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Dentists descend on city for Moscone Center conference comeback

San Francisco officials welcomed dental professionals back en masse for the first Moscone Center conference since the pandemic shut down events large and small in March 2020.

The California Dental Association’s “CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry” conference kicked off its first day on Thursday and will run through Saturday with an expected 3,000 attendees over the three-day event. Over 1,200 hotel room nights were booked for conference participants.

All event attendees have to show proof of vaccination and wear a face mask or face covering.

Dr. Judee Tippett-Whyte, president of the California Dental Association, said in a statement:

“We’re thrilled to be back at Moscone Center, where we’ve held our dental convention for over 30 years. We’re grateful for our partnership with Moscone and the city of San Francisco in implementing health and safety guidelines to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”

While shuttered for public events, Moscone Center played a key role as a Covid-19 command center. The convention center was used for months as a mass vaccination site and in the early days of the pandemic, the facility also served as a temporary shelter for unhoused individuals until more permanent solutions were identified.

The vaccination site closed in July in preparation for the return of conventions. Recognizing the importance of the Moscone Center during the pandemic, Mayor London Breed said in a statement:

“I am so proud of the role that Moscone played throughout the pandemic as the heart of our COVID response. We used one of our City’s greatest assets to plan and deploy our emergency operations, to keep our most vulnerable safe when there was no where else for them to go, and to deliver the vaccines that ultimately will allow us to put this behind us.”

Office of Supervisor Matt Haney Attendees at the California Dental Association conference in Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

Breed joined Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents District 6 where Moscone Center is located, in welcoming the California Dental Association back.

In this year’s budget, the mayor allocated $4.6 million over the next two years to establish the Moscone Center Recovery fund. The fund aims to attract conference organizers with incentives, such as reduced rental space pricing.

Later this month, the Moscone Center will host the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the Salesforce Dreamforce conference. The Mayor’s Office said the San Francisco Travel Association has so far booked 34 events at Moscone Center for 2022.

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