Seattle Mayor Hints Emerald City Comic Con Could Still be Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The COVID-19 coronavirus is continuing to have an impact on a lot of aspects of everyday life, especially those that are tied to major events and gatherings of people. Over the past few days, that has particularly affected Emerald City Comic Con, which is scheduled to occur later this month in Seattle, Washington. With the state reporting a major increase of coronavirus cases in recent days, some have questioned if the event should be canceled, due to the public health risk that it could create. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan was asked about ECCC during an appearance on BBC World News (via PBS' broadcast), and has hinted that local officials in King County will make a "final determination" on whether or not the event will continue.

"We don't [want to spread panic]," Durkan explained. "And that's actually -- King County officials will be making the final determination on that particular public event. We have advised for everyone in the city to really look at whether there's a necessary requirement to have meetings that we have in the city. And if not, we're not having those meetings. And so I think that all of us officials are relying on our public health people to tell us when it is the time to say 'No more public events.' And we'll be working very closely with public health officers, as well as the county officials and the state officials so that we can stay unified on those decisions."

ReedPop, who is organizing the convention, confirmed earlier this week that the show would continue on as planned, but that it would offer a full refund to guests and staff who choose not to attend. At the time of this writing, that list of canceled guests includes quite a lot of major vendors, including DC, Dark Horse, Penguin Random House, CGC, and Oni Press.

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"We are committed to following the enhanced cleaning guidelines, precautions and procedures that we recently deployed at our PAX East event in Boston and C2E2 in Chicago," Reedpop said in a statement announcing the refunds. "We also insist that all fans, guests and exhibitors adhere to good sense and all protocols as suggested by the CDC. We are fully prepared to adjust our plans as the situation in and around Seattle develops. We are following – and will remain in compliance with – all city, state and federal guidelines. If the direction from federal, state or local official public health authorities does change between now and the show, we will adhere to that guidance, act upon it immediately, and update you."

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