Safety Precautions at the 2022 ESA+CSEE Annual Meeting
You’re probably excited to be seeing colleagues for the first time in a long time at our first in-person meeting in three years—we certainly are. But you might also be nervous about being around so many people at the same time in enclosed spaces, especially now that there are recent upticks in COVID-19 cases (including BA.5).
We take the health of our staff and our members very seriously, so I’ve been thinking about how we can all safely gather to share science and connect with colleagues as safely as possible. And the truth is, we all have a part to play.
Compassion for others isn’t a normal requirement to attend a scientific conference—though maybe it should be—so we’re asking everyone attending to respect their colleagues and protect the most vulnerable among us by adhering to the ESA Code of Conduct for Events and COVID Code of Conduct . Even with everyone vaccinated per Canadian entry requirements and even with masks on (as we require to attend), there are still risks of infection and transmission, especially to those with other conditions, and some of us are more vulnerable to serious health repercussions if we are to become ill. Plus, even if we’re attending the event solo, we all have homes to return to, fellow travelers to share space with, so these policies protect all of us.
To give you an idea of what’s expected, we put together this short list of important items to follow (see the formal policy):
- Canada has its own set of rules to follow for entry, and so does your country for re-entry. To enter Canada, you must upload your proof of vaccination to the ArriveCAN app within 72 hours prior to your arrival. As of July 19, Canada is again conducting random testing of vaccinated travelers at its major airports, which includes Montréal —travelers are notified within 15 minutes of passing customs if they have been selected for testing, and must then quarantine if the test is positive.
- Unless actively eating or drinking at Annual Meeting events in the Palais des congrès, all attendees are required to wear a mask while indoors at all times (we recommend N95, KN95 or KF94)! Unless you’re a plenary speaker, this includes while you are presenting. If you aren’t wearing a mask, we’re gonna miss you, but we will ask you to leave the meeting for violating the Code of Conduct. You can report violations of the mask policy here. If you persist, you could be in violation of the Code of Ethics. You may not like wearing the mask, but again, it just makes good sense to do so, and it protects the people around you.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be readily available throughout the Palais des congrès, and we will enforce social distancing during registration, in the exhibit hall and during poster sessions. It’s harder to do in rooms hosting oral presentations, but if you can make some room for each other by spreading out, please do so, and use your best judgment. For social events, we’ll be taking advantage of some outdoor space, and indoor spaces will (hopefully) have extra ventilation and be large enough to accommodate social distancing.
- And while we hope this doesn’t happen, if you have been or fear that you have been exposed to COVID, have contracted COVID or are ill while in attendance, please alert staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have a number of rapid tests available. If you do test positive, we have plans to work with hotel staff to provide support if you need to change your room, extend your stay or have food delivered, and we will keep up with you to make sure you have the help you need while quarantining before traveling home.
Many ESA volunteers, especially the Meetings Committee and its Program Committee, have put a lot of time and effort into planning what we’re sure will be an amazing event. Our entire community, membership, leadership and staff—and of course the convention staff in Montréal—want you to experience an incredible, enjoyable and safe week of learning and networking. See you soon!