ORLANDO — The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) are taking extra precautions amid concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and how its annual trade show, Global Pet Expo, will be impacted. The show will take place in Orlando, Florida from Feb. 26 to 28.

“Our Global Pet Expo management team continues to meet regularly to address any emerging information about COVID-19 and how we and our show partners can be proactive in keeping our attendees healthy. We've been in consistent contact with the Orange County Convention Center to assess what efforts they're making as well,” the associations wrote in a statement posted to the Global Pet Expo website Feb. 19.

Regular handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer has been encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is why APPA and PIDA will be providing nearly 100 hand sanitizer stations throughout the Orange County Convention Center. Travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer will also be provided to all attendees upon registration.

“You'll also see reminders about healthy traveler practices set out throughout the convention center and hotels. And we encourage all attendees to stay informed on the basic protective measures the public can take,” the statement continued.  

In a previous statement on Feb. 12, APPA and PIDA said it had been in contact with exhibitors from China and that “the vast majority have notified us that they will not be exhibiting and will not have outside representation available to take their place at this year's show.”

“Moreover, any foreign nationals that have visited China within the last 14 days are barred from entering the United States. Therefore, these attendees will not be able to participate in this year's Global Pet Expo,” the statement continued.

APPA and PIDA said they anticipate attendance to include more than 1,000 exhibiting companies representing 28 countries, and more than 7,000 buyers representing 80 countries.

The associations concluded by stating they would continue to provide updates about the coronavirus situation leading up to the show.

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