Expectations and Requirements for Participation at APTA CSM
We are excited to welcome our members and guests to APTA's Combined Sections Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 2-5, 2022. The APTA Board of Directors asks for your help to promote the safety of all participants at APTA CSM, which will be operated consistent with CDC guidance related to COVID-19.
As of Jan. 29, these are our expectations for participation. No refunds will be provided to those who fail to comply with these requirements and are prohibited to participate.
Proof of vaccine or negative test: In order for participants to pick up their required badge, attendees must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of registration.
Proof of vaccine: Boosters are encouraged, consistent with CDC guidance, however the CDC considers people fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Attendees received an email on Jan. 4, 2022, with instructions on how to provide proof of vaccination in advance of the conference via the CLEAR Health Pass. Onsite manual review of vaccination status will be available, however use of CLEAR is strongly encouraged to reduce waiting times for everyone. Attendees must submit information via CLEAR by Jan. 18 to receive their badge by mail and avoid standing in line at registration in San Antonio. If you didn't receive your badge by mail, you should still use CLEAR as that will improve the onsite registration experience: anyone showing their CLEAR health pass will be able to enter an express line to get their badge at on-site registration. If not using CLEAR, a photo of your vaccination card on your phone is acceptable if providing proof onsite.
Proof of negative test: Those showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test instead of proof of vaccination are responsible for finding a testing facility and getting tested. Any COVID-19 diagnostic test results from a testing facility are acceptable (PCR isn’t required, for example) but self-test results or antibody test results won’t be accepted as proof of a negative test at APTA CSM. Please bring a physician's note clearing you for participation if you fail to meet the above criteria due to a recent case of COVID-19.
COVID-19 tests: Getting a COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status, is a great way to support a healthy The HHS website includes information about how to get a free COVID-19 test. A limited supply of self-tests will be available at our wellness station near on-site registration, but results from these tests cannot be used as proof of a negative test to receive your registration materials at the start of APTA CSM.
Personal responsibility (when to remove yourself from participation): Attendees should immediately remove themselves from participation if testing positive or simply exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. If you learn you were in "close contact" with an individual (less than 6 feet away for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours) who is positive for COVID-19, please follow the CDC's recommended protocols for testing and potential quarantine based on vaccination status. Scroll down for detailed instructions on what to do if you need to remove yourself from participation.
Masks: Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be required indoors, except when speaking at a microphone as part of event proceedings or when in the act of eating or drinking.
Food and drink: Food and beverage will be prohibited inside session rooms to ensure masking. The only exception is for speakers, who may be unmasked during their presentation.
The above approach is consistent with current CDC guidance. We thank you for your critical partnership to enable everyone to have a healthy experience.
Removing Yourself From Participation Due to COVID-19
Attendees should immediately remove themselves from participation if testing positive or simply exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
If you learn you were in "close contact" with an individual (less than 6 feet away for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours) who is positive for COVID-19, please follow the CDC's recommended protocols for testing and potential quarantine based on vaccination status.
In the event COVID-19 prevents you from completing your participation at APTA CSM due to the above expectations, please do the following:
- Isolate: Please isolate in the location where you are staying if you are symptomatic, test positive, or believe you should quarantine based on the CDC’s protocols related to “close contact” with someone who is positive for COVID-19.
- Get tested: While minimizing your exposure to others, find a testing facility and get tested. (Note: APTA has a limited numbers of self-tests available at our health and wellness station in the convention center, outside of registration. It will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 31, and then be open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Saturday, Feb. 5. It will be operated by Rock Valley Health.)
- Contact anyone you know who you were in “close contact” with: CDC defines “close contact” as less than 6 feet away for at least 15 minutes over 24 hours. If you know the contact information of peers who you were in close contact with, please contact them directly and inform them of your health status. Due to the size of APTA CSM, APTA cannot perform detailed contact tracing.
- Determine when you are safe to travel and adjust your plans: CDC travel guidance varies based on your symptoms and vaccine status. (Also see the “When does the clock start on the 5 days of isolation or quarantine?” guidance on this page from the CDC.) If you reserved your housing through APTA (via MCI) and need to extend the reservation, contact Mayra Osorio of MCI, APTA CSM’s housing provider, by phone at 469-975-2580. Contact your hotel or reservation service directly if you didn’t use MCI to book your reservation. Similarly, contact your airline (or other travel provider) if you need to change your return travel.
- Contact MCI if you need to adjust your APTA CSM registration: Through, Feb. 5, 2022, registrants for the in-person APTA CSM in San Antonio can seek a COVID-19 waiver to do one of the following: 1) Shift their participation to APTA CSM 2022 On-Demand with the opportunity to gain CEUs or 2) defer their in-person registration to APTA CSM 2023 in San Diego. This option closed on Feb. 5 and is no longer available.
- Fill our our three-question self-report form: Your responses won't be shared. This data will be used to track trends only. Launch the self-report form. (Please fill out this form only once.)
Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 and APTA CSM 2022
What should I do if I didn't receive my registration badge by mail?
Registered attendees who uploaded their proof of vaccination via the CLEAR app by Jan. 18 had their badge mailed to them. If you didn't upload your informtion to CLEAR by Jan. 18, or if you did but haven't received your badge by mail prior to leaving for the conference, you can get it at the convention center. Use of the CLEAR app will significantly improve the efficiency of badge pick-up in San Antonio.
Do APTA's COVID-19 expectations and requirements for participation conflict with Texas law?
No. APTA's above requirements aren't in conflict with Texas law, including the Texas governor's executive order that prohibits compelling the COVID-19 vaccine against a person's objections.
Will venue staff follow APTA's COVID-19 expectations and requirements?
APTA staff working at APTA CSM are required to be vaccinated and comply with the above expectations and requirements. Staff employed by the various San Antonio venues (including the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and participating hotels) cannot be mandated to be vaccinated, however they are required to wear masks. As of January 22, 90% of vaccine-eligible people in Bexar County had received at least one vaccine dose and 73% are fully vaccinated.
Will seating in San Antonio be distanced?
No. With more than 10,000 attendees expected onsite, distancing in session rooms or throughout the conference experience isn't possible, nor is distancing a CDC requirement.
Is in-person attendance in San Antonio required to participate in APTA CSM?
No. There are three options to participate in APTA CSM as an attendee:
In-person: Attend in person, Feb. 2-5, with the ability to gain up to 1.8 CEUs (18 contact hours) and receive free access to the on-demand content in March (without additional CEUs).
On-demand (virtual) with CEUs: Experience approximately one-third of the APTA CSM program on-demand in March. Given the state of the pandemic, effective Jan. 21 APTA has increased available on-demand CEUs to 1.8 (18 contact hours), up from the original 1.2 (12 contact hours). Succesful completion of related post-tests is required, and all CEUs must be earned in the March 1-31 virtual conference window.
On-demand (virtual) without CEUs: Experience approximately one-third of the APTA CSM program on-demand in March without CEUs at a discounted rate.
See the APTA CSM rates and registration page for more information.
- Can I get a refund if unable to participate in APTA CSM due to COVID-19?
The cancellation deadline passed on Jan. 3, 2022. Per the cancellation policy outlined on the rates and registration page, there will be no refunds for no-shows or cancellations. However, APTA’s expectations and requirements for participation instruct registrants who test positive or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 to remove themselves from participation (see above). Also, some registrants may be prevented from traveling due to employer restrictions implemented after the cancellation deadline. Recognizing this, through Feb. 5, 2022, APTA CSM registrants who missed the cancellation have the following options through a COVID-19 waiver process: 1) Shift their participation to APTA CSM 2022 On-Demand with the opportunity to gain CEUs or 2) defer their in-person registration to APTA CSM 2023 in San Diego. This process doesn't apply to speakers or exhibitors (see below for speaker and exhibitor info). This option closed on Feb. 5 and is no longer available.
- Will APTA prohibit participation for those who fail to comply with these COVID-19 expectations and requirements?
Yes. Participant badges are required, demonstrating proof of vaccination or a negative test. Those with badges who refuse to comply with mask or food/drink requirements will have their registration revoked. No refunds will be provided to those who fail to comply with our COVID-19 expectations and requirements and, as a result, are prohibited to participate.
- Do speakers and poster presenters need to attend in person?
Yes. The in-person attendee experience depends on in-person participation by accepted speakers and poster presenters. Speakers and poster presenters are responsible for discussing any attendance challenges with their section program chair to determine if the session needs to be cancelled or if speakers can be substituted.
- Do exhibitors need to attend in person?
Yes. The in-exhibit hall experience depends on in-person participation by accepted exhibitors. Exhibitors with questions should contact Julie Hilgenberg or Meredith Turner. Please note that the exhibitor cancellation deadline outlined in the exhibitor contract has passed, so there will be no refund or credit offered to exhibitors who cancel at this time.