As you might expect, ISA HQ has been spending a great deal of time and attention monitoring the coronavirus health issues and managing its impact on ISA activities. This effort is indeed a moving target, as reports and issues change daily. But with travel arrangements set for most folks by now, the binding nature of our contracts and our conference insurance policy, we are virtually certain to hold the Hawaii convention at the end of March. Regardless, we will do our very best to keep everyone apprised of developments and our decisions moving forward.
As for the health-related conditions in Hawaii, the NYTimes published a story on Feb 14th of two confirmed cases of coronavirus for people who had stayed at the Hilton Grand Waikikian, which is the time-share tower and not the regular guest room area. The two people (an older Japanese couple) were not diagnosed until they returned to Japan. Below is the official statement from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. In addition, the health guidance from the Hawaii Department of Health is also linked below.
As for other arrangements, we have done and will do the following:
- ISA offered the opportunity to record presentations to those affected by governmental travel restrictions. About 20 people took us up on this opportunity. The deadline for accepting this opportunity was Feb. 21st because of contractual AV labor requirements.
- ISA will allow a liberal withdrawal policy for those whose travel has been impacted by the virus.
- ISA will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves.
Simply, we are trying our best to provide transparency about our decisions as we balance the reality of the situation (e.g., no COVID-19 cases in Hawaii) with the understandable concern and potential for anxiety amongst potential attendees.
Please feel free to reach out to ISA HQ with on-going questions or concerns.
Cameron Thies Mark A. Boyer
ISA President, 2019-2020 ISA Executive Director
Official Statement from our Honolulu Hilton Primary Contact on 2/20
We want to assure ISA and your attendees that the well-being of our guests and team members is our highest priority. We will remain deligent in our commitment to provide a safe, hospitable environment for all who visit our property. We continue to closely monitor updates from the World Health Organization, and are staying in close communication with the local Department of Health. The World Health Organization is providing great advice about the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for travelers and we recommend it to our guests.
We are asking all of our team members, guests and meeting attendees to please follow the recommendations that have been put out by the CDC to help prevent the spread of this illness:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
ISA guests booked at the Hilton Hawaiian Village will not be placed in the Grand Waikikian Tower as it is part of Hilton Grand Vacations and not part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Hilton Grand Vacations is a separate, independent publicly traded company from Hilton.
There are still no confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in Hawaii. The guest departed Hawaiii on February 7, more than a week ago.
Our team is committed to making your convention a successful one and we want to reassure you our hotel is fully operational. Should you have any questions, please let me know.
Guidance from the Hawaii Department of Health: https://health.hawaii.gov/docd/advisories/novel-coronavirus-2019/