PHLCVB Chief Health Advisor Dr. David Nash participated in a Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau webinar on September 10, 2020, to address questions and concerns around COVID-19 and its impact on meetings and travel.
Read on for highlights from the webinar and view the session below.
“You want to get back in business? Wear a mask.”
As mask wearing continues to be a hot topic of debate, Dr. Nash stresses that “next to a vaccine, it is our most effective tool to crush the virus” and he believes that if 60% of the population wore a mask that was 60% effective, “we would’ve crushed this thing months ago.”
“It’s patriotic to wear a mask,” says the Dean Emeritus of the Jefferson College of Population Health in Philadelphia. “It shows concern for your fellow citizen. You want to get back in business? Wear a mask.”
“I’m looking forward to getting a vaccine”
“Watching science unfold is a messy process,” describes Dr. Nash, conveying that discovery is not easy and lauding the scientists and researchers working tirelessly to develop a safe and effective vaccine, which he is confident that we will have in early 2021. Nash declared he’s “looking forward to getting a vaccine,” heartened by seeing the “major corporate giants sign a pledge about the safety of the vaccine,” referring to the joint statement by nine pharmaceutical companies affirming they would “stand with science” and not put forward a COVID-19 vaccine until it had been thoroughly vetted for safety and efficacy.
“We’ll be ready when the City says we can have meetings and events”
Dr. Nash is “very proud of what we’ve done in Philadelphia…we’ve ramped up public education. The Pennsylvania Convention Center, along with meeting venues, attractions and hotels have upgraded ventilation systems and cleaning protocols, preparing for safe meetings.” In his role as the PHLCVB Chief Health Advisor, Nash, one of the nation’s top medical experts, works with customers to develop recommendations for conventions on socially-distanced floor plans, directing traffic, using technology at trade shows and other expositions that rely heavily on face-to-face interaction at booths, and testing plans for larger events that could satisfy business needs while keeping everyone safe. Optimistic in the city’s recovery and ability to host large events again soon, he is “confident by springtime that the testing will be more readily available and more accurately reliable. We’ll be ready when the City says we can have meetings and events.”
“Travel smartly – spread the science not the virus”
Describing his travel experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Nash outlines precautions he has taken on airplanes and protocols that should be in place while visiting an airport and staying overnight in hotels. “We want to see that they have published protocols, understand the issues, and tap into local and national expertise. Education and communication. Spread the science not the virus. Travel smartly. Be a leader and wear a mask.”
Learn more about the PHL Health Pledge, an initative to increase awareness of Philadelphia’s readiness in safely welcoming back visitors and the PHL Health Advisors, a task force of experts from Philadelphia’s world-renowned medical community.