Indiana Convention Center talks preventative measures for coronavirus ahead of convention season

Coronavirus impact on conventions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana does not have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus but many agencies, like the Indiana Convention Center, are focused on prevention.

The Indiana Convention Center welcomes hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country and the world and this time of year kicks off their busy season.

Officials with the convention center say they have not had any events have to cancel due to attendance dropping because of the coronavirus. However, clients have reached out wanting to know what the convention center is doing to protect visitors and the city of Indianapolis.

It is not uncommon for people from all over the world to flock to downtown Indianapolis for a large-scale convention.

“Just here in the convention center in the next month or so we have got over 100 thousand people that will be coming in here,” said Debbie Hennessey, director of Indiana Convention Center.

With the the entire world monitoring the spread of the coronavirus IU Health infectious disease doctor Cole Beeler says he anticipates the virus will be in Indiana soon if it isn’t already.

Indiana Convention Center talks preventative measures for coronavirus ahead of convention season

“To me it is not a matter on if it comes but when it comes and it will probably be introduced just the way you are saying travelers outside the state bring it in just like travelers outside the country brought it into the United States,” he said.

Convention center leaders say they are doing everything in their power to prevent that spread from happening.

“We have increased the number of hand sanitizers that we have in the facility, we have taken to wiping down the handrails on the escalators and the stairways, increased the shifts for that. We are even cleaning the air vents and installed hospital-grade air filters in those air vents,” said Hennessey.

Poeple are being asked to take simple steps to slow the spread of the virus.

“Wash your hands, avoid clustering with people…Making sure you cover your mouth or avoiding people that look like they may be sick,” said Beeler.

Hennesey says she understands the concerns. Dr. Cole Beeler says while he discourages travel outside of the country right now, going to conventions of sorts is safe as long as you remember the basic preventative practices.

“There are no cases here as of now and we’re making sure we do everything we can to prevent it,” said Hennessey.

The convention center is working with some organizers to allow people who cannot come to conventions due to travel bans or fear of contracting the coronavirus to get video access of the convention so they can still get the information.