PITTSBURGH — On Feb. 11, Epistemix, a software company specializing in simulations of disease spreading, released updated data on the risk of COVID-19 at the upcoming Global Pet Expo, taking place from March 23 to 25 in Orlando, Fla. According to Epistemix’s data, the risk is projected at a rate of less than 0.1% for all attendees.

“Creating a controlled environment is crucial for events like Global Pet Expo,” said Lindsey Reiser, Ph.D., managing director of professional services, Epistemix. “The robust program of safety measures that Global Pet Expo will have in place creates an environment that is two-times lower risk than other activities in Orlando.”

Global Pet Expo’s organizers, The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), originally began working with Epistemix in Dec. 2021. According to Epistemix, its data is 95% accurate, which Global Pet Expo’s organizers plan to use in developing mitigation strategies to ensure participant safety.

From projections, Global Pet Expo and Epistemix have found that a mask mandate creates a controlled environment and provides high-level of protection from COVID-19, meaning all attendees will be required to wear a mask in all indoor spaces at the expo. The organizations have also found that attendees’ exposure to COVID-19 will be three times less likely with high mask compliance, compared to general activities in Orlando.

“To ensure success and meet the expectations of our attendees, Global Pet Expo has worked with Epistemix to help us develop policies and protocols to protect our guests and staff,” said Andrew Darmohraj, executive vice president and chief operating officer, APPA. “We remain committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for the entire pet care community to come together for Global Pet Expo 2022, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in Orlando next month.”

To help mitigate COVID-19 risk and ensure safety, the Global Pet Expo and Epistemix will also host a webinar, “Minimizing COVID Risk at Global Pet Expo 2022,” for attendees on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. EST. APPA members can access the webinar on APPA’s website.

Read more about pet food and treat industry events.