Since 1998, the Pacific Dental Conference has welcomed dentists and their teams not only from BC, but from other provinces and our neighbors in the US. The mission of offering exceptional continuing education programs, the latest in cutting edge techniques, and emerging technology and services continues today. Additionally, PDC proceeds go back to the British Columbia Dental Association to support operations and programming, as well as institutions and organizations that support our mission. We are committed to continuing that important work to support our dental professionals and the industry as a whole now and for the future. In light of the unprecedented eruption of a global pandemic brought about by COVID-19, how we are going to do that is necessarily going to evolve.
Understandably, we have received lots of questions about what information we had and steps we took prior to the 2020 conference held March 5 - 7, and what role we had in notifying our PDC attendees once a positive case was identified and traced back to the conference. In the days leading up to the conference, PDC organizers were monitoring and adhering to the recommendations of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) who were aware of the event. At that time, the small number of cases in BC had all been traced to travellers returning from specific international regions where there had been confirmed outbreaks. There were no federal or provincial directives to cancel or reduce large events, and several took place that same weekend. We continued to monitor and follow the guidance of our health and governmental authorities. We also worked with the Vancouver Convention Centre to ensure that the protocols that were recommended were put in place.
In the days after the PDC concluded, recommendations and containment measures escalated quickly due to rapidly changing information and health policy surrounding COVID-19. A few days after the event we heard that an attendee may have tested positive. We were in touch with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and they advised us that they needed to lead the communications, both for patient privacy and consistency and accuracy of information and recommendations. We respected their directive and once the notification was made public by them, we shared it on our website and notified all participants via email.
As we have now entered Phase 2 in easing of restrictions, we are pleased to see dentists, hygienists, and staff return to work in British Columbia. We are hopeful that the return to work will also help support the businesses of our exhibitors and sponsors who have also been impacted by COVID-19. We anticipate that there will be new challenges to our community both in implementing new practices to ensure safe care, as well as business and office operations. We realize our work in sharing knowledge, training, and technology is more important than ever as we navigate this new reality. We will continue to work closely with provincial government and health authorities to adhere to orders, guidelines, and best practices while exploring options and opportunities for future events, programs, and services that can be delivered safely. While we remain optimistic that circumstances will allow us to meet in a large-scale in-person format in the future, it is clear that won't happen for 2021 given the government order to limit events to 50 people or fewer which is unlikely to lift until a vaccine is introduced.
That said, our team is embracing the opportunity to reimagine how we can best serve our community and our mission. We are committed to delivering on our mission in a way that is safe, relevant, and impactful. We do not know exactly what that will look like right now but are starting that reimagining process by consulting with our community to gather their ideas and input. We will also be exploring how we can expand our offerings to ensure we are creating opportunities for sharing learning and information beyond our traditional, in-person 3-day event.
We want to thank everybody in our community for their understanding and support during this challenging time. We firmly believe these challenges will make us better and have the opportunity to lift our industry and profession, of which we are so proud, to new heights. We look forward to providing you with updates as our plan evolves. In the meantime, and in the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, be kind, be calm, and most importantly, stay safe. In the coming weeks we will be reaching out to our community for ideas and suggestions for the future of the PDC. We look forward to hearing from you.