ISAC Statement on Coronavirus - March 16th
Monday, March 16, 2020
ISAC is continuing to monitor the rapidly changing Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and we are committed to doing our part in combating the spread of the virus and helping our members during these difficult times. Just within the last week, the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic, and the U.S. CDC recommended no gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. Many of our members have been told by their governments to stay home and practice social distancing.
CYTO U Free to All During the Pandemic
ISAC’s Council has decided to make all education online at CYTO U free to all people around the world during this pandemic. The ban on face-to-face meetings in many localities around the globe has made it challenging for people to learn and exchange knowledge, so we want to allow everyone interested to access the wealth of quality scientific education ISAC has created and published at CYTO U.
ISAC Supports the Sharing of all Data and Research on COVID-19
Part of ISAC’s mission is to lead the exchange of knowledge in quantitative cell sciences, and ISAC fully supports the sharing of all data and research on COVID-19. We will become signatories of the Wellcome statement on sharing research data and findings relevant to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Planning Continues for CYTO 2020, June 19-23 in Philadelphia
Late last week ISAC’s executive committee met to discuss the coronavirus situation and the status of CYTO 2020. Full implementation plans for CYTO 2020 are continuing. There are currently no bans on large gatherings in late June and we are unaware of any major scientific meetings in June that have been cancelled. However, it is too soon to know how conditions will change between now and then.
We do know that many of our members and attendees are looking forward to CYTO 2020, and some have already said publicly that they hope CYTO is their first scientific meeting and trip to the United States after the end of social distancing due to COVID-19. ISAC will do all it can to serve a multidisciplinary community by leading technological innovation, scholarship and the exchange of knowledge in the quantitative cell sciences. Recent global events have made that more important than ever.
The health and safety of our CYTO attendees and partners is still our most important priority. Direct communications and coordination with health authorities in the Philadelphia area continue to help us closely monitor the developing situation. We commit to establishing a refund program for any attendee who cannot go to CYTO due to institutional or government travel plans in place during CYTO. We will continue to provide timely updates as changes warrant them.