Following the World Health Organization’s declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic, the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration cancelled its annual tradeshow and conference. It had been scheduled for March 15-18 in Orlando.

Coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is “an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In a message sent to members and registered conference attendees, IIAR President Dave Rule said:

“It is with sincere regret that I must inform you of the cancellation of the IIAR Annual Conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort and Convention Center.

“As you may be aware from the correspondence over the past two weeks, we have been monitoring the events surrounding the Coronavirus crisis closely and communicating with our conference exhibitors and attendees. This morning we noted that the World Health Organization has now officially declared the Coronavirus a worldwide pandemic.

“Given this significant announcement from the World Health Organization, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the conference this year. The health and safety of the conference attendees remains our primary concern. The IIAR Executive Committee will meet later today to review this unprecedented situation and begin developing plans to address appropriate measures moving forward.

“We trust that all of you will understand this decision and support your IIAR organization as the Executive Committee and Board of Directors begins to deal with this dramatic event.

“Further information concerning the cancellation of the IIAR 2020 Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo will be available over the course of the next few weeks. We request your patience and support as the IIAR Staff and management deal with these issues.”