The COVID-19 virus
March 17, 2020

Dear AO North America Colleague:

The COVID-19 virus impact continues to expand, and AO North America has been closely monitoring the progression of this global health crisis.  The number of cases continues to rise and there is a steady stream of new developments that reflect the uncertainties and challenges we are all facing.  We realize that there is a good chance of widespread COVID-19 transmission in North America and we are doing our part to mitigate this transmission.

Consistent with our mitigation efforts, we regret to inform you that all AO North America courses have been cancelled through May, 2020, effective immediately.  Webinars will continue as scheduled.  Board and Committee meetings will be conducted using virtual technology.  We have notified all registrants and faculty about the cancelled courses.

Effective immediately, the AONA office in Wayne PA is closed and all AONA staff are now fully equipped to “telework” from their homes. We have restricted our employees from any foreign or domestic business travel.  These policies are in place until further notice, but we will track developments carefully and make decisions accordingly.

AONA has created a staff task force that has been dedicated to tracking developments of the outbreak, and they have been sharing their findings with the AO North America Executive Council and the AONA Board of Directors.  AO North America has also been consulting with experts in Infectious Disease and in Epidemiology. 

Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of your patients and our employees, is our primary focus.  We realize that there were many surgeons registered for the cancelled courses, and many faculty who made plans to teach at those courses.  We apologize for any disruption that these course cancellations have caused, and we hope you appreciate the thought that went into making this decision.

AO North America will continue to monitor this challenging situation, with the intent of resuming our course schedule as soon as possible.  In the meantime we will explore the possibility of on-line learning programs for your benefit.

Thank you for your ongoing support of AO North America and for your patience during this challenging time.