#AWP23 Health & Safety Policy

August 15, 2022

AWP continues to monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19 in relation to large gatherings. We will provide updates as guidance from the CDC, state, and local public health recommendations change. AWP asks all attendees to follow regulations and to make informed choices about travel, conducting yourself onsite, and your engagement with external venues and groups while in Seattle.

Our goal is to host a safe and valuable conference for the AWP community. We recognize that the situation may evolve and change as we approach March. Please check back to this webpage for updates.

AWP will mirror the COVID-19 precautions of Seattle, King County, and Washington State. A survey of past attendees in July 2022 indicated that 65% of respondents supported the conference following regional protocol. 

Recent Health & Safety Updates:

Latest guidance from the city of Seattle

Latest guidance from King County, Washington

Latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Vaccination:

AWP strongly encourages all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and boosted as recommended. At this time, per national and regional guidelines for large gatherings, vaccinations are not required.

Masking:

AWP encourages mask-wearing in all conference spaces. At this time, per national and regional guidelines for large gatherings, mask-wearing is encouraged but not required.

Travel:

AWP recommends that all attendees, exhibitors, AWP staff, and board comply with all travel guidelines issued by the CDC when traveling to Seattle, Washington.

Virtual Registration:
For those who are not comfortable attending in-person, AWP offers a virtual-only registration at a reduced rate. The virtual-only registration includes on-demand access to many pre-recorded panel discussions and readings and select live-streamed events from the in-person conference. Virtual registrants can expect over fifty hours of content between pre-recorded & live events.

Venues:

Seattle Convention Center holds a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, the global standard for safe venues.

·      More than 100 hand sanitizer stations are set up throughout the facility

·      Cleaning products utilized are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved for use against infectious agents

·      Staff frequently cleans and disinfects high-touch surfaces, and

·      Staff disinfects meeting rooms to GBAC standards daily

Marriott properties, including the Sheraton Grand Seattle, follow its Commitment to Clean guidance. Some measures Marriott is taking include:

  • Several enhancements to cleaning practices throughout the property and in guest rooms. Every guest room is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival. Daily housekeeping refresh service is currently being reactivated, but guests have the opportunity to decline service if preferred. 
  • Enhanced Public Space Cleaning: Sheraton has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection, particularly in areas with high traffic, including restrooms, elevators, and escalators, as well as provided more hand sanitizing stations.
  • Room Amenities: Disinfectant wipes are available upon request.
  • Meeting Space: Sheraton continues to provide hand sanitizing stations in public areas and meeting rooms. 
  • Marriott Bonvoy App offers additional options such as Mobile Check-In/Check-Out with Mobile Key, Mobile Dining, and Mobile Guest Requests.

COVID-19 Liability Waiver:

While we at AWP are doing all we can to reduce risk for onsite attendance, AWP cannot guarantee there is no risk of contracting COVID-19 while attending #AWP23. All in-person attendees must agree to the following liability waiver, included in the Attendee Terms & Conditions.

The attendee assumes all risks and accepts sole responsibility for any injury (including, but not limited to: personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense of any kind that the attendee may experience or incur in connection with attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair. Attendee hereby releases, covenants not to sue, discharges, and holds harmless the AWP Conference & Bookfair, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from any such claims, including all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs, or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto.

Specifically relating to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the attendee acknowledges the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assumes the risk of exposure or infection by attending the AWP Conference & Bookfair and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, disability, and/or death to the attendee. Attendee understands that the risk of exposure to or infection by COVID-19 at the AWP Conference & Bookfair may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of others who may attend the event, their families, colleagues, or others with whom they may have contact. Accordingly, the attendee understands and agrees that this release includes any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of the AWP, its employees, agents, and representatives, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation in the AWP Conference & Bookfair.

In addition to all other rules and regulations relating to the attendee’s attendance at the AWP Conference & Bookfair, the attendee agrees to comply with all COVID-related procedures that may be implemented by AWP, the Seattle Convention Center, and the Seattle Grand Sheraton, including, but not limited to, mask-wearing and social distancing requirements and restrictions on certain activities that carry higher COVID-related risk, in order to protect as much as possible the health and safety of all Conference attendees.

Refunds:

Refunds for all #AWP23 purchases are nonrefundable, including registration, bookfair, and reception sales. If you are unsure of whether you would like to attend the conference, we encourage you to wait to purchase in case your plans change.

We have again extended the early bird rate this year until November 22 to give attendees more time to decide whether they would like to attend at the lowest cost.

Registration may be transferred to another individual provided this individual is not already registered, the registration is used for the same conference, and the individual qualifies for the type of registration being transferred. For example, a student registration can only be transferred to another student. For more information about registration transfers, please contact registration@awpwriter.org.

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