AACC’s Plans for a Healthy and Productive Event

Updated July 26, 2021 with new information on vaccination, coronavirus testing, and mask requirements.

AACC remains fully committed to holding a successful in-person meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, USA this fall. AACC’s priority is always the health and well-being of our community. We are working closely with the Georgia World Congress Center, vendor partners, and hotels to create a COVID-19 safety plan that aligns with the Duty of Care for the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo. AACC will meet or exceed all recommendations and safety procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Georgia, and the City of Atlanta, as well as industry standards.

AACC will continually update our plans and guidelines as new information becomes available and as environmental conditions change. For example, if at the time of the meeting, the CDC or local authorities have reimposed indoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals, these protocols will be adjusted accordingly. We will routinely share all updates on evolving COVID-19 preparations as we actively work to plan for a healthy and productive event. Our current preparations include but are not limited to the following:


RIGHT OF ENTRY PROTOCOL

  • To ensure the safety of all attendees, proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR proof of a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of your first day at the meeting will be required for in-person attendees of the 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting. Individuals who are unable to provide one of these things will not be permitted to enter the meeting. Additional details are forthcoming
  • Vaccinated individuals will be given a daily wrist band and will have the option of not wearing a mask within convention facilities. If at the time of the meeting, the CDC or local authorities have reimposed indoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals, these protocols will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who provide proof of a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of their first day at the meeting will not be given a daily wrist band and will be required to wear a mask within convention facilities.
  • AACC will not be providing coronavirus testing onsite, but will provide information and resources in August to assist attendees in obtaining a test near the convention center if they need one.

 

MASKS

  • Individuals who provide proof of vaccination will be given a daily wrist band and will have the option of not wearing a mask within convention facilities. If at the time of the meeting, the CDC or local authorities have reimposed indoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals, these protocols will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Unvaccinated individuals will not be given a daily wrist band and will be required to wear a mask within convention facilities.
  • However, please note that changes in local conditions and/or public health authority requirements could lead us to reimpose mask requirements for all meeting participants regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks may also be required under certain circumstances due to external regulatory authority. For example, everyone will be required to wear masks on the AACC hotel shuttles regardless of vaccination status.
  • All convention center staff and vendors will wear face coverings when in workplace common areas.
  • Face coverings will be available for purchase at convention center food and beverage locations.

 

VENUE

  • Cleaning

    • The Georgia World Congress Center received GBAC Star accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA Inc., the leading association for the cleaning industry. Accreditation is awarded to facilities that follow a high standard of cleaning, disinfection, and disease prevention and that follow proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols and workplace practices.

    • The Georgia World Congress Center will implement increased cleaning and sanitization in all high touch building areas, including but not limited to:
      • Restrooms;
      • Escalator and stair handrails;
      • All entrance revolving door handles, main door handles, and push bars;
      • Public furniture;
      • High touch points in meeting rooms (door handles, podiums, chairs etc.).
    • For more information on the convention center’s cleaning process and readiness, visit the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

  • Food

    • Appropriate informational signage regarding the service process and physical distancing parameters will be implemented at every food and beverage function.
    • The Georgia World Congress Center has implemented touchless payment options for food kiosks including credit card and mobile payment solutions.
    • Pre-packaged and individualized catering and menu items will be utilized as much as possible.
    • Where available, distance barriers or guards may be used to help prevent breath from coming into contact with open-air food and beverage.
    • Physical distancing between guests and catering employees will be enforced based on the latest CDC required distance.

 

Skilled Staff

  • All convention center employees have received training regarding coronavirus safety. Individuals performing cleaning and housekeeping duties have received additional training regarding cleaning methods, product use, and other activities.
  • AACC Meetings staff have earned Pandemic Meeting & Event Design certification.
  • Additionally, all convention center employees are required to participate in a daily health and wellness certification that includes checking their temperature prior to reporting to work.

 

HAND SANITIZER

  • Contactless hand sanitizing stations will be present throughout the building for use by all individuals.
  • Hand sanitizing products will be available for purchase at convention center food and beverage locations.

 

ON-SITE MEDICAL

  • First aid staff will be located at stations in the convention center and will be able to assist attendees or exhibitors as needed.
  • An isolation area will be provided for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 who are unable to immediately leave the Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo.

 

CLINICAL LAB EXPO HALL

  • AACC will increase the number of aisles at the Clinical Lab Expo to allow for less congested traffic flow between booths to accommodate social distancing.
  • Signage will be put in place to remind attendees and exhibitors of social distancing and hygiene recommendations.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the exhibit hall.
  • Exhibit Hall Theatres will be sanitized between presentations.
  • The exhibit hall will undergo a nightly deep cleaning.
  • Aisle carpets will be removed to allow for better disinfection and cleaning.

 

TRANSPORTATION

  • AACC Hotel Shuttles
    • Shuttle management staff will wear face masks at all times.
    • All passengers must also wear face masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Drivers will strictly enforce mask-wearing policies on the vehicles for all attendees.
    • Based on current industry guidance, buses will not be loaded to greater than 50% capacity.
    • Shuttle management staff will sanitize high touch surface areas on the vehicles in between route loops.
    • Drivers will load buses from back to front and ensure passengers are spaced apart observing social distancing recommendations and will limit wait time.
    • Staff will maintain a supply of personal disinfectant for any rider who wishes to use it after exiting or before entering a vehicle.
    • Staff will perform daily self-health checks, including checking for fever or relevant symptoms.
  • Rideshare, Taxi, Limousine, and Atlanta Bus Services
    • Face masks are required while using public transportation throughout the United States, and private transportation companies may mandate mask requirements at their discretion.
    • The most up to date information on the health safety measures of Atlanta’s transportation services can be found here: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Discover Atlanta

 

HOTELS

Hotels that implemented enhanced rigorous cleanliness protocols were identified for AACC's hotel block. Learn more about the global programs these popular hotel chains have introduced to ensure guests enjoy a cleaner stay:

Marriott | Hilton | Hyatt | IHG | Omni

 

NAME BADGES

  • To limit on-site queuing, Atlanta All Access (in-person full conference) and Expo Only (in-person) attendees who register before August 30 will be mailed name badges ahead of arrival.
  • Registration staff will be available on site to accommodate name badge updates.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Avoid physical contact, including hugs and handshakes.
  • Signage and floor decals will be used to encourage social distancing in common areas.
  • Plexiglass separations will be placed at registration stations, points of sale locations, concession areas, etc.
  • Educational session start/end times will be staggered to encourage a reduced number of attendees in common areas.
  • Educational session rooms will be set with increased space between chairs to allow for social distancing.
  • Attendees will be able to ask questions in educational session rooms through an app on their personal devices. Aisle microphones will be removed.
  • Educational session rooms will have one entry point and a separate exit point.
  • Abstracts in the Clinical Lab Expo hall will be displayed one poster per board side to allow for appropriate social distance between poster boards.
  • The Georgia World Congress Center will increase sanitization of high contact surfaces within the facility between each patron group use of any shared area.

 

ATLANTA

  • The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is actively monitoring developments surrounding the coronavirus as the safety and health of visitors is their top priority. Hospitality partners throughout Atlanta are implementing new and enhanced procedures to safeguard Atlanta guests.
  • You can learn more about Atlanta’s COVID-19 health and safety procedures for the airport, transportation, hotels, and restaurants here: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Discover Atlanta

 

PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY COMMITMENT

By attending our 2021 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta, GA, you agree to abide by and engage in conduct that is beneficial to health and safety while attending the event. This includes, but is not limited to providing proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result, engaging in appropriate physical distancing, and not attending the event if you are ill or have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

Register for 2021 AACC

Join us in Atlanta, Georgia, September 26-30 to explore the cutting-edge science and technology shaping the future of laboratory medicine.

AACC’s COVID-19 Duty of Care

Check out health and safety plan updates on vaccination, COVID-19 testing, and mask requirements. The health and well-being of our community remains a top priority.