AMS 102nd Annual Meeting Commitment to Care Statement

(Updated 19 October 2021)

From its inception, the AMS has been committed to health and safety. As we continue to plan for the 102nd Annual Meeting, our highest priority remains the health and safety of everyone attending the meeting as well as the community of Houston, Texas. As such, we are closely monitoring news and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the World Health Organization, and local health agencies regarding travel and events. We will be using this news and guidance, as well as the results of several attendee surveys, to evolve and update this Commitment to Care statement. We encourage you to check back often as the meeting approaches.

While we will be enforcing the guidelines outlined below in the AMS meeting space at the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Hilton of the Americas, we highly recommend that attendees also follow these guidelines while traveling to/from and throughout Houston.

Health and Safety Policy

All attendees (presenters, program chairs, session chairs, exhibit booth staff, volunteers, attendees, guests, press, AMS staff) will be required to agree to the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting Health and Safety Policy and Waiver, before completing their registration. Any attendee who is not able to adhere to the in-person guidelines set forth in that Policy and Waiver, or in this Commitment to Care statement,  should plan to participate in the robust remote options we are offering during this fully hybrid meeting:

Vaccination and Daily Health Survey

All in-person attendees at the 102nd Annual Meeting must provide proof of full vaccination and complete a daily health survey before entering our meeting space in Houston, TX.

 

From its inception, the AMS has been committed to health and safety. As we continue to plan for the 102nd Annual Meeting, our highest priority remains the health and safety of everyone attending the meeting as well as the community of Houston, Texas. The science and the guidance from health experts are clear that vaccines and masking will better protect the health of those at the meeting, so as a scientific organization we have an obligation to follow the science. 

We implemented a fully hybrid meeting so that those who could not (or chose not to) attend (for any reason) could still fully participate in the meeting through remote options.

 

The CDC considers individuals to be fully vaccinated two weeks following a second dose of mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
For international attendees, this guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (i.e., AstraZeneca/Oxford, Covishield, Sinopharm, and Sinovac) - 2 weeks after final dose. The full list of vaccines with final WHO EUL/PQ evaluation status is available here.

 

We are in close contact with our attorney and with our venues in Houston and they all assure us that we are still well within our rights to require that our attendees be vaccinated in order to attend the 102nd Annual Meeting, despite recent Executive Orders.

HealthPass by CLEAR will provide vaccination and daily health verification via the CLEAR app for the 102nd Annual Meeting.

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO HOUSTON (ONCE): Download and enroll in the CLEAR app.

  • Download the free CLEAR app and tap on the white Health Pass tile.
  • Select Events and find our meeting code (available 1 December) under the Conferences section.
  • Tap “Enroll or verify in CLEAR” to create your CLEAR member account.
    • New to CLEAR? When prompted, enter your email address, phone number, and have your gov’t issued photo ID ready to complete enrollment.
    • Already a CLEAR member? Use the email address associated with your membership and snap a quick selfie to verify your identity.
    • Tap “Add Covid-19 Vaccination” to link your proof of vaccination before travel.

BEFORE YOU GO TO THE MEETING SPACE (DAILY): Complete your Health Pass

  • Open the CLEAR app and tap on the white Health Pass tile.
  • Confirm you are you with a quick selfie and answer the daily health survey.
  • Green means you’re good to go. (It can take up to 30 minutes to get a Green Health Pass - please plan accordingly)

UPON ENTERING THE AMS MEETING SPACE (EACH TIME): Show your Green Health Pass

  • Go to the security checkpoint at the entrance to the AMS meeting space at either the George R. Brown Convention Center or the Hilton of the Americas
  • Open the app and tap on the Health Pass tile.
  • Choose “Open Health Pass” to retrieve your result.
  • Your Health Pass is only available for 12 hours and then you will need to complete a new one.

 

Vaccination details or lab results are not provided to AMS and are only utilized to generate a red or green Health Status for screening purposes. What will be shared with AMS on a daily basis is your name, Health Pass result (Red or Green), and the time your pass was completed.

Privacy is at the center of everything they do at CLEAR and they are fully committed to protecting members' information. They never sell or rent personal information. Personal information is only used to deliver a frictionless and secure experience with CLEAR.

The use of data is governed by CLEAR’s Member Terms and Privacy Policy and you can learn more here.

 

No. If you are not able to provide vaccination proof, please participate in the robust remote options we are offering during this fully hybrid meeting:

No. If you are not able to provide vaccination proof, please participate in the robust remote options we are offering during this fully hybrid meeting:

Yes, we will require that all attendees wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in the 102nd Annual Meeting space.

 

Health Pass uses questions based on publicly available guidance from the CDC, as well as other health institutions. The survey was reviewed and refined with the assistance of CLEAR’s medical advisors. Note: All question responses are Yes / No.

In the past 10 days have you experienced any of the following new or worsening symptoms?
a. Fever
b. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
c. Sinus congestion or runny nose
d. Loss of taste or smell
e. Persistent cough

In the past 10 days have you experienced any of the following new or worsening symptoms?
a. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite
b. Headaches or sore throat
c. Severe muscle aches
d. Fatigue

 In the past 14 days have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 or asked to quarantine?

 In the past 14 days, have you had close contact or high risk exposure to someone with an active or suspected case of COVID-19? This would include being less than 6 feet away for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period or direct contact with mucus or saliva.

In the past 10 days have you been asked to get a COVID-19 test due to symptoms or risk of exposure and are still waiting for the results or received an inconclusive result?

If you are unable to show proof of vaccination or fail the daily health survey, you will receive a Red Health Pass and will not be granted entry to AMS meeting space. Even if you are registered as an in-person attendee, you will have access to all of the remote options we are offering during this fully hybrid meeting:

If you have Covid-19 symptoms or fail the daily health survey, please participate in the robust remote options we are offering during this fully hybrid meeting, even if you test negative:

AMS is continually assessing their health and safety policy as it pertains to future meetings. While vaccination is required with no exceptions at this time for the Annual Meeting, this policy will be revisited for each meeting as CDC guidance evolves.

Masking

We will require that all attendees wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in the 102nd Annual Meeting space. Masks may only be removed when actively eating or drinking while sitting. We are currently working to facilitate extra distancing at the presenter lectern in session rooms so that presenters can choose to remove their mask while presenting.

An acceptable mask is: made of at least 2 layers of breathable fabric or hospital grade material, fully covers the nose, nostrils, mouth and fits firmly under the chin, and fits snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face.

Disposable masks will be available at the AMS Info Desks and at Health and Safety Stations located throughout the George R Brown Convention Center and the Hilton of the Americas.

Testing

While we do not require that participants submit a negative Covid-19 test result in order to attend the 102nd Annual Meeting, all travelers should follow recommendations set for by the CDC for domestic and international travel as well as check requirements set forth by their travel providers (planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation).

Should you need to take a Covid-19 test while in Houston, please visit this page to find the nearest location.
 

On-Site Medical Care

We will have a healthcare partner available onsite to address the healthcare needs of attendees who become ill at the George R Brown Convention Center.

Attendees who become ill outside of the George R Brown Convention Center should not attempt to enter AMS meeting space and should visit a nearby healthcare facility:


Physical Distancing

AMS staff members and the Overall Planning Committee, in consultation with event industry leaders and venue officials, are currently considering several options to reduce crowding and congestion throughout the 102nd Annual Meeting space. There will also be signage throughout to remind attendees to practice physical distancing when possible.

Schedule

The schedule for the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting includes longer breaks and an additional poster viewing (on Thursday) to reduce attendee crowding and congestion.

Seating

Chairs in session rooms and set around tables at food and beverage functions will be set at 50% capacity.


Exhibit Booths

Exhibitors will be required to design their booth spaces according to CDC and WHO guidelines.
We are asking exhibitors to consider how they will offer giveaways for products and hosted events in ways that will help us with crowd control and social distancing at receptions and through exhibit hours.

Food and Beverage Functions

Food and beverage items will be individually packaged and if not, will be served by an attendant. Items will be available from an increased number of stations to reduce congestion and crowding.

Contact Comfort Indicators

Attendees will be provided with three colored bracelets and stickers which they can use to indicate their personal level of contact comfort to others while at the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting (optional):
Red: Please keep your distance
Yellow: Elbow/fist bumps are ok
Green: Handshakes/hugs are welcome

Touch Points and Cleanliness

Registration and badge pickup will take place at self-serve kiosks. Attendees will print their own badges on-demand in the registration area at the George R Brown Convention Center.
Concessions sold at the George R Brown Convention Center can be purchased with cashless options.

Air Filtration

The George R Brown Convention Center:

  • Features Merv-13 air filters
  • Air is recirculated 6 times per hour
  • Blowers are run daily to reduce air humidity
  • Control system allows emergency override of all damper positions to 100% clean
  • “Catch and Kill” Biodefense Air-Filtration System installed in the General Assembly Theater on Level 3.

Hilton of the Americas:

  • Details will be posted soon

Marriott Marquis:

  • Details will be posted soon

Hand Sanitizer

There are multiple hand sanitizing stations located throughout the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting space.

Cleaning

All AMS 102nd Annual Meeting hotels and venues have increased cleaning/disinfecting of high touch surfaces such as handles, buttons, and handrails.

Each exhibiting organization will be responsible for the cleanliness and sanitization of their space. We recommend products and instruments be wiped down between demonstrations and have hand sanitizer available for those visiting the booth space.

Our Hotels and Venues

Information on Health and Safety in Houston can be found here.
The George R Brown Convention Center’s Health and Safety Plan can be found here.
Information on the Hilton CleanStay Program can be found here.
Marriott’s Commitment to Clean can be found here.