WEFTEC announces new health and safety measures, to require proof of vaccination

Anyone attending WEFTEC in October will be required to show proof of vaccination or provide the results of a negative COVID-19 test from within 48 hours of the time of arrival at registration. The new requirements are in addition to the City of Chicago’s current indoor mask mandate.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) announced the new health and safety measures in an update and video from executive director Walt Marlowe. The 2021 WEFTEC show is scheduled for Oct. 16-20 in Chicago at McCormick Place, with the exhibit hall open Oct. 18-20.

Every individual who participates in WEFTEC 2021 in Chicago will be required to:

  1. Provide proof they are either fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtained a negative COVID-19 test result within 48-hours of arriving at registration to pickup their badge to gain entry to the conference and exhibition.
  2. Wear a well-fitting, properly positioned face mask when visiting the exhibition, attending sessions and meetings, riding shuttle buses, and engaging with other participants at WEFTEC functions.

More on WEFTEC health and safety protocols: weftec.org/attend/health-and-wellbeing.

The update from WEF reads in part:

The situation with COVID-19 and the variants is constantly changing. The one thing that has not changed is the Water Environment Federation’s commitment to the health and safety of our members and the broader water sector.

Because of this unwavering commitment, every individual who attends WEFTEC 2021 in Chicago will be required to provide either proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or results of a negative test for COVID-19 obtained no more than 48 hours before arrival at registration to pick up credentials. These new requirements are in addition to the City of Chicago’s current indoor mask mandate.

We are taking the additional step of requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to further prioritize the health of every participant at WEFTEC. This decision also follows the rapidly growing trend of requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test result at events such as conferences.

Many of the people who attend WEFTEC serve vital roles in protecting public health in their communities. They come to WEFTEC to connect with other experts, find solutions, learn best practices, and bring information home. This requirement for COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result provides an extra measure of assurance that we are doing all we can to protect everyone at WEFTEC and the communities to which participants return.

WEF has partnered with Safe Expo to manage the verification process. WEFTEC participants will be asked to upload images of health authority-issued vaccination records to a secured portal or bring proof of a negative COVID test to be verified on site. Everyone is strongly encouraged to upload proof of vaccination in advance of arriving at McCormick Place in Chicago. No one will be allowed to pick up registration materials or participate in the event without this verification or a negative test result.

Here’s a link to the verification portal.

WEF said it will follow COVID-19 guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and requirements of state and local health authorities that are in place at the time of WEFTEC. The organization said it is working closely with the City of Chicago and McCormick Place to provide a safe and comfortable experience for WEFTEC attendees. It added McCormick Place has enhanced its air quality and cleaning procedures and has received multiple accreditations for maintaining a safe and hygienic environment.

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