AACC’s Plans for a Healthy and Productive Event

Last updated March 18, 2021

AACC remains fully committed to holding a successful in-person meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, USA this fall. Based on the progress of the vaccine rollout and advances in testing, we believe we can plan with confidence for our September 26-30 meeting.

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 for 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo attendees. AACC will meet or exceed all recommendations and safety procedures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 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:

General Building Cleaning Process

The Georgia World Congress Center has 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 disinfection protocols and workplace practices.

In addition, 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.).


General Building Safety Measures for Visitors and Staff

  • All event organizers, attendees, and guests will be required to wear face coverings inside and in line for any indoor public space; in any room or enclosed area where an individual is unable to distance from those outside their own households; and outside when within six feet of others.
  • All convention center staff and vendors will wear face coverings when in workplace common areas. In addition, certain convention center staff and vendors will be provided Personal Protective Equipment.
  • 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.


Other General Building Readiness Measures

  • First aid staff will be located at stations in the Georgia World Congress Center and will be able to assist attendees or exhibitors as needed.
  • Contactless hand sanitizing stations will be present throughout the building for use by all individuals. Face coverings and hand sanitizing products will be available for purchase at convention center food and beverage locations.
  • If the facility is open to multiple groups of patrons or is hosting multiple events at one time, to the extent practicable, contact between patrons of separate events will be prohibited and sanitization of high contact surfaces within the facility will be required between each patron group’s use of any shared area.
  • All dining facilities are required to follow the criteria for restaurant dine-in services set forth in Section IV of this Georgia Statewide Executive Order titled “Restaurants & Dining Services.”
  • 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.


Show Management Areas Cleaning Process and Social Distancing Measures

In show management areas, which include the expo hall, educational session rooms, AACC offices, etc., we will implement the following:

  • Increased cleaning in all high traffic areas such as registration, the Clinical Lab Expo, AACC Headquarters, etc.;
  • Increased space between chairs in the educational sessions to allow for social distancing;
  • Signage and floor decals to encourage social distancing in common areas;
  • Plexiglass separations at registration stations, points of sale locations, concession areas, etc. If possible, contactless systems will also be put in place; and
  • Staggered educational session start/end times to encourage a reduced number of attendees in common areas.


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:

  • Requiring exhibitor staff 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.

For more information on the convention center’s cleaning process and readiness, visit the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.