Citing the recent spike of Covid-19 coronavirus infections across the United States, the American Booksellers Association has canceled the 2022 Winter Institute, scheduled for February 13-16 in Cincinnati. This is the second year in a row that the event has been canceled; the most recent in-person Winter Institute was held in Baltimore in 2020. The ABA had also planned on offering a virtual retreat, dubbed Snowdays, on March 8 and 9, which would have rebroadcast the recorded events from Winter Institute. The ABA said it will announce new plans for Winter Institute programming in the next few weeks.
In announcing the cancellation of the Winter Institute earlier today on its website, the ABA said:
“We are heartbroken to announce that our in-person Winter Institute event in Cincinnati is canceled.
“We have been full steam ahead with programming, planning, and safety precautions, but the rising number of COVID cases, the contagion of the new variant, and the hospital crisis in Ohio — including the National Guard being called in to assist understaffed hospitals — have forced us to a full stop. Your safety and our staff’s safety is paramount and the risk is now too great to host this event.
“We will refund everyone in January, and we will take care of canceling all hotel reservations at ABA hotels (Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Hilton, and Westin).
“We deeply appreciate your flexibility, understanding, and patience while we determine what our next steps will be and what that means for you, our valued members and partners. We are still very excited to share our incredible programming and we will be announcing our new plan in the coming weeks.
“2022 still holds much to look forward to. We wish you all a very Happy New Year.”