AAS 240 COVID-19 Policies
The AAS Board of Trustees believes that full and up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19, combined with prudent safety measures sensible for the time and place of the event, are the best way to deliver the safe environment due to all our attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and staff. The AAS will undertake the following precautions at the 240th AAS meeting in Pasadena:
All conference attendees, exhibitors, and staff members will be required during registration to provide one of the following to the third-party, secure site CrowdPass:
1) Proof of full primary vaccination with a vaccine approved for use by the World Health Organization AND proof of booster vaccination if the individual is eligible to receive a booster prior to the conference as recommended by the Center for Disease Control or equivalent health authority where the individual resides;
2) Documented proof of recovery from COVID infection AND proof of subsequent receipt of a booster dose if the individual is eligible to receive a booster prior to the conference as recommended by the Center for Disease Control or equivalent health authority where the individual resides.
Attendees and exhibitors who wish to register on-site will need to first go the Sheraton Hotel, immediately next to the Pasadena Convention Center, to have their proof of vaccination reviewed in-person by CrowdPass. They will then receive a wristband that will allow them to register on-site at the convention center.
Full and up-to-date vaccination will also be required for any local support staff, within the constraints of local regulations and employment law.
All conference attendees, exhibitors, and staff (including local staff, within the constraints of local regulations and employment law) will be required to be fully masked at the meeting venue at all times.
All AAS 240 participants are encouraged to maintain mask-wearing away from the meeting as well, particularly when in close proximity to others or in enclosed public spaces.
As for all meeting attendees, staff, and exhibitors on site at AAS 240, the AAS requires all speakers to be masked for their presentations. Because of the large room size and increased ventilation in larger spaces, plenary and town hall speakers may remove their mask when only one person is on the podium, if they wish. Masks for plenary and town hall speakers must be worn on the podium when two or more people are present. The AAS has removed all chairs in these rooms to a 20-foot distance to limit any potential infection, while allowing anyone with hearing disability to sit close enough to the podium to view the speakers as they make their presentations. All recorded talks will include speech-to-text capability via automatic transcription.
We strongly encourage attendees to bring their own COVID-19 rapid tests along with them to Pasadena to allow for testing at whatever cadence they prefer.
The AAS will have a limited number of COVID rapid tests available at the registration desk for conference attendees, but we will not be requiring regular testing for conference participation.
We have identified local facilities that administer PCR tests. PCR tests take ~24 hours for a result, but they have been shown to be more accurate.
If You Test Positive
If you feel unwell before or during the AAS conference, please isolate and get COVID tested as soon as possible.
If you test positive, do not attend further sessions of the meeting. Stay isolated in your hotel room, always wear a mask if you go out, and seek appropriate medical attention and advice for your conditions.
Please notify AAS staff if you test positive before, during, or after the meeting by sending an email to [email protected]; this will allow us to assist you and to notify others with whom you may have had close contact.
All attendees are encouraged to enable (iPhone) or download (Android) the mobile phone contract tracing system “CA Notify”. Details can be found on this webpage: https://canotify.ca.gov
CA Notify uses the Bluetooth connectivity of your phone to keep track of other phones you may be near, while preserving your privacy. With CA Notify enabled, your phone will alert you if you recently had close contact with anyone who later tested positive for COVID. Conversely, if you test positive for COVID, you should notify the app of your positive test. Then anyone you had close contact with will get a message indicating they may have been exposed and encouraging them to get a COVID test.
If you have used exposure notifications before on your iPhone, it is important to change your active region to California for the duration of the AAS conference to receive messages consistent with the local region.
In addition to using the mobile phone contract tracing, attendees are encouraged to keep track for themselves of anyone they spend more than 15–30 minutes in close proximity to — whether at the conference, at local restaurants, or during other activities. This will facilitate close contact notification efforts. Using your phone’s "notes" feature, a written list, or whatever method works best for you makes this relatively easy.
Be sure to follow all the travel safety guidance (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html) on your way to and returning from Pasadena.
If You Were Exposed to COVID-19 and are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations
You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.
Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
If you develop symptoms
Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitting mask around others.
Take precautions until day 10
Wear a well-fitting mask
Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.
Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.