CHARGE Seattle

Update on Seattle CHARGE meeting

September 13, 2021

Dear CHARGE colleagues,

Due to the recent course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the CHARGE Planning Committee has decided to postpone the in-person Seattle meeting until the fall of 2022, dates still to be determined. Instead, we will hold two half-day webinars, on the same dates that the in-person meeting would have taken place (Thursday and Friday, Oct 7th and 8th) from approximately 11 am to 3 pm EDT. We expect that the program will largely mirror the agenda that had been planned for the in-person meeting. We apologize to all for the inconvenience, but hope you can join for a lively virtual meeting.

In the late spring, we conducted a survey that showed enthusiasm for the in-person meeting. In early July, when we sent out the request for abstracts, the US case count was in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 per day. We received a record number of abstracts for a CHARGE meeting. In recent weeks, however, the daily US case count has increased ten-fold. Our EU and UK colleagues are currently prohibited from traveling to the US, and institutional policies prohibit many, including the NIH scientists from attending. Because of unvaccinated children, vulnerable family members, or their own age, many CHARGE investigators have recently expressed concern about attending an in-person meeting. As a result, the Planning Committee lacked confidence that we could hold a safe and successful meeting.

If you have already registered for the meeting, conference registration fees will be automatically and fully refunded to your original method of payment beginning the week of September 20th. We expect that refunds will be posted to the credit card on file within about 5-7 business days. We will follow-up with the UW registration site.

If you made hotel reservations, the Seattle Waterfront Marriott will automatically cancel all reservations made under our conference group rate on your behalf. Cancellations will be made this week – there is no action required on your part. The hotel does not send a confirmation of the cancellation, so we will follow-up with the hotel. For anyone who may still be planning to come to Seattle in October, the conference group rate is not available to individuals.

Information about no-cost registration for the Oct 7-8 Virtual Meeting webinar will follow shortly. Again, we apologize for the late change occasioned by the pandemic. We are optimistic about holding the in-person meeting in Philadelphia on April 27-29 and in Seattle in the fall of 2022.

The CHARGE Planning Committee