Over the last few weeks, anime fans all over the world have begun to see the effects of the COVID-19 disease as many companies have taken extra precautions to halt further spreading of the new coronavirus. This has resulted in some anime delays (with the most notable being Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-'s second season being pushed to the Summer), and some major conventions have been postponed or cancelled outright in order to better halt the gathering of large crowds of people. With upcoming conventions such as AnimeJapan 2020 and Anime Boston shutting down, fans have looked to other conventions for news and updates on the matter.
Sakura-Con 2020 recently updated fans by announcing that the convention in Seattle, Washington scheduled for April 10-12 is still going on as planned. Following Washington Governor Jay Inslee's announcement to practice social distancing over the next few weeks over these concerns, Sakura-Con's official Twitter account released the following message confirming their current plans to continue (as of March 13th).
"We hear and understand your concerns, especially in light of Governor Inslee's recent announcement. At this time, the ban on large events only applies to March. Sakura-Con is in contact with the WSCC, and in discussion to determine the best path forward. Further announcements will be made as information becomes available."
As for Anime Central 2020, the convention's official website (further shared through a statement on their official Twitter account on March 8th) confirms that the Chicago convention is still moving forward as scheduled for its May 15-17, 2020 opening. They note the concerns about the following in a statement on the matter, "The Anime Central 2020 event is proceeding as planned unless otherwise advised. We are following local and national public health closely. The World Health Organization’s recommendation is that travelers practice usual precautions."
Continuing the statement further with, "We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary. This year at Anime Central you will see an increase in public health messaging (physical and social), additional hygiene/sanitation stations, and cleaning/disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces."
Those in the anime industry have asked for patience from fans regarding the cancellations, closures, and postponed events in Japan over concerns, and it's very much the same situation with these events. As more information about the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be revealed, expect more follow ups as several major events evaluate numerous variables.