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CES still set to go despite coronavirus concerns

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 00:59:39-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — CES, the biggest tech event in the world, will welcome more than 2,000 exhibitors that show new, ground-breaking technology in the industry.

However, coronavirus is here, too. With positive cases at an all-time high, many worry the event could turn into a super-spreader. Already, several companies and keynote speakers have hit delete on this years event, and CES shortened the whole thing by a day.

MORE: CES gadget show shortened to 3 days; some big tech stay away

"It’s just another safety precaution. We have a layered approach to our safety here, and that’s just one more layer," said Tina Anthony, senior vice president of digital at the Curley Company and former director of digital strategy for the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES.

Plans for a safe CES include proof of full vaccination, masks, social distancing and COVID-19 testing on site. Some see opportunity in the smaller convention.

RELATED: T-Mobile to 'significantly limit' in-person participation at CES

"We do have 2,200 exhibitors here and over 800 start-ups. I think our small and mid-size companies are going to be a highlight at CES 2022," Anthony said.

With the new look comes a new focus.

"We’re focusing on food tech. We’re talking about innovation in the agriculture sector, which is really exciting," Anthony said. "Our car story is great. We have over 190 car companies, including Hyundai and BMW. We have VinFast, which is Vietnam's first car company. We’re really highlighting unique technologies like NFTs, vehicle tech and health tech is so important."

Tuesday was press conference day, with big names like Canon and John Deere presenting to rooms at capacity. Samsung had a keynote speaker Tuesday night and Abbott is set to speak Wednesday. CES urges people to take the free Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 test that’s included with the attendance badge.

CES HEALTH PROTOCOLS