As of this writing, Washington state has reported its ninth death from Coronavirus, with 31 confirmed cases in Seattle. Ahead of Emerald City Comic Con, which takes place in Seattle, publishers including DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Penguin Random House have pulled out of the convention citing health concerns.
Dark Horse tweeted their cancellation.
“Due to the severity of the COVID-19 virus, Dark Horse Comics has made the difficult decision to pull out of Emerald City Comic Con 2020. It is with the safety and well-being of our staff and creators in mind that we have come to this decision.”
Penguin Random House also tweeted their cancellation.
“Penguin Random House has come to the difficult decision to cancel its participation in ECCC due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. While this show is an important way for our staff and authors to connect with readers, the health and safety of everyone take priority.”
DC Comics went a step further and cancelled all March appearances.
“As the health and safety of our employees are always our primary concerns, DC staffers will not be attending conventions during the month of March. Future convention attendance will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the latest information from a variety of organizations, including the CDC, WHO, U.S. State Department and local health agencies.”
ReedPop, who puts on the convention, recently reassured people that the convention is still on.
“Emerald City Comic Con wants to express our concern for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 virus in the State of Washington and around the World. We are proactively monitoring the situation as State agencies take proactive measures to ensure health and safety and prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 virus in the State. As always, the well-being of our global ReedPOP community, from our attendees and exhibitors to our staff on-site at every show, is of the utmost importance to ReedPOP and we take pride in creating a positive environment to celebrate comics, cosplay and pop culture. ECCC 2020 will take place as scheduled March 12-15 at the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) in downtown Seattle. We have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization across the show, including adhering to the recommendations set forth in the U.S. EPA’s Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning disinfectants effective against the COVID19 virus.”
Meanwhile, the mayor of Seattle Jenny Durkan has proclaimed a civil emergency in the city, giving her the power to close facilities and cancel events to prevent further outbreak.