Coronavirus fears cost Orange County $154 million in canceled conferences


  • 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
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.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.