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March 9, 2020

ACC.20/WCC Is Canceled Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

March 9, 2020—The American College of Cardiology (ACC) announced the cancellation of the 2020 ACC Scientific Session together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) that was scheduled to take place March 28–30 in Chicago, Illinois.

Virtual presentation options and plans for dissemination of other virtual content will be announced in the coming days.

According to ACC, the decision is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local governments, responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. In the last week, ACC also learned of the increasing number of travel advisories and restrictions being placed on health care providers and hospitals and institutions in the United States and globally.

In the announcement, ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, stated, “The health, safety, and well-being of our members, staff, exhibitors, faculty, and other stakeholders is of paramount importance. With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the front lines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel the meeting and ensure our members are able to do what they do best—help and heal.”

The ACC.20/WCC have provided information (online here) to address Frequently Asked Questions. The document will continue to be updated.

Additionally, ACC stated it is fully committed to helping all health professionals who treat cardiovascular patients prepare for COVID-19. It has issued and updated the clinical bulletin addressing the cardiac implications of COVID-19. The original clinical bulletin was issued in February.

The updated resource, COVID-19 Clinical Guidance for the Cardiovascular Care Team (online here), provides an overview of COVID-19 and outlines what’s currently known from the published literature about the acute cardiac complication of COVID-19 and its implications for patients with underlying cardiovascular conditions.

The document also includes clinical guidance given current COVID-19 uncertainty, as well as recommendations for cardiac-specific preparedness, including the following:

  • Make plans for quickly identifying and isolating cardiovascular patients with COVID-19 symptoms from other patients, including in the ambulatory setting.
  • It is reasonable to advise all cardiovascular patients of the potential increased risk and to encourage additional, reasonable precautions in accordance with CDC guidance.
  • It is important for patients with CVD to remain current with vaccinations, including the pneumococcal vaccine given the increased risk of secondary bacterial infection with COVID-19; CVD patients should be vaccinated against influenza in accordance with current ACC/American Heart Association guidelines.
  • In geographies with active COVID-19 outbreaks, it may be reasonable to substitute telephonic or telehealth visits for in-person routine visits for stable CVD patients to avoid possible nosocomial COVID-19 infection; planning for emergency telehealth protocols should begin now.
  • For patients with heart failure or volume overload conditions, copious fluid administration for viral infection should be used cautiously and carefully monitored.
  • General immunologic health remains important for both providers and patients, including eating well, sleeping, and managing stress.

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