SXSW says event proceeding as planned amid coronavirus concerns

The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals says that the 2020 event is proceeding as planned amid concerns about the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement on its website, officials with SXSW says that they are increasing efforts to prevent the disease per Austin Public Health's recommendations and that they are urging travelers to follow the World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendation to practice usual precautions.


Officials say they continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.

WHO's suggested safety precautions include:

  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds and using alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

Austin Public Health has its own health reminders which you can read here.

SXSW also posted the answer to a question that Austin Public Health released from a FAQ on February 26 about COVID-19 that said:

Q: Does the COVID-19 situation change plans for SXSW and other large festivals/events?

A: At this time, no. APH will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. The health of the Austin community and those who visit our City is our highest priority. Austin Public Health (APH) coordinates with South by Southwest (SXSW) annually to monitor and prepare for any public health emergencies during the festival – this year is no different. APH is working with SXSW to disseminate disease prevention messaging to help keep attendees and the entire Austin community safe. APH routinely monitors nearly 80 communicable diseases, which will continue throughout the year as travelers visit Austin every day for various international events. APH is also working with the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor and prepare for any local cases of COVID-19.

For more details about attendee safety from SXSW you can go here.