Microsoft may cancel Build 2020 conference as Seattle-area confirms first U.S. death from Coronavirus

March 1, 2020

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Until last Friday, there have been less than 100 Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within the United States and there were no deaths. Yesterday, the first coronavirus death was reported in the U.S. and it was a Seattle-area man. In response to that, the US government yesterday announced additional travel restrictions affecting Iran, Italy and South Korea to prevent further outbreak of Coronavirus. A Washington state health official revealed that the risk to the general public is increasing, but they do not feel that transmission is occurring on a widespread basis by any means.

“Although there are no confirmed cases in the City of Seattle, we have been preparing as a City since January. We remain in regular, close contact with the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health – Seattle & King County, the King County Executive, the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Our public health officials at the state, local and national levels are working together to keep the public safe and informed. Individuals, families, and businesses should make plans and prepare. The number one thing people can do now is to heed the public health advice to keep from getting sick, and stay home if you do get sick,” said Seattle City Mayor Jenny A Durkan.

Recently, several tech conferences around the world got canceled because of the fear around Coronavirus. The MWC conference got canceled last month. GDC last week announced the cancellation of the conference after several companies including Microsoft pulled out of the conference. And more recently, Facebook announced that it is canceling the in-person component of the F8 2020 developer conference.

Microsoft’s Build developer conference is scheduled for May 19-21 in Seattle. It is one of the largest annual conferences that happen in Seattle city every year. Last year, more than 6,000 people from around the world attended the conference. There is a high chance that Microsoft may end up canceling or postponing the conference due to the Coronavirus outbreak. So far, Microsoft has not responded to the Coronavirus death in Seattle-area. We will update this post if we get to hear anything from Microsoft.

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