Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

View the FAQ for additional information on the Annual Meeting cancellation. Read the FAQ for online presentations and publishing your abstract.

The Annual Meeting abstract page has information on alternative presentation options in addition to details about choosing to opt in to publish your accepted abstract. 

Update 3/25/20

The ARVO leadership understands that concerns about COVID-19 are top of mind for our members and the global vision community. Since the decision was made on March 12 to cancel the ARVO Annual Meeting, we have been working on ways to provide a forum for sharing members’ vital research. While face-to-face collaboration and presentations are a hallmark of the Annual Meeting, we are pleased to present options – at no cost – for researchers to share their science with the eye and vision science community.

Everyone with an abstract accepted for the ARVO 2020 Meeting has the opportunity to submit a video-recorded version of their research. Details about these recordings will be sent in a separate message to all presenters, even if you chose to withdraw prior to cancellation. This message will be sent out in about a week. These presentations will be hosted in ARVOLearn, ARVO’s online learning platform, and available to all members and nonmember subscribers.

In addition to the online presentation, we will offer everyone with an accepted abstract the opportunity to publish the abstracts in IOVS in the same manner as in previous years. All presenters will receive a separate message asking that you opt-in for publication.

All attendees who paid registration fees will receive a full refund by May 1. Refunds will be issued automatically in the payment method used. This also applies to additional purchases, including social event tickets, the Program Summary Book, Education Courses and all events related to the Annual Meeting. If you already received a refund minus the cancellation fee, the cancellation fees will be refunded to you.

Read through the FAQs to help answer questions. If your question isn’t answered here, contact Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate these challenging times together. We extend our wishes to our entire community for your good health and safety.

Update 3/12/20

Thank you for your patience and understanding while ARVO leadership has closely monitored the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation as it has quickly evolved over the past week. After thoughtful deliberation, it is with a sad and heavy heart that a decision has been made to cancel the Annual Meeting to have taken place May 1 – 7 in Baltimore, Md. As indicated in our previous message, the health, safety and well-being of the ARVO global community is our highest priority. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yesterday’s announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic, numerous university and institutional travel restrictions and ever-increasing numbers of confirmed cases all provide a clear need to take this action.

Our eye and vision community is greatly affected by the lost opportunity to present the latest research and collaborate with colleagues. Please look for additional communication from us in the next two weeks that will provide alternative presentation options as we continue to work through those details.

We want to provide all attendees with ample time to manage air travel and hotel reservations. We urge those who were planning to attend the Annual Meeting to expedite flight cancellations. Attendees who booked through ARVO housing do not need to do anything; reservations will be cancelled automatically. Individuals who booked reservations on their own should cancel them immediately. Annual Meeting registration fees will be fully refunded for individuals that do not select an alternative presentation option when that information is released in the next two weeks.

We are grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly with the planning of ARVO 2020, the new Bench to Bedside meeting, the Imaging in the Eye Conference and ARVO’s live Education Courses. We ask for your patience as we work diligently to address questions and provide additional information to all who are impacted by this cancellation.

ARVO President W. Daniel Stamer, PhD, FARVO
ARVO Executive Vice President Justine R. Smith, FRANZCO, PhD, FARVO
ARVO Executive Director Iris M. Rush, CAE

Updated as of  3/9/20

We understand that concern over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is heightened around the world. ARVO is monitoring government mandated travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak and potential impact on travel to the 2020 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md. Based on what we know today, the ARVO Annual Meeting is proceeding as planned. Our team meets daily to discuss new information related to travel restrictions, and to further develop health and safety guidelines for all to follow in order to protect the well-being of the ARVO global community.

ARVO will follow U.S. government mandated travel restrictions as well as home country government travel restrictions in determining where to apply exceptions to established policies related to abstract presentation and registration. Currently, this includes China, Italy, South Korea, Israel and Iran. However, we continue to monitor government mandates daily.

For those affected by these government travel restrictions that are unable to attend, ARVO will offer pre-recorded paper presentation options or help to make their poster available for presentation onsite in Baltimore for those that remain registered for the meeting. Alternatively, if those affected choose not to be included, ARVO will process a full registration refund. To inquire about alternative presentation options available for attendees with government imposed travel restrictions please contact

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest situation summary, the health risk from COVID-19 for the general public in America is low at this time. We are closely monitoring the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites for new information.

We recognize that this is a rapidly evolving situation and we continue to monitor it. We will provide updates at and through direct messages to attendees as major changes are implemented.