San Diego Convention Center
The convention center on the waterfront in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

Several conferences that were scheduled to be held in San Diego in March and April have been canceled or rescheduled because of worries about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The 34th National Institute on White Collar Crime, which was set to begin Wednesday and end Friday at Marriott Marquis San Diego, has been canceled.

“As a result of the large number of speakers and attendees who were compelled to cancel their participation due to travel restrictions put in place by employers, the American Bar Association and the Criminal Justice Section have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s (event),” the ABA said on its website. The event will not be rescheduled, they said.

The Future of Individualized Medicine 2020, scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been canceled because of concern for the health of registrants, speakers, exhibitors and staff, organizers said.

The 2020 Community Information Exchange business technology summit at Marriott Marquis San Diego has been postponed from March 18-20 to Aug. 12-14, organizers said, “following recent reports from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).”

The Experimental Biology conference, scheduled for April 4-7 at the San Diego Convention Center, was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

San Diego County has not had any confirmed local cases of COVID-19, although a presumptively positive case in Chula Visa was announced by health authorities on Thursday and they were awaiting confirmation from the CDC. The person works in Chula Vista but lives in Orange County.

On Friday, San Diego State University staff was told to be ready to set up “virtual classrooms” to teach students online in case the coronavirus outbreak worsens. Faculty will be trained at upcoming workshops on how to teach online.

The City Attorney’s Office warned San Diegans of price gouging in the wake of the outbreak on Friday.

“San Diegans shouldn’t have to worry about being cheated when taking the necessary precautions to stay healthy and prevent the spread of novel coronavirus,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “We are taking reports of price gouging seriously, and will hold accountable those who violate the law.”

— City News Service