May 5, 2022 / Ben Rome, Bethany Chirico, and Michele Twilley

Policies and Procedures for Attending AIHce EXP 2022

An interview with Bethany Chirico and Michele Twilley by Ben Rome

As AIHce EXP 2022 draws closer, we wanted to provide an update on health and safety at the event as you prepare to join us in Nashville.

I sat down with Michele Twilley, AIHA's Certified Industrial Hygienist, and Bethany Chirico, AIHA’s managing director of global meetings and business development, to talk about what AIHA is doing to help attendees stay safe at the conference this year.

Ben Rome: Bethany, could you share with us AIHA's current policy and procedures for attending this year's conference?

Bethany Chirico: First, on behalf of the AIHA staff and leadership, let me say how excited we are to be returning to an in-person conference again this year in Nashville. The safety of our attendees, staff, exhibitors, and supplier and venue partners has always been paramount. This year is no different and to that end, last year AIHA's leadership created a policy for attendees participating in any in-person AIHA events. This policy requires attendees to show proof of full vaccination completed no fewer than 14 days before the start of the conference. The vaccines must be World Health Organization (WHO) approved. For U.S. citizens, the full vaccination cycle means one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna. We are not requiring boosters, just proof of the full vaccination cycle. The other option is to present proof of a negative PCR test taken no earlier than Tuesday, May 17.

BR: What steps is AIHA taking to ensure the smooth sailing of this process?

BC: To facilitate this process, we've partnered with a company called VOW Digital Health. By now AIHce EXP registrants would have received an email from me, explaining the COVID clearance process. Shortly thereafter, they will also receive an SMS text message to the mobile phone that they have provided during the registration process, which will walk them through the process of COVID clearing. We ask that this be done before arriving in Nashville to speed up the process. It should be noted that in order to enter the Music City Center facility to pick up badge materials and participate in any function associated with AIHce EXP, attendees will need to have COVID-19 clearance and show proof of that on their mobile devices.

While the meeting is mask-optional, we are aware that some attendees might need to wear a mask or feel more comfortable wearing a mask while attending events. That’s why N95 masks, sponsored by Draeger, will be available at the registration desk for attendees who would like to use one. Additionally, we've arranged for hand sanitizer stations, with an ethyl alcohol content level of 70 percent, throughout the venue.

And finally, at the registration booth, attendees will have the option of selecting a ribbon in either red, green, or yellow to indicate their level of comfort regarding contact with other individuals.

Michele Twilley: I want to add that our two-star sponsor, SGS Galson, will be providing five Smart Sense technology sensors to monitor indoor air quality during the conference. This would allow for conference attendees to view, in real time, information on the indoor air quality. They can do so by either using a QR code on their phone or by visiting SGS Galson’s booth at the EXPO Hall to check out the monitoring equipment there.

BR: Let’s talk a little bit about personal risk assessment now. Although COVID seems to be a much lesser threat than it was even six months ago, what other information would you encourage attendees to consider as they prepare to join us in Nashville?

MT: I think everybody needs to look at where they're coming from and where they're heading. The jurisdiction where you live might have certain control measures in place that don't exist elsewhere and vice versa. So, take your time to look at the travel policies of your carrier, how you're getting to the conference, the hotel that you're staying in, and any public or gathering places that you want to attend. Look at whether they have masking requirements or other types of requirements for entry to that space.

Also, be aware of your own personal health status. If you are developing a fever or any of the classic symptoms of COVID, you need to stay home so as not to inadvertently cause someone else to get sick. Likewise, if you are perfectly healthy and happy and joining us in Nashville, we welcome you with open arms. But keep in mind that other people might have risk tolerances that are different than yours, so be on the lookout for the red, green, and yellow ribbons, which indicate attendees’ level of comfort.

But I want to stress that your personal risk assessment is key here. We want everybody to be happy, and healthy, and have a productive conference.

Ben Rome, Bethany Chirico, and Michele Twilley

Ben Rome is AIHA’s senior manager of communications.

Bethany Chirico is AIHA’s managing director of global meetings and business development.

Michele Twilley is AIHA’s Certified Industrial Hygienist.


There are no submissions.

Add a Comment