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Will Omicron Shut Down CES 2022?

CES 2020 saw more than 170,000 people from around the world packed tightly into a Las Vegas convention centre, coughing and sneezing while reviewing the latest reveals in Consumer Electroics.

After the four-day event, many participants were complaining loudly about ‘CES Flu’, an illness that hit them hard and took ages to shake.

Months later, news began to emerge that CES 2020 could have been one of the first COVID-19 super spreader events.


While COVID-19 still rages throughout the globe, the world has opened up again and CES 2022 is, again, taking place in Las Vegas, from Wednesday, January 5 through Saturday, January 8, and ChannelNews will be there.

It will be more modest in size, and strict safety protocols are in place – but will it be another super spreader event?

Last month at a launch event in New York, CTA president Gary Shapiro was clear: “Let’s be honest: It will have a smaller footprint, and it will be fewer people. COVID is keeping some people home,” he said.

With the new Omicron strain spreading rapidly, will CES 2022 be forced back online?

“We are actively tracking the emerging news and science around the new Omicron variant,” organisers explain.

“While it is too early to determine the impact of this latest variant, we will continue to monitor and adjust our plans and health protocols as necessary.

“CES also continues to monitor guidelines for health safety measures from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nevada and Clark County. CES will follow applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with you and other CES audiences.

“We are also working closely with the Las Vegas community, including the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, exhibit venues and hotels, and if they adjust their plans, we will communicate that as well.”

In other words, it’s in the hands of the Gods. Or, in the hands of a half-dozen different authorities that can close it down at a moment’s notice.

The first reported case of Omicron transmission in the US occurred last week. And CES 2022 is still a month away.

As we’ve seen, these things move quickly.


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