The Client Electronics Present (CES) wrapped up in Las Vegas on January 7, 2022, sooner or later early due to COVID concerns. The tradeshow, traditionally one of many largest within the US, this 12 months attracted about 40,000 attendees, (30% worldwide) down from 170,000 in 2020.
Amid the Omicron surge, main exhibitors like Microsoft, Intel, GM, Amazon and T-Cell pulled out, citing worker well being issues. Nonetheless, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Client Expertise Affiliation stated “CES will and should go on.”
To make it occur, CES2022 took a plethora of precautions to stop the unfold of the virus. The array of health protocols included encouraging all attendees to take a COVID check earlier than the present and requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to select up a CES 2022 badge. Free COVID-19 self-test kits have been distributed to every attendee, with testing and well being care additionally accessible on web site. Masks have been required all through the venues and on the buses. Hand sanitizer stations have been accessible all through the broadly spaced exhibit ground, with social distancing helped by the horde of no-shows.
How efficient was all this? With no information launched and a scarcity of transparency from present organizers and Nevada well being authorities, it’s onerous to say.
However there are some regarding information factors. A minimum of seventy workers of the 340 Korean corporations attending the present, together with Samsung, SK, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, examined constructive. Samsung, one of many largest corporations at CES, chartered two aircraft to convey 20 COVID-positive workers bac to South Korea.
“Many Korean businesspeople who attended CES … at the moment are confirmed to be contaminated with COVID-19,” Son Younger-rae, a South Korean well being ministry official, reportedly said. “We’re promptly contacting those that participated within the occasion and conducting epidemiological investigations, however we urge home businesspeople or those that are in Korea that attended the occasion to bear PCR assessments as quickly as doable.”
Thankfully, many of the Korean delegates apparently had minor signs and have been quarantined after arrival. We contacted Samsung to get extra info however didn’t obtain a response.
Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, FACHE, President & CEO of Renown Well being in Reno, NV,, was a CES medical companion. He stated, “We at the moment are extra ready than ever to maintain individuals secure, which is the highest precedence for CES. I’m impressed that the Client Expertise Affiliation, our inns, the convention venues and the Metropolis of Las Vegas have labored diligently to place each up to date security observe in place to make sure a wholesome and profitable in-person assembly this 12 months.”
Nonetheless, Korea Times claimed, “Although the occasion solely allowed these totally vaccinated and required face masks to be worn indoors, enforced measures have been reportedly inadequate in stopping swarms of tourists and reporters from getting contaminated.”
We tried to contact Dr. Slonim after the present. He declined an interview. A Renown Well being public relations individual stated, “We spoke with Dr. Slonim and from what he noticed on the assembly, CES did a superb job at security protocols, however he has no comply with up information on an infection/unfold/hospitalization charge amongst attendees, exhibitors and present staff so he doesn’t really feel he’s the correct individual to remark.”
On January 8, 2022, the Southern Nevada Well being District put out a COVID-19 Update asserting the very best variety of COVID-19 instances reported in a single day within the Las Vegas space because the starting of the pandemic. The discharge famous that of January 7, (coincidentally the day the CES show closed) there have been 392,971 instances of COVID-19 reported in Clark County, a rise of 6,110 instances over the day before today. As well as, the Well being District reported fifteen deaths.
What number of of those instances got here from CES? We requested CTA for information on the variety of attendees who examined constructive. The CTA didn’t present any numbers however supplied this assertion.
“We’re conscious of media stories that some people who participated in CES in January 2022 examined constructive to COVID-19 upon their return. CES 2022 had very strong well being protocols developed with the recommendation of well being care professionals and authorities security officers. The necessities for proof of vaccination and masking in all CES indoor venues, in addition to offering self-testing kits for all attendees helped us create a safer surroundings for our exhibitors, members, and attendees.
“We supplied free PCR testing to all worldwide attendees who have been required to indicate proof of a unfavorable check earlier than flying internationally to their vacation spot. We don’t have affirmation of the variety of instances as this can be very tough to find out precisely when and the place anybody contracted COVID-19. Outcomes from testing achieved onsite by medical workers have been reported to the native Southern Nevada Well being Authorities.”
We contacted Nevada well being authorities, each the Southern Nevada Well being Division (SNHD) and the Nevada Division of Well being and Human Providers, a number of occasions. The SNHD didn’t reply. The Nevada Division of Well being and Human Providers claimed “Whereas DHHS will not be in a position to decide which constructive check outcomes have been associated to CES, the State of Nevada recognize the protocols put in place earlier than the occasion.”
The shortage of information is troubling, because the battered journey business was watching to see if an in-person present attracting attendees and exhibitors from everywhere in the world may very well be pulled off safely. Restoration of the commerce present business ($34.4 billion globally in 2019) after two years of pandemic devastation was essential. CES may be a gauge of whether or not U.S. and worldwide enterprise vacationers have been lastly returning.
“By staging an influential dwell occasion that safely convenes 1000’s of worldwide professionals throughout the know-how, enterprise and political spectrum, CES is nothing wanting a mannequin for a way enterprise commerce occasions can and may happen in 2022,” stated U.S. Journey Affiliation President and CEO Roger Dow. “The well being and security protocols in place on the Las Vegas Conference Middle and all through the resort and hospitality group has additional enabled the secure return of this and different main occasions.”
CES can also be important to Las Vegas, filling 1000’s of Sunday-through-Thursday resort rooms, eating places, golf equipment, bars, and taxis. The CES present could also be about ‘devices’ however the cash it dumps into the Las Vegas financial system—more than $300 million—is not any joke.
The shortage of CES an infection information, whereas the Clark County (Las Vegas Strip) positivity charge attain 33.4% by January 11, is disappointing. In the meantime, there have been persistent claims that the 2020 Client Electronics Present could have been one of many first COVID-19 tremendous spreader occasions, earlier than the time period had even been invented. A Las Vegas tv station tracked down quite a few individuals who attended CES2020 and claimed COVID signs.
Getting a way of whether or not precautions have been efficient would assist vacationers perceive how manageable the danger is. With out actual solutions, exhibitors, commerce present managers and enterprise vacationers could resolve that even after two years of COVID, it’s nonetheless too early to hit the street.