Safety & Health Information

Safety & Health Information

The AAFP has taken preventive measures to reduce the spread of communicable disease at our upcoming 2021 Annual Conference. We are collaborating extensively with the conference venues to ensure that precautions will be in place for this in-person meeting. The health and safety of all attendees is our top priority. As of August 2021, attendees will be required to wear masks at the conference.

During this difficult and uncharted time, we ask for respect and professional courtesy. Everyone has different comfort levels and we appreciate that you honor everyone’s personal space and interaction preferences.

What You Should Know

  • Masks will be required at the conference in the AAFP event space.
  • The quantity of seats at meal tables will be limited. Seating during sessions will be spaced out to allow for distancing.
  • A Recharge Room will be provided for the comfort of attendees – see below for more details.
  • Disposable face masks will be available at the Registration Counters.
  • If you have any questions or concerns onsite, please speak with an AAFP staff member.
  • The Convention Center does have the ability to check temperatures. Their cleaning procedures are below.
  • We ask for respect and professional courtesy, and if you are not feeling well, please stay away from all events.
  • The AAFP has the right and duty to restrict access to anyone exhibiting the symptoms noted below or not following conference guidelines.
  • All attendees are required to agree to the Waiver relating to COVID-19 when registering for the conference.

Masks at the Conference
Masks are required at the 2021 AAFP Conference in the entire meeting space. Masks should cover your nose and mouth, fit snugly against the side of your face, and be secured under your chin. Anyone who does not comply will be asked to leave the event. You can find disposable face masks at the Registration Counters if you need more.

Symptoms & Staying Home
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider to get tested and stay home. Please do not attend the AAFP Conference if you are experiencing any of these symptoms: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or fatigue.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms within 14 days of the start of the AAFP Conference, have come into contact with someone who tested positive, or test positive for COVID-19, please stay home and contact the AAFP at [email protected].

If you do not feel well, please do not enter the conference space. If you develop symptoms while at the Conference, please discontinue your attendance at the meeting and immediately self-quarantine except to get medical advice and care. If you are not feeling well, please join us on the virtual platform.

Recharge Room
This is a designated room in the Convention Center for those that need a break. Attendees can use this space to take a break or eat/drink by yourself in order to take off your mask and not be close to others. To accommodate everyone’s comfort level, this space will provide tables spaced more than 6 feet apart with only one chair at each table to ensure appropriate social distancing. Visit the AAFP Recharge Room located in room 131A-C. The maximum capacity for this room will be posted outside the doors. If you are part of a family cohort, you are permitted to sit with one another.

Interaction and Best Practices

  • Participants are asked to utilize a “no handshake” policy and instead utilize an elbow tap if you are so inclined. Even if your smile isn’t visible, it can usually be seen in your eyes (‘smeyes’) or heard in the tone of your voice.
  • All participants are asked to practice social distancing when interacting with others.
  • You are strongly encouraged to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when unable.

Meals and Receptions

  • Seating for meals will include limited chairs at each table. Participants may not remove their mask and walk around to eat.
  • To ensure food safety, most meals will not be served buffet-style. Instead, food options will be served in individually boxed containers or will be served by an attendant behind a plexiglass divider.
  • Disposable flatware, napkins, and plates will be utilized. Products made of renewable, recycled content will be used where possible. Personal consumption condiments will be utilized. Water stations and coolers will be eliminated and touchless water bottle refill stations are located throughout the facility.

Ballroom Seating

  • Majority of seating for the conference will be classroom style to allow for social distancing between chairs. If seating is provided without tables, the chairs may be grouped in a set of three and only one individual should be seated in a group of three.
  • Speakers will be permitted to remove their masks while speaking if they maintain distance and do not walk near the audience while presenting.

The hotel facilities will be marking the floors to ensure 6-foot social distancing. Masks are strongly recommended, but do not have to be worn during Yoga activity as long as you maintain at least 6 feet apart.

Cleaning Procedures & Removing Touch Points
We are pleased to share that the convention facilities went through the multi-step process to become a GBAC STAR™ Accredited Facility. The Convention Center achieved this accreditation after demonstrating compliance with the program’s twenty elements and have implemented them in their daily practices.

The Convention Center is making sure to engage in a process of constant cleaning and disinfecting as well as removing as many touchpoints as possible. A few of the many steps they are taking include having people clean rooms after each use, doors stand open on their own, constant cleaning high touch points (such as handrails, door handles, and elevator buttons), touchless hydration stations, open exterior doors, and “foot handles” for touchless entry and exit in bathrooms. As guests navigate throughout the Convention Center, they will see frequent reminders to wash their hands and take protective measures. Hand sanitizer stations will also be liberally dispersed throughout the building. They also have a two-filter HVAC system that is self-regulated to bring in as much fresh air as possible and the filters are being continually monitored and replaced. Both conference hotels have made a Commitment to Clean including increasing the frequency of cleaning and contactless check-in. The Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel has replaced all guest room filters as of May 2021.

Aventura Catering Health & Safety Protocols (Phoenix Convention Center Catering Company)
Convention Center and catering company staff will all wear masks.

The Clean Team Program

  • Areas, equipment and utensils to be cleaned on a high frequency throughout each day
  • Designated employees are responsible for specific cleaning
  • Cleaning and disinfecting is with products specifically EPA approved
  • Increased frequency of cleaning, disinfecting, inspection, and monitoring of equipment and records on a daily basis
  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize food and beverage facilities daily
  • Follow appropriate procedures to ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing of all areas and equipment
  • Utilize the list of high touch point areas to be addressed on a daily basis
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) — such as slip-resistant shoes and face mask — is used by employees every day as part of Aventura’s normal operations and employee job duties. Install sanitizing units in high-traffic areas for both guests and employees, such as at condiment carts, near concessions stands, portables, and food stations.

Enhanced Employee Training

  • Additional health policy and procedures for all staff including hand washing and proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Frequent handwashing every 15 minutes, and at the beginning and at the end of each shift and break, after using the restroom, sneezing, touching their face, cleaning, eating, or drinking
  • Enhanced education and training to ensure proper food safety and handling
  • COVID-19 daily pre-shift training for all food and beverage staff

Buffet Service
A shift from the buffet presentation of food and serviceware to individually wrapped, covered or prepared items provides the highest level of sanitation and ensures minimum touch points among guests. Hot food is served by an attendant behind a sneeze guard. Cold and ambient food is served from the buffet line, served individually and presented as a Market experience. Drinks are all pre-packaged self-serve or served by attendant.

Serviceware for Buffets, Stations & Breaks
Napkins, plates, and utensils set out for self-serve use will be discontinued. All efforts will be made to use the most sustainable disposable products available. Products made of renewable materials, such as paper and fiber along with products made of recycled content will be used where possible

  • All snacks will be served individually packaged or served by attendant
  • All beverages to be served by attendant or prepackaged
  • Disposable flatware and napkin in wrapped sleeve
  • Napkins are individually wrapped with utensils
  • Sanitation station provided to guests near each buffet station
  • Linen, China and Glassware will be temporarily discontinued for Buffets

Open-air communal condiment containers will be discontinued. Personal-consumption packets will be utilized.

  • Bulk water stations and water coolers eliminated unless served by attendant
  • Touchless water bottle refill stations are located throughout the facility
  • Cold and ambient food is served in closed containers
  • Personal-consumption condiments are served on request
  • Food stations are served by attendant behind sneeze guard

Post Event Communication
If within two weeks of attending the AAFP Conference you suspect you are ill with COVID-19 and/or test positive, please notify us immediately at [email protected].

For any questions, please contact [email protected].