Coronavirus fears cost Orange County $154 million in canceled conferences

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PHOTO VIA HIMSS GLOBAL HEALTH CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION
  • Photo via HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition
The HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, which was anticipating over 40,000 attendees at the Orange County Convention Center – including Donald Trump – was canceled due to coronavirus fear. That cancellation cost the county an estimated $113 million in economic impact.

Also canceled, to the tune of a combined loss of around $40 million: the Ellucian Live 2020 conference and the Minecraft Festival 2020, two more conventions full of people who would have spent multiple nights in Orange County hotels. In all, say Orange County officials, the county has suffered some $150 million in losses in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.



Though Orange County has yet to have a case of coronavirus – and though county officials continue to remind residents and anyone who will listen that the county is at low risk for a major outbreak – Fox 35 reports the precautionary cancellations have added up to huge economic losses.
PHOTO VIA HIMSS GLOBAL HEALTH CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION
  • Photo via HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition
There have been nine confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida so far. Two are in Hillsborough County, one in Manatee County, another in Santa Rosa County, and the rest are Florida residents who tested positive outside the state.

"We want to emphasize in Orange County that we are open for business and that the risk, again, remains low for our community," said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.



Demings said, should the county have a confirmed case, that residents will be fully informed. He also pointed out the economic silver lining that "leisure travelers" continue to visit Orange County theme parks and hotels.

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