Why is APPA still requiring masks and health check-ins?
When we made the decision several months ago to move forward with an in-person National Conference, we established safety protocols not knowing where we would be with the pandemic. Some attendees registered specifically because we had those protocols in place and because we committed to abiding by them.
While the situation has changed and continues to evolve, we are one of the first national trade associations in the energy space (if not the first) to meet in-person, and we are gathering with over 800 people from all across the country, including some from states that have not relaxed mandates. We are taking a middle-of-the-road approach – gathering in person on the early side, but doing so with protocols in place.
We are not asking if people are vaccinated, nor are we asking anyone to take a test prior to participation.
Masks will be required in all APPA meeting areas and at official APPA functions. Outside of APPA's meeting space, attendees who are vaccinated do not have to wear a mask (per the hotel policy). There are also many doors leading directly outside all along our meeting space, so attendees can step outside at any time if they would like to take off their masks.
We know that our attendees will have different comfort levels with meeting in person again, and some attendees may have reasons to continue being cautious, including underlying health conditions or family members (including young children) who may still be at risk. We are relying on everyone to do their part to keep themselves and everyone else safe during the conference, and to be respectful of all other attendees and their comfort levels.
As we move forward with future meetings, APPA will continue to revisit how to proceed given evolving expectations and guidance.
On-site Safety Protocols
The safety of those all conference participants is our top priority. All conference participants should:
- Wear a mask at all times in the APPA meeting space and during official APPA-sponsored events, except when eating or drinking.
- Complete the health check-in each day before entering the APPA meeting space (see below).
- Engage in appropriate physical distancing and hygiene practices.
- Be respectful of all other attendees and their comfort levels.
- Not attend the conference if you are ill, actively experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have recently been in close contact with someone who is experiencing COVID symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19.
On-site Daily Health Check-in
Each day of the conference, all participants will be required to complete a short health questionnaire, as many of us do when we come into the office. No medical tests are required; APPA will not ask for any medical records, test results, or proof of vaccination.
The daily health check-in will be a simple online form, asking participants to self-certify that:
- You have not recently come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
- You are not currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms that can't be explained by something else; and
- You are continuing to follow CDC and local guidance.
Participants must complete the daily health check-in before entering the APPA meeting space. A link will be emailed to attendees in advance, and will be available through the conference mobile app.
Show your completion screen when you arrive at the meeting space each morning to receive a colored wristband.
- When you complete the questionnaire, you will get a screen telling you to proceed to the meeting. Simply show this screen on your mobile device to verify you have completed your daily check in.
- If you aren't able to show your completion screen, someone will look you up by name to verify you have completed your check-in.
Your wristband is required for entry into all APPA sessions and activities. It also confers in-and-out privileges; once you receive your wristband for the day, you can enter and exit the APPA meeting space freely just by showing your wristband.
When you register
All participants must agree to the Duty of Care Agreement and Waiver before registering for the conference. Your registration implies your consent to adhere to these standards.
After your registration is received, you will receive a link to sign the Duty of Care Agreement and Waiver electronically. All attendees must complete the electronic Duty of Care Agreement and Waiver before they will be permitted to attend the conference.
Pre-Event Health Assessment
Registrants will be asked to complete a self-assessment prior to traveling to the 2021 National Conference in Orlando. Participants do not need to submit a separate form; but we ask all attendees to honestly answer these questions to help us protect all conference attendees, staff, volunteers, and the Orlando community.
- Have you had any of the following NEW or UNUSUAL-FOR-YOU symptoms within the past 72 hours?
- Fever of 100.4 degrees or above, or possible fever-like symptoms such as alternating chills and sweating.
- Frequent cough (not a chronic cough or your normal seasonal allergies)
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or severe wheezing
- Muscle or body aches that are not exercise related
- Sore throat
- New loss of smell or taste
- Have you, or anyone in your household or group, tested positive or are awaiting test results for COVID-19?
- Do you, or anyone in your household or group, have the symptoms of COVID-19 as listed above?
- Are you currently subject to a stay-at-home order from your doctor or state or local requirements to quarantine, isolate, or stay at home?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, please STAY AT HOME. Please send your cancellation request to [email protected].