AACC’s Plans for a Healthy and Productive Event

Updated: May 11, 2021

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. 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


HEALTH CHECKS

  • Each attendee will participate in a daily text health screening questionnaire to ensure the safety of all AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo attendees. More details will be provided in the near future.
  • All participants will have their temperature screened each time they enter the Georgia World Congress Center building.

 

MASKS

  • All event organizers, attendees, and guests will be required to wear face coverings inside and outside when within six feet of others.
  • 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.
  • Attendees who received a vaccination are still required to wear a mask.

 

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.

  • Staff

    • Convention center employees are required to participate in a daily health and wellness certification that includes checking their temperature prior to reporting to work.
    • All 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.
  • 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.

 

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.

Exhibitor Best Practices and Readiness

AACC will provide best practices for exhibitors on how to maintain adequate social distancing in their booths. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Exhibitor staff are required to wear masks;
  • Using open booth designs or creating a restricted area to limit groups congregating in one particular area;
  • Allowing open entry and exit points;
  • Cleaning machines and high touch surfaces multiple times throughout the day;
  • Utilizing seating to encourage adequate social distancing;
  • Providing hand sanitizer in your booth; and
  • If serving food, working with Levy Restaurants, the official catering provider for the Georgia World Congress Center, to ensure proper food safety.

 

TRANSPORTATION

  • AACC Hotel Shuttles
    • Shuttle management staff will wear face masks at all times.
    • 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 strictly enforce mask-wearing policies on the vehicles for all attendees.
    • 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

  • Atlanta All Access (in-person full conference) and Expo Only (in-person) attendees will be mailed name badges ahead of arrival to the conference to limit on-site queuing.
  • 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 temperature checks, wearing a mask at all times in public areas, 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

The health and well-being of our community is a top priority. Check out the health and safety plans and preparations for the meeting.