241st meeting

COVID-19 Policy

241
Seattle, Washington
241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Seattle, Washington
8 – 12 January 2023

COVID-19 Policy at AAS 241

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 a safe environment for all our attendees, exhibitors, vendors, and staff at AAS events.

We will undertake the following precautions at AAS 241 in Seattle:

  1. Vaccination
    We will require full COVID-19 vaccination and one booster for all AAS 241 attendees (see below for exceptions). The AAS encourages all attendees at our conferences to be fully up to date on vaccinations and boosters, including the recently available bivalent vaccine and the seasonal influenza (flu) shot.
  2. Masking
    The use of N95, KN95, KF94, or FFP2 masks — or those of roughly equivalent protection — will be required across all AAS venues at all times, except in a few designated areas and select special events (to enable members to enjoy food and beverages, etc.). The AAS will provide these masks for free for any who need them (up to two per attendee). We will  also implement an optional social distancing sticker system for attendees. Presenters will be allowed to remove their masks during their presentations if they wish, as long as they are reasonably distanced from the audience. All attendees will have the right to grace and reasonable accommodation to briefly lower or remove their masks for short periods to enable drinking or eating while indoors.
  3. Attendee Behavior
    We will ensure that all conference attendees are aware of and are encouraged to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance:
    1. Stay up to date with vaccines.
    2. Get tested for COVID-19 if needed.
    3. Follow current CDC recommendations for what to do if you have been exposed.
    4. Stay home if you have cold or flu-like symptoms or if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If this applies while you are already in Seattle, please isolate yourself in your hotel room; you will still have access to the virtual meeting platform.
    5. Seek treatment if you have COVID-19 and are at high risk of getting very sick.
    6. Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  4. Monitoring, Testing, and Reporting
    We will encourage all attendees to utilize cell-phone exposure monitoring apps; please be sure to set your Active Region to Washington State (view instructions for Android and Apple phones). For those attendees who need them, we will provide rapid antigen tests on site and directions to local vendors for molecular PCR tests. If attendees do take tests, we ask that they inform us of the outcome to aid in exposure notifications.
  5. Exceptions
    We will provide a mechanism through the CrowdPass vaccine verification site for attendees to request valid medical exceptions (with a doctor's note) to the vaccination requirement. Attendees with approved exceptions will need to agree to follow all safety and health protocols the AAS imposes for the meeting in addition to extra protocols for the unvaccinated and agree that they attend the conference at their own risk.