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Health and Safety

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CURRENT AS OF 18 May 2022

AbSciCon 2022 has had an attendee test positive for COVID-19.
 
This is a breakthrough case of a fully vaccinated individual. The person self-identified and close contacts have been notified.
 
The COVID-positive individual has stopped attending the meeting in-person. To protect this individual’s privacy, we will not be releasing any additional information.
 
Thanks to the meeting’s safety precautions that are based on the science of COVID-19, there is a low risk that widespread transmission has occurred or will occur.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are requesting that everyone monitor their own health for possible symptoms. If you need medical assistance, please seek it immediately. If you are not feeling well and want to take a rapid test, please go to the registration desk to receive one or, if you are at the Hilton, ask that one be brought to your room. If you would like to take a PCR test, there are several testing locations nearby. Some are listed at the bottom of this message.
 
If you test positive for COVID, are not feeling well, or develop any symptoms associated with COVID, fill out our contact form or contact AGU Meetings Director Victoria Forlini, [email protected] so that we can assist you. Updates on reported cases will be posted on this webpage.

As a reminder, the current CDC guidance for someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19 says that the individual does not need to quarantine. 
 
However, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should:
 
• Wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until a negative test result.
• Get tested 5-7 days after close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
• Get tested and isolate immediately if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
 
Thank you for your cooperation as we all work together to keep our families, friends and colleagues safe.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Here is information on several PCR testing sites. These sites can be booked on the Curative website and testing can be had at any of these locations:
 
Ebenezer Baptist Church Kiosk - 101 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Community Church of God Testing Site - 850 Cascade Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30311
Agnes Scott College Testing - 141 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
Latin American Association Kiosk - 2750 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30324
 

Before the Event

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford
  • Sinopharm
  • Serum Institute of India: Covishield
  • Sinovac: CoronaVac

AGU has partnered with SafeAccess to facilitate proof of vaccination at AbSciCon22.

All attendees (including vendors and affiliated team members) will receive an email from SafeAccess (specifically [email protected]; please check spam) with a unique link to set up a secure portal where your vaccine information can be uploaded. AGU strongly encourages using the portal to upload vaccine information ahead of time vs. working through verification information onsite, which may delay your access to the meeting.

More information on SafeAccess will be available soon.

For attendees traveling to Atlanta outside of the continental U.S., please review these materials and note the requirements and restrictions that may impact your plans.

During the Event

All attendees who submit their information to SafeAccess prior to the start of AbSciCon22 may obtain their badges at the registration area at the Atlanta Hilton.

More information on badge retrieval will be available soon.

Masks are required at AbSciCon within the meeting space. Atlanta does not have an indoor mask mandate so other hotel guests may not wear masks. The only other exception to the mask rule within AbSciCon is for speakers who speak from a podium in meeting rooms, if they so choose, may take off their masks while talking.

AGU will provide masks for those who forget to bring one on-site.

 

Onsite rapid antigen testing will be available for attendees.

Below is a list of additional locations for PCR testing near the Hilton Atlanta. Schedule an appointment on the Curative website.

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church Kiosk - 101 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
  • Community Church of God Testing Site - 850 Cascade Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30311
  • Agnes Scott College Testing - 141 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030
  • Latin American Association Kiosk - 2750 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

Attendees are expected to adhere to local and state safety protocols.

Links to additional travel and safety resources:

Onsite childcare will not be provided at AbSciCon22 in Atlanta. Children, including vaccinated children, will not be allowed to attend AbSciCon this year. We are hopeful that we will be able to add childcare as an option in 2024.

Caregiver grants are available to help online attendees with childcare. The grant application period is closed.

AGU knows attending a conference online or onsite can bring caregiver conflicts. 

Caregiver grants are available for both online and onsite attendees. 

Caregiver grants can provide in-person attendees caregiver support for those with ADA needs. These grants are available for online attendees, or onsite attendees who need caregiving outside the convention center.

Individuals supporting ADA needs onsite with an attendee may register for free at any registration counter; valid identification is required.

More information on how to apply for a caregiver grant will be available soon.

Guests and family members may attend AbSciCon22 only if they are fully vaccinated. They will need to register as a guest or caregiver, pay the appropriate fee for the meeting and then complete the proof of vaccination process onsite to pick up their badge. Vaccinated children may not attend as guests.

After the event

Continue to monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 for up to 14 days after your departure from AbSciCon22. Read the CDC quarantine guidelines if you have been exposed to COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Masks

Everyone who attends #AbSciCon22 in person will need to be fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated Individuals

You can still participate in AbSciCon22 by registering as a virtual attendee.

If you are already registered and would like to switch your method of attendance to virtual, email a written request to [email protected] by 4 May. No processing fee will be assessed for changing your registration type.

Individuals with Medical or Religious Exemptions for Vaccination

You can still participate in AbSciCon22 by registering as a virtual attendee.

If you are already registered and would like to switch your method of attendance to virtual, email a written request to [email protected] by 4 May. No processing fee will be assessed for changing your registration type.

Recovered From COVID, Have Antibodies

The CDC strongly advises that all who have had COVID should also be vaccinated. Learn more about the risks of reinfection. In light of this evidence, the American Geophysical Union is requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated by 1 May in order to attend the in-person meeting in Atlanta.

You can still participate in AbSciGU22 by registering for the virtual option.

If you are already registered and would like to switch your method of attendance to virtual, email a written request to [email protected] by 4 May. No processing fee will be assessed for changing your registration type.

Definition of Fully Vaccinated

By 15 May you must be 2 weeks post your final dose:

  • Second dose in a 2-dose series, such as with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • The one shot of a single-dose vaccine such as with Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine

In most cases this means you will need your final vaccination dose by 1 May.

Switching from In-Person to Virtual

If you will not be fully vaccinated by 1 May, you can switch your registration to the virtual meeting by emailing [email protected] by 4 May.

Updated 23 February 2022

Guests and Family Members

Guests and family members may attend AbSciCon22 only if they are fully vaccinated. They will need to register as a guest or caregiver, pay the appropriate fee for the meeting and then complete the proof of vaccination process onsite to pick up their badge.

Children

Onsite childcare will not be provided at AbSciCon22 in Atlanta. Children, including vaccinated children, will not be allowed to attend AbSciCon this year. We are hopeful that we will be able to add childcare as an option in 2024.

Caregiver grants are available to online and onsite attendees who meet eligibility criteria.

More information on how to apply for a caregiver grant will be available soon.

Masks Required

The American Geophysical Union will require masks at AbSciCon22 regardless of local ordinances. All attendees, exhibitors, guests, staff and vendors will be required to wear masks at the Hilton Atlanta and at all AbSciCon events held at other off-site locations.

Also, you will be required to wear a mask on the field trip shuttle buses.

Masks should:

  • Completely cover your mouth and nose.
  • Fit snugly without gaps.

Disposable masks will be available onsite should you need one.

Other Safety Measures

  • All meeting rooms will be set up to allow for more physical distancing.
  • The hotel and AV staff will be cleaning all meeting rooms between sessions, including microphones.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the convention center.
  • As much as possible, food and beverage will be served individually packaged.

Additional Resources:

World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and data

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center (CDC) travel guidelines

CDC COVID data tracker

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Center (CDC) Travel Recommendations by Destination

Georgia Department of Public Health Covid-19 Data