ORLANDO — Following a decline in new COVID-19 cases across the United States, organizers of the 2022 Global Pet Expo have made masks optional and will not be requiring proof of vaccination for attendees.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA) provided this update on March 2 and will continue adjusting its health and safety guidelines to provide a safe environment for the expo.

Show organizers partnered with Epistemix, a software company specializing in simulations of disease spread, to determine COVID-19 risk for Global Pet Expo. According to Epistemix data, the risk is projected at a rate of less than 0.1% for all attendees. Previous health and safety guidelines alluded to a mask mandate at the show, but recent developments have led APPA and PIDA to make masks optional as of March 2.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of total COVID-19 cases reported in Orange County from Feb. 22 to March 1 were down 35.9% compared to the previous week. Across the United States, new recorded COVID-19 cases declined from more than 1.3 million on Jan. 10 to 42,129 on March 1.

CDC new COVID-19 cases from Jan. 1 to March 1, 2022Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

For international attendees who may need a negative COVID-19 test to travel back home following Global Pet Expo, organizers have partnered with Covid Testing LLC to provide on-site rapid and PCR testing at the Orange County Convention Center from March 23 to 25.

APPA and PIDA will continue to work with Epistemix, Covid Partners LLC and the Orange County Convention Center on health and safety measures for Global Pet Expo 2022.

Stay up to date on health and safety guidelines and what to expect at Global Pet Expo.