the show (and may others worldwide, from PAX to New York Comic Con), said:
Emerald City Comic Con wants to express our concern for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus in the State of Washington and around the World. We are proactively monitoring the situation as State agencies take proactive measures to ensure health and safety and prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 virus in the State. As always, the well-being of our global ReedPOP community, from our attendees and exhibitors to our staff on-site at every show, is of the utmost importance to ReedPOP and we take pride in creating a positive environment to celebrate comics, cosplay and pop culture.
ECCC 2020 will take place as scheduled March 12th -15th at the Washington State Convention Centre (WSCC) in downtown Seattle. We have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitisation across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID19 virus. We are working closely with the WSCC and our other venue partners and aligning with local, state and federal public health guidelines and agencies. As ECCC approaches we will be constantly reviewing our health protection activities, public health messaging, hygiene and medical control measures with the aim of strengthening our COVID-19 response further in line with up to date public health advice and guidance, including that of the CDC.
The Governor, Jay Inslee, declared a state of emergency in Washington on Saturday, with one of the most recent cases in the state involving a high school boy who had not had contact with previous recorded patients, suggesting that the virus is now transmitting locally in the area, which basically means they caught it without having travelled to an already-infected zone and had not had direct contact with one of those already recorded as having been infected.
Last year’s Emerald City Comic-Con had almost 100,000 attendees, drawing guests not just from the local area but nationally and even internationally.
In the past week we’ve seen everything from GDC to EVE Online’s annual fan gathering to Overwatch League matches cancelled or postponed as safety precautions, while companies like Sony pulled out of exhibiting at PAX East.
We’ve contacted Reedpop for comment on the decision.