ASH Annual Meeting Health and Safety Protocols
We encourage you to monitor this page to stay abreast of the latest updates on health and safety protocols for the upcoming 64th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.
ASH is continually re-assessing the status of our upcoming meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure the safety of all attendees, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for registrants attending the 2021 ASH Annual Meeting in person in Atlanta, Georgia.
The safety of meeting attendees is ASH’s top priority, and we believe the most effective way to ensure the safety of all attendees is for them to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Please note that proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person meeting attendees prior to traveling to Atlanta.
Attendees should be aware that, while ASH will make every effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on site, it is possible that attendees will come in contact with people in airports, hotels, and around the convention center who could potentially carry the virus, which is why ASH is requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated for their own safety, as well as the safety of others.
For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, ASH offers several virtual meeting registration options.
For the purposes of right of entry to the ASH annual meeting, a person is considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines; or
- Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, such as the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine
Please note that booster shots will not be required.
ASH will accept a full course of immunization with any vaccine that has been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product may be either fully authorized or authorized under an emergency use authorization or equivalent at the time of travel (see list of eligible vaccines). Vaccination with an agent that is not included on the WHO or FDA website as authorized will not be accepted.
For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, ASH offers several virtual meeting registration options.
Prior to arriving on site, attendees will be asked to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or FDA. ASH will be contracting with a third-party vendor to manage the verification process. More detailed instructions are available below.
In addition to all attendees, all ASH staff working at the meeting will be fully vaccinated; however, ASH is not legally able to require local convention center staff to be vaccinated. ASH is working with local entities in Atlanta to develop on-site protocols in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, including requiring all local convention center staff to wear masks.
How to Verify Your Vaccination Status
ASH is partnering with two companies – Safe Expo and CLEAR – for vaccination verification services to make your entry to the meeting faster, safer, and more secure. In-person meeting attendees can choose whichever service they prefer from these two options. Only one is required. Included below are instructions for each option so that you can choose the process that makes the most sense for you.
Uploading your proof of vaccination should be done in advance. ASH suggests that attendees do this as soon as possible to avoid any processing delays. Whether you choose to use Safe Expo or CLEAR, once the proof of vaccination is uploaded and verified, a green health pass will be issued. Your green health pass must be presented for inspection upon arrival at the meeting before access is granted.
This service is available to all attendees regardless of where you live.
Safe Expo offers a web-based portal for you to upload your proof of vaccination. Note: Safe Expo does not retain your proof of vaccination once it has been reviewed and approved.
Step 1: If you don’t already have an image of your vaccination document, make sure to take a clear photo and save it to the device you are using to complete this process.
Step 2: Navigate to the ASH vaccination verification upload portal and select Start.
Step 3: Enter your email address.
Step 4: Enter your name.
Step 5: Select “Upload Now” to get to the upload page and select “Upload Now” again.
Step 6: Select “Choose File” and navigate to the JPEG or PNG image of your vaccination documentation stored on your computer or device.
Step 7: Select the image file and click “Upload.” Note: JPEG and PNG are the only acceptable file formats for upload.
Step 8: Verify that your image has uploaded correctly and displays in the image preview box and select “Next.”
You will then be taken to a page indicating that your proof of vaccination has been uploaded. Your document will be reviewed within 2 business days. Once approved, you will receive an email notice with your green health pass PDF. You will need an electronic or paper copy of your green health pass PDF, along with a picture ID, when you arrive at the Georgia World Congress Center to pick up your registration badge.
If your green health pass PDF does not arrive via email confirmation in 1-2 business days, you may return to the portal and re-enter your email address to check on the status of your verification.
Need help? Contact Ambassador@SafeExpo.org for assistance.
Note: The approval email might get caught in your SPAM filter, so please check your SPAM folder if you have not received your confirmation. Your email will come from Ambassador@SafeExpo.org.
This service is available to attendees based in the U.S only.
Step 1: Enroll in/Sign in to CLEAR:
- Download the CLEAR app and tap “Get Started” on the white Health Pass tile.
- Select “Have a Code?” and enter ASHMEETING
- Tap “Enroll or verify you are already in CLEAR” to create an account or access your existing CLEAR member account
- New to CLEAR? When prompted, enter your email address, phone number, and have your government-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” and follow prompts to securely confirm your proof of vaccination.
Need help? Call 855-CLEAR-ME or contact email@example.com for assistance
Step 2: Before arriving at registration, open your completed green health pass
- Open the CLEAR app and tap on the white Your Pass tile.
- Confirm your identity with a quick selfie.
- Tap “Open Health Pass” to get your result. Green means you’re good to go!
Disclaimer: CLEAR will not share your specific answers to any questions with ASH. CLEAR may provide reporting to ASH on your usage of Health Pass related to the ASH annual meeting.
On-Site Safety Measures
Public health guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 continues to evolve, and ASH will base its on-site protocols on the latest guidance from the CDC in addition to local regulations in Atlanta.
Meeting rooms will be set up to accommodate those attendees who prefer more personal space as well as those who prefer to sit closer together, even if physical distancing is not legally mandated at the time of the meeting.
Even though the science now shows that COVID-19 transmission is unlikely to occur from touching surfaces touched by multiple persons (i.e., lecterns and internet stations), staff will clean these regularly to promote healthy sanitation overall.
The wearing of protective masks is required of all attendees, ASH staff, and convention center workers, regardless of whether or not it is required by law at the time of the meeting. Masks must be worn properly (covering both mouth and nose) at all times indoors, except as noted below. The indoor mask requirement applies to the convention center, shuttle buses, or anywhere an in-person ASH event is being held. Masks are not required outdoors.
Masks may be removed briefly in the following situations:
- When actively eating or drinking*
- When speaking at the lectern (as the distance between the speaker and audience is greater than 6 feet). Speakers should put their masks back on when not actively presenting (i.e., sitting at the head table on the dais).*
- When being photographed or interviewed on camera by registered media or ASH staff.*
*PLEASE NOTE: Attendees should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when unmasked in the above-mentioned situations
In-person attendees will be provided with several kits containing a disposable surgical mask, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer in the registration bag to use if they wish, and additional supplies will be available in bins placed throughout the meeting venue.
While surgical masks will be provided on site, attendees are welcome to bring their own mask of choice. Surgical, N95, and KN95 masks are strongly preferred. Well-fitting cloth masks are also acceptable. Gaiters, bandanas, and masks with exhalation valves will not be accepted.
Attendees who are not properly masked will be refused admittance to ASH sessions and events, and may have their badges revoked. Please see Centers for Disease Control guidance on masking.
Unlimited, complimentary COVID-19 testing will be available for those who experience symptoms on site and for travelers who must show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test in order to board their return flight. Testing will be performed by SafeExpo via testing stations within the convention center and hotels, so that attendees who are symptomatic do not need to return to the convention center to get tested (more information and hours can be found below). Annual meeting attendees are welcome and encouraged to test as often as they like. Reservations are not required, but attendees can register for an appointment window here.
On-site attendees must agree that if they become symptomatic they will immediately get tested for COVID-19 and cease participation in the meeting and all related events. Individuals who test positive will not be permitted to continue attending the meeting in person until a negative test is produced and must follow CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation. (See question below on “What happens if I test positive on site?” for more details.)
|ASH COVID-19 Testing Center Locations|
|Convention Center||Room A402, Building A, Level 4
Room B403, Building B, Level 4
Authority Boardroom, Building B, Level 4
Hall C2 Lobby, Building C, Level 1
|Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center||Walnut, North Tower, M3 Level|
|Hyatt Regency Atlanta||Executive Suite 222, Atrium Tower, Level 2|
|Westin Peachtree Plaza||Augusta H, Level 7|
|Testing Center Hours|
|Thursday, December 9||2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.|
|Friday, December 10||6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, December 11||6:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, December 12||6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|Monday, December 13||6:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|Tuesday, December 14||6:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.|
Participants are encouraged to test as frequently as they would like. For asymptomatic individuals, a rapid antigen test will be conducted, with results available within approximately 15 minutes. If the results are positive, a second, confirmatory test – a isothermal nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) – will automatically be administered, with results available in approximately 30 minutes. Attendees with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to proceed directly to one of the hotel testing sites outside the convention center for a NAAT test. As a molecular test, the NAAT test meets airline requirements for proof of negative COVID test. All tests are performed on site; they are not sent to an external lab.
No. ASH’s testing provider, Safe Expo, offers an optional online scheduling tool for anyone who wants to get tested on site and avoid waiting in line. Walk-ins are welcomed and will be tested on a first-come, first-served basis.
No. Attendees are welcome to take either a rapid antigen test or NAAT as often as necessary, with or without an appointment. There is no fee for the tests.
No. Advance testing is not required as all attendees must be fully vaccinated and wear protective masks during the meeting.
Attendees who test positive for COVID-19, as confirmed through a NAAT test, must follow CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation. They will not be allowed to attend sessions in person until a negative NAAT test can be produced, although they will still have access to the virtual platform. Staff on site will be available to provide assistance to individuals who test positive via a Quarantine Support Concierge. This assistance includes twice-daily wellness checks by phone, providing clarification on policies for isolating while on site, facilitating safe and comfortable quarantine arrangements, providing information on local health care options as needed, and assisting in making changes to travel arrangements.
Information on individuals who test positive, including the name of the individual testing positive, will be provided to staff overseeing the COVID-19 testing and response efforts. This will enable staff to follow up with these individuals to provide information on policies for isolating while on site, facilitate safe and comfortable quarantine arrangements, provide information on local health care options as needed, and assist in making changes to travel arrangements. ASH’s third-party testing provider, Safe Expo, will report positive test results to the Georgia Public Health Service as required by law. While aggregate information about the number of positive cases will be made available to other attendees, the identity of individuals who test positive will be kept confidential.
Unfortunately, neither Georgia nor Atlanta offers a contact-tracing app similar to those available in other regions. ASH will, however, make aggregate data available to attendees via a dashboard (also accessible through the annual meeting mobile app) about the number of positive cases reported at the meeting on a daily basis so they can make informed decisions about their participation. The identity of individuals who test positive will be kept confidential.
On-Site Quarantine Support and Travel Resources
ASH will offer a complimentary Quarantine Support Concierge service to assist any attendees who must quarantine while attending the meeting in Atlanta. Support will include:
- Twice-daily wellness phone calls to check on the individual.
- Assistance with modifying hotel arrangements in Atlanta to extend the check-out date to the end of the quarantine period. ASH has arranged for a special “quarantine room rate” of $139 per night with participating ASH hotels beginning on Tuesday.
- Assistance with modifying travel arrangements to return home after the quarantine period.
- Coordination with the hotel for the contactless delivery of water, food, beverages, and housekeeping supplies, since housekeeping service will cease.
- Coordination of contactless delivery of other items needed from non-hotel sources (i.e., pharmacy or grocery stores).
While ASH is taking numerous precautions to alleviate the risk to meeting attendees, the possibility of testing positive during the meeting, and therefore needing to quarantine in place for 14 days, may factor into the decision to attend. To help address these concerns, ASH has arranged with COVAC GLOBAL, a leading provider of medical evacuation services, to offer in-person attendees the option to purchase its COVID-19 Evacuation and Repatriation service. For those who purchase this service in advance, COVAC GLOBAL will arrange for medical transport – via private jet – back to your home to complete your quarantine at no additional expense, should you be diagnosed with COVID-19 while at the meeting in Atlanta. ASH has agreed to subsidize the cost so attendees can access to this service at a greatly reduced price of only $400.
International attendees should always check current travel restrictions to the U.S. on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, before planning your travel, to make sure you will be able to enter the U.S. In addition, please monitor local regulations at home to ensure that you will be able to return from the U.S.
63rd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition:
- Information on health and safety procedures for events hosted in Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA - https://www.gwcca.org/returnplan.
- Timely updates and information on health and safety procedures when traveling to and while in Atlanta, GA - https://discoveratlanta.com/coronavirus/.
ASH encourages attendees to visit their hotel’s website or connecting with a hotel representative for the most up-to-date health and safety information for individual hotels.
Updated on: Dec 05 2021