Back in April 2020, it came to light that an attendee of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 learned they had unknowingly contracted and recovered from the COVID-19 virus. Worse yet, they recalled being sick around the time of their attendance at CES and thinking nothing of it, well before the coronavirus epidemic was looked at as a true threat to health. It was a grim realization that the event could have played a part in international spread of the disease. Regardless, the organizers of the event have announced that CES 2021 is not currently being canceled, delayed, or shifted away from a physical event.
The CES 2021 organizers confirmed it would still be a live event in a blog post on the CES website regarding concerns about COVID-19 on June 3, 2020. Despite the issues that may have been caused by carriers of the coronavirus being in close proximity to so many attendees during the previous event, CES 2021 is still being organized as a physical event in Las Vegas come January 2021. The blog post instead spoke to cleanliness measures being implemented for CES 2021 to try to limit transmission which will include sanitation of spaces, accessible sanitation stations on the show floor, and social distancing practices.
CES 2020 boasted 170,000 attendees from over 160 nations in its reported numbers back in January. At the time, COVID-19 was not considered a pandemic. In fact, it was of very little concern to anyone around the world. Through February and March, it made its presence known, and by April, many events began closing down and the gaming and technology industry was thoroughly affected by the global pandemic. It was in April, in the midst of closures, delays, and other major shifts in the industry, that we learned an attendee of CES 2020 found they had contracted and recovered from COVID-19 without knowing what it was at the time.
CES 2020 can hardly be blamed for this occurrence as the threat of the coronavirus pandemic would take quite some time to make itself apparent to the world. However, with the dangers now known worldwide as countries have worked tirelessly to fight against the disease, one may arguably question whether increased sanitary measures will be enough to thwart COVID-19 at an event that gathers over 150,000 attendees, or even who will be able to attend given traveling restrictions spurred by the pandemic. Regardless, CES 2021 is set to take place in January 2021. Stay tuned for further information and updates as we get closer to the supposed event.