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February 4, 2022
It’s official—the 2022 APS March Meeting will be held live in Chicago with many sessions available online as well. The APS COVID-19 Task Force made the decision based on the most recent CDC guidelines and in consultation with public health experts. Proof of vaccination, a negative test result, and wearing a high-quality facemask will be required.
The Task Force, which includes members of the Board, the Presidential Line, and senior APS staff, also decided to require attendees to obtain a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine if they are eligible for one.
“The health and safety of our community is our top priority,” says APS Director of Meetings Hunter Clemens. “With such a large gathering of people from all over the world, we also have a responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We know that being fully vaccinated and up to date on those vaccines is our best defense when combined with other public health measures like masking.”
Being fully vaccinated—having completed the primary series of an approved vaccine—has been a requirement since APS resumed in-person events last fall with the annual meetings of the Divisions of Plasma Physics (DPP) and Fluid Dynamics (DFD). The addition of the booster aligns with the CDC’s guidance of being up to date on one’s vaccinations.
APS CEO Jonathan Bagger convened the Task Force in early August 2021 to evaluate the feasibility of holding safe in-person meetings during the pandemic. The group works closely with an independent consulting firm specializing in epidemiology and both occupational and public health. Together, they continuously monitor the evolving state of the pandemic to make evidence-based decisions about in-person gatherings.
Bagger recently introduced a similar vaccination requirement for APS staff as a condition of employment.
“As an organization that values the Scientific Method, we know that vaccination is the surest way to help end the pandemic and protect ourselves and each other from severe illness,” he says.
Clemens adds that these requirements will be in place for all APS meetings until further notice. The APS Council also adopted a recommendation late last year that all APS meetings must have a virtual component to ensure they are accessible to those who are unable to travel or prefer the online format.
“I am thrilled that we will be able to meet face-to-face in March,” says APS President Frances Hellman. “But the virtual component will be an important part of APS meetings going forward to ensure that we make our meetings as inclusive as possible.”
Detailed information about the health and safety requirements is available on the March Meeting website.