The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers has cancelled its annual summer meeting due to safety concerns about COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

The annual meeting was previously scheduled for July.

"The safety of our membership, speakers, and all those associated with MARS continues to be our most important focus," said MARS President Stefan Loeb. "The need to be proactive and the uncertainty of guaranteeing this safety has led us to cancel the 2020 Summer Meeting at the Grand Geneva Resort."

MARS will return to the Grand Geneva in the summer of 2021.

Loeb said the organization will be reaching out to people already registered for this year's conference and the hotel will be contacting those who had made lodging reservations.

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In the meantime, MARS board members will get an early start on planning the annual winter meeting set for January 2021.

More information is available on the MARS website.