COVID-19 Health and Safety Standards at the 2022 Spring Conference
In the world we live in today, there is an inherent and permanent risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in your daily life. Trips to the grocery store, getting gas, picking up your children from school, and seeing family and friends are among the risks we take daily to live a normal and productive life. AWRA seeks to normalize how the AWRA community can gather in-person to fulfill our mission of community, conversation, and connection in the water resources community. Our safe and healthy protocols in place are the best practices of in-person gatherings today. The restrictions that are in place are the current standards, and protocols may change closer to the conference date.
UPDATED: February 24, 2022
BEFORE REGISTERING, click here to read the COVID-19 Liability Waiver and Affirmation of Conduct Restrictions. You are required to sign, date, and upload this into the conference verification tool. Instructions on how to access and upload all required documents are below.
AWRA 2022 Vaccine and COVID-19 Test Requirements FAQs
AWRA will continue to hold this conference in person as planned, with strict safety and health protocols in place to continue our commitment to keeping conference participates and AWRA staff safe. At this time, the Hotel Capstone and the Byrant Conference Center (located on the University of Alabama campus) are not under any federal or state mandate regarding requirements for vaccination and mask-wearing. AWRA strongly encourages attendees to wear a mask but it is optional. As we move closer to the AWRA Spring Conference, the hotel, and the university will update AWRA if any of their restrictions change. Please note that AWRA reserves the right to mandate COVID-19 related mandates and restrictions in the conference meeting space.
AWRA is closely monitoring COVID-19 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and will update this page should any changes occur to the conference, in general, or the conference COVID-19 protocols. We recognize that this may feel like a fluid situation and ask that you check this page often for updates. If circumstances change in the local area (i.e., similar to the overwhelming spread of COVID-19 in Orlando and the health crisis that followed), the AWRA Board of Directors will assess the situation as it unfolds and may choose to make different choices at that time.
AWRA is also firmly committed to returning to our ‘new’ normal, where we can hold meetings and gatherings as we have done for decades before. The Alabama Water Resources Conference was successfully held on September 6-7, 2021, with 270 attendees, and we hope to accomplish the same. To that end, AWRA staff completed training to become a COVID Certified Coordinator, a certification that demonstrates the best practices and knowledge of planning in-person events during a pandemic.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, testing is not required to attend. However, if you want to test before/after the conference, below is a list of testing sites that are within close proximity to the Bryant Center:
- American Family Care Midtown | 710 15th St E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
- Walgreens | 521 University Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
- Crimson Care | 1718 Veterans Memorial Pkwy Suite A, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS
For more information, please visit our AWRA 2022 Vaccine and COVID-19 Test Requirements FAQs page.
Regardless of the event venue and hotel policies, as the event organizer, AWRA will require the following for all attendees.
- SIGN THIS NOW! All conference participants (attendees, presenters, exhibitors, etc.) must sign, date, and upload the COVID-19 Liability Waiver and Affirmation of Conduct Restrictions to the conference verification tool.
- UPLOAD YOUR VACCINATION RECORD! All conference participants must be vaccinated and upload their vaccination record before attending the conference. If you have questions about medical exemptions, email [email protected].
- OPTIONAL: WEAR A MASK! The mask mandate has been lifted by the University of Alabama. AWRA strongly encourages attendees to wear a mask but it is optional.
- WEAR A SOCIAL DISTANCING STICKER! Communicate your comfort level with social distancing by placing a colored sticker on your name badge that most describes your comfort level in interacting with participants:
- Green – Shake hands/hug
- Yellow – Elbow bump/fist bump
- Red – I prefer not to touch and stay at least three (3) feet apart from me.
COVID-19 DOCUMENTATION VERIFICATION TOOL
Instructions for Accessing and Uploading Your COVID-19 Required Documents:
- Sign into your AWRA Account.
- Click your name in the upper right corner to take you into your account.
- Click the tab labeled 'COVID-19 Requirements'.
- Please use your mobile device to take a picture of each required document, and upload to your account.
Below are the host hotel's and conference center's current precautions and restrictions.
Meals and Snacks:
- Provide touchless sanitizer stations in the convention space foyer.
- Sanitize all meeting room door handles.
- Sanitize wall-mounted thermostats.
- Sanitize the upper part of the meeting chair frames.
- Sanitizing occurs at the very beginning of each day and continues all day in between sessions.
- Sanitize light controls.
- Sanitize podiums.
- Set all rooms with reasonable social distancing parameters. Reasonable parameters are three (3) feet – (six) 6 feet apart depending on size of event.
- Beverage stations are set out throughout the building and include coffee, water, sodas, and teas. Sanitizer is available at the beverage stations.
Bryant Team Member Consideration Checklist:
- Conference center staff are required to wear gloves and masks at this time.
- Use of rolled up silverware will be used and not exposed on the table before meal service.
- Use of paper lids on all pre-set glasses of water and/or iced tea.
- Team Members must wear face coverings.
- Servers must use face coverings and wear gloves during meal service.
- Team Members must wash their hands regularly and frequently.
- Hand sanitizer is available for Team Members.