COVID-19 Information

The conference organizers are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as we move towards the meeting this summer. At this time, the plan is to host an in-person meeting. We are closely following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and will meet or exceed these recommendations to host a safe meeting for all in attendance. We are also monitoring the guidelines specific for the state of Texas, as federal guidelines do not apply uniformly at the state level. We recognize that it is not possible to completely eliminate COVID-19 risk, but we are taking multiple precautions to reduce the risk and host a meeting in the safest and most responsible manner possible. COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and our plans may change accordingly. We encourage attendees to follow this page for COVID-19 policy updates.

Masks: Masks will be required at all indoor events when not eating or drinking. The conference will have KN95 masks available for members to use.

Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizing stations will be provided by the hotel, and will be available in high traffic areas. 

Dedicated Meeting Space: All activities and functions at the hotel will take place on the 6th floor which is dedicated to just our group. We will not be sharing hotel space with other groups that may follow different COVID-19 practices. 

Outdoor Dining Opportunities: There are many local establishments that offer the possibility of outdoor dining for those that are uncomfortable with removing their masks in indoor spaces. A list of local restaurants with outdoor dining will be available at the conference.

Distancing: We are monitoring the best guidance and will ensure distancing measures as appropriate. The meeting rooms are all very large, and even the rooms for concurrent sessions can accommodate ~200 participants at 50% capacity. To reduce crowding at poster sessions we will organize presenters into alternating time slots, such that only every other poster is in attendance at any given time.

Vaccination requirements: We are currently investigating mechanisms to confirm vaccination status from all attendees. International attendees will require proof of vaccination for travel to the conference, and we anticipate that a very large proportion of attendees are already vaccinated. We encourage all attendees to be fully vaccinated, and receive boosters as is possible in your region. We will provide updates as more information is available. 

COVID Testing: We encourage all members to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hrs of traveling to the meeting. We are aware that many attendees will require a negative COVID-19 test in advance of return travel. The conference organizers will make arrangements with a third party testing service to be available onsite for this purpose.

COVID symptoms during the meeting: If a conference attendee develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19 while at the conference, they will be required to isolate following CDC guidelines. We encourage all attendees to consider isolation plans when booking your travel. In the event that conference attendees are required to isolate beyond the length of their initial hotel reservation, we have arranged with the hotel to allow guests to extend their stay at the discounted conference rate. 

Insurance: Travel health insurance is generally recommended for all attendees. Furthermore, employer-provided travel insurance may exclude travel and healthcare costs associated with COVID-19. We encourage all conference attendees to consider purchasing sufficient travel COVID-19 insurance in the event that they are unable to attend the conference due to COVID-19, or they incur healthcare costs in the American private healthcare system.

For additional details on COVID-19 in Austin, Texas please visit links to the U.S. Center of Disease Control (CDC), the City of Austin, and the Hilton Austin.