JournalJAMA network open
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AbstractIn 2020, many business meetings and academic conferences were canceled or became virtual because of uncertainties regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission and strict public health measures. In fact, rates of SARS-CoV-2 transmission at large indoor gatherings have remained largely unknown, although some appeared to have been superspreader events for the virus (eg, the 2020 Biogen conference in Boston, Massachusetts). Earlier studies of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks on cruise ships have indicated protective effects of reducing the number of individuals on board and testing passengers and crew.1,2 The rate of SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion after a medical conference in Switzerland in September 2020 with stringent masking, physical distancing, supervised hand hygiene, and canceling of social events was 0 of 168 (<1%) at a time of community incidence of 65/100 000 population per week (<0.1%).3 With the advent of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, more recent studies on larger sporting and cultural events that were generally outdoors have shown that vaccination, previous COVID-19 infection, a negative lateral flow test within 48 hours of the event, and adequate mask wearing, often together with spaced seating, were associated with a low risk of infection after the event.4,5 However, cases of infection resulting from transmission during such events (possibly including recent medical conferences6 ) could not be totally prevented, particularly when community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was high.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/19709