CES continues to make headlines, but not for the excitement of the consumer electronics convention returning next month to an in-person event. Instead, major companies continue to announce their exits from participating in the 2022 show.
Google, General Motors, Lenovo, and AT&T are the latest notables to confirm they won’t be sending a contingent of reps to the Las Vegas show, set to run January 5-8. The list follows earlier withdrawal announcements from Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Ring, Pinterest, and T-Mobile.
CES — formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show — was Las Vegas’ largest annual convention prior to COVID-19. The January exhibition in 2019 brought 182,000 visitors to Southern Nevada.
Conventions are critical components to the Las Vegas gaming industry, as the sizable meetings keep casino hotel rooms occupied through the week. Business attendees also typically spend more than leisure travelers, adds the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
COVID-19 has sickened numerous industries for nearly two years. But optimism is high that 2022 will be a year that more closely resembles life before the world changed because of the pandemic. That’s because approximately 62 percent of the US population is now fully vaccinated, and the first oral antiviral coronavirus drugs receiving FDA approval are coming to market soon.
But the jumpstart Strip casinos were banking on to kick off the new year will not be nearly the economic boost it was once supposed to be. CES nonetheless says the show will go on as a hybrid in-person and online event.
CES 2022 will be in person on January 5-8 in Las Vegas with strong safety measures in place, and our digital access is also available for people who don’t wish to or can’t travel to Las Vegas,” said CES spokesperson Katie Castillo. “Our mission remains to convene the industry and give those who cannot attend in person the ability to experience the magic of CES digitally.”
Those who do travel to Las Vegas will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in order to receive their credentials. Each attendee will also be given a COVID-19 self-test kit, and on-site testing will be available for anyone feeling ill or displaying coronavirus symptoms.
Case Counts Rise
Castillo revealed that 60 exhibitors have now canceled their CES 2022 plans. That mass exodus is because of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continuing to rise across the US, including in Las Vegas’ Clark County.
Clark County yesterday reported 1,107 new cases, the highest single-day tally in almost five months. The surge is being credited to the omicron COVID-19 variant.
“I’m always concerned when cases increase,” said Dr. Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. “Even if the lethality of this virus or the virulence of the virus omicron is lower, when cases increase you still will have a statistical increase in severe mortality and death. It’s a serious concern.”
The CDC reports that more than 82 percent of the counties in the United States are currently experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission. High transmission is defined as having more than 100 cases per 100,000 people in the past week.
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