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Detroit auto show canceled as FEMA prepares site to become field hospital for COVID-19

The 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit has been canceled as FEMA officials are preparing to use the venue, the TCF Center, as a temporary field hospital for COVID-19, CNBC reports.

“Although we are disappointed, nothing is more important to us than the health, safety and well-being of the people of Detroit and Michigan, and we will do what we can to support our community’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.” said Rod Alberts, the show’s executive director, said in a statement announcing the decision.

As of Saturday, Michigan had at least 4,650 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 111 deaths, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Tickets for the show will be refunded. The next NAIAS is scheduled for June 2021.

NAIAS is the fourth major auto show to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The New York International Auto Show, which was originally scheduled to open April 10, has been postponed to August. The location, the Jacob K. Javits Center, is also being repurposed by FEMA and the National Guard as one temporary hospital for coronavirus patients.

China postponed the Beijing Auto Show, that was scheduled to start on April 21. And the Geneva Motor Show, due to take place earlier this month, was canceled after the Swiss government banned large gatherings of more than 1,000 people.