The first positive Covid-19 tests were reported on March 28th. In total, there have been 8 people to report testing positive between March 28 - 30, 2022. (last updated 8 April 2022). There were close to 1,100 people in attendance.
AABA will not be conducting contact tracing. If you have tested positive, please let colleagues with whom you were in close contact know. Wishing everyone who does test positive a very mild case and a full and speedy recovery!
AABA is closely monitoring CDC guidelines for COVID safety at large meetings and will adhere to those guidelines or more conservative measures, given that conference attendees come from many home locations. Additional guidance or policies for Colorado and the conference center will also be followed.
AABA is committed to provide COVID safety policies as far in advance of the meeting as possible. Policies may be revised to be more strict if that is necessary to follow CDC guidance but decisions will not be reversed to be more lenient. We are closely monitoring news, science, and CDC guidance related to the Omicron and other variants and will update our policies as needed.
While AABA policies at conference events provide multiple layers of protection against COVID transmission (vaccinations, masking, air flow, etc.), attendee care and vigilance during and outside of the conference is critical. We strongly encourage attendees to protect themselves during their personal time in Denver outside of conference events and spaces as well as at the conference.
Vaccines are required for attendance at AABA 2022, with very few allowable exceptions. Vaccinated attendees are also strongly encouraged to get booster shots prior to attending. Anyone granted an exception must submit a negative test taken within 72 hours of the first day of the conference. Please reach out to AABA President Steve Leigh to discuss criteria for exceptions or concerns you have about this policy. To request an exception, use this google form.
Attendees of the in-person conference are required to register their proof of vaccination or approved exception accompanied by a negative COVID test in order to enter the conference. Vaccine/test registration will occur through a third-party company, 42Chat, to protect the privacy of registrants. All registrants should have received a text or email from 42Chat on February 23, 2022, inviting them to submit their proof of vaccination or apply for an exception.
Acceptable vaccinations: Vaccinations approved by the US FDA or WHO are allowed for travel into the US starting in November. AABA will accept any vaccinations on those lists in the registry. Lists and other information on travel to the US can be found here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html.
Indoor masking is required for all attendees (vaccinated or unvaccinated) at the AABA 2022 conference with a few exceptions. KN95 masks will be available for all AABA attendees at the registration desk. A limited number of medical-grade N95 masks will also be available. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be provided at each podium. Exceptions to the universal masking policy include:
The decision to allow these exceptions to the AABA 2022 universal masking policy was not taken lightly. We are basing this decision primarily on (1) the AABA 2022 vaccine requirement, which ensures that virtually all attendees will be vaccinated, (2) continuing effectiveness of the vaccines and wide availability of boosters (within the US), (3) facility cleaning and airflow standards, (4) CDC guidance allowing vaccinated individuals to remove masks at non-public indoor gatherings (read HERE), and (5) concerns that masked speakers may be harder to understand, particularly for hearing-impaired attendees.
We are grateful to the AABA members who helped shape this policy by sharing their concerns during the December 2021 town-hall webinar.
AABA strongly encourages all attendees to minimize potential exposure and be tested for COVID prior to traveling to AABA 2022. If you need access to COVID testing in Denver, there are multiple opportunities for both Rapid and PCR-based COVID testing within a short Uber/Lyft/Taxi ride from the hotel and convention center. The City of Denver maintains an updated List of Covid-19 Testing Sites.
Please refer to the latest CDC guidance for up-to-date testing recommendations for people who are identified as close contacts or are symptomatic. Your home institution and/or city/state may have additional stated requirements.
Should you become ill (with COVID or otherwise) in Denver, the AABA conference microsite provides information on local medical facilities. Please seek medical help and attend to your health needs first! Once you have done so, please report any positive COVID tests to the AABA COVID Safety call line (703-910-3442) or reporting form. AABA will not perform contact tracing; however, contact tracing will be performed by the Colorado Department of Public Health. AABA will post the numbers of cases reported daily during the conference and in the two weeks after the meeting.
Although attendees are responsible for their housing and other personal arrangements at the conference, AABA will try to help attendees who request staff support in Denver. Please reach out to the COVID Safety call line. Note that Burk Inc. does not have staff in Denver outside of the conference dates.
Please report positive tests to the COVID Safety call line (703-910-3442) or reporting form. You can report anonymously and privacy is strictly maintained among a small number of BAI staff. Officers or other AABA members cannot access this information.
Current CDC guidance on quarantining and isolation:
Poster sessions: There will be increased spacing between posters with wider rows and greater separation between adjacent posters. Unmasking to eat or drink will not be allowed in poster sessions – no food or beverage may be taken into the poster area during poster sessions.
Burk Associates Inc. (BAI), AABA’s society management company, will have staff on the ground during the conference who will address safety issues and inform AABA attendees about our safety policies. We have established a call line for attendees to report COVID safety concerns during the meeting: 703-910-3442. BAI and members of AABA leadership will be available to respond to concerns raised in the conference center. They will also be regularly walking through conference spaces and available in-person.
AABA recognizes that individuals and institutions may have specific COVID safety standards that need to be met to consider attendance of the meeting. Please reach out if you need more information ([email protected]).
Copyright © 2022 American Association of Biological Anthropologists.
Site programming and administration: Ed Hagen, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University