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Google Cancels I/O Developer Conference Amid Coronavirus Fears

The internet giant will not welcome physical attendees to this year’s event that highlights some of the company’s most-advanced technologies and emerging products. ‘Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community,” the company says.

Google parent Alphabet said Tuesday that concerns over the spread of coronavirus are prompting a cancellation of this year’s Google I/O, a highly anticipated developer conference that highlights some the Internet giant’s cutting-edge technologies and emerging products.

The announcement comes a day after Google’s cloud division said it would “reimagine” its upcoming Next conference to take on a virtual format that limited travel amid the global outbreak of the disease, officially called COVID-19. That event has been rebranded: Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect.

On the website for the I/O conference, Google said concerns around the coronavirus and the guidance of health authorities led to the decision to forego “the physical Google I/O event,” which was set to take place from May 12 to 14 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre near Google’s Mountain View, Calif.-headquarters.

[Related: 5 Ways Coronavirus Continues To Impact The IT Industry]

Guests who have already purchased tickets will get refunds by March 13.

“Over the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to evolve Google I/O to best connect with our developer community,” the company said.

The decisions to not welcome attendees for Google Cloud Next and Google I/O come days after Google confirmed one of its employees in Zurich, Switzerland contracted the deadly disease first reported more than two months ago in Wuhan, China. That employee was in the Zurich office for a “limited time” before exhibiting symptoms, Google said.

The Zurich office and all other Google offices remain open as the company continues to evaluate the situation as it evolves, Google said.

The main way COVID-19 spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by coughing, according to WHO.

Also on Monday, Adobe changed its Adobe Summit 2020, which was set to kick off at the end of March in Las Vegas, into an online event.

Last week, HP said it would postpone its Reinvent Partner conference that was initially set to take place near the end of March in Anaheim, Calif.

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