COVID-19 Information and Helpful Resources

Current Status: 10/08/21

If you plan on attending the in-person event in Philadelphia, please be advised of the following:

  • EDUCAUSE is requiring all registrants to be vaccinated prior to participating in the in-person conference.
  • Attendees who cannot provide proof of vaccination will need to test negative for COVID-19 prior to participating in conference activities.
  • Regardless of vaccination status, all event staff and participants/attendees are required to wear masks. Masks will be available on-site if you need one.

See below for details.

Please Note: The COVID-19 situation in the United States is fluid, and we continue to monitor developments that may impact attendees for our 2021 Annual Conference. As such, we will continue to update the safety precautions outlined below as appropriate to minimize risks to conference attendees and staff. In order to stay current, check this page periodically leading up to the conference.

EDUCAUSE is requiring all registrants to be fully vaccinated* prior to participating in the in-person conference. We are working with a third-party organization regarding the process and logistics for vaccination documentation. More information will be made available shortly.

Attendees who cannot show proof of vaccination will need to provide proof of a recent** negative COVID-19 PCR test or a negative clinician-delivered*** or proctored**** Antigen test (results from rapid antigen self-tests will not be accepted) prior to participating in the conference.

These requirements are consistent with a growing trend for conferences and other events/activities.

*Fully vaccinated status is defined as having received the last required dose of a CDC or WHO recognized COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 weeks before the start date of the conference

**PCR test results should be within the last 72 hours, Antigen test results should be within the last 48 hours

***A clinician-delivered test is one administered by a licensed medical professional. Examples include in-person lab testing facilities, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices

****A proctored antigen test can be administered either in-person in one of the facilities noted above or at home via a telehealth service. Examples of the telehealth option include the Abbott BinaxNow™ Ag Card Home Test paired with eMed’s NAVICA app, and the ellume COVID Test Kit paired with an Azova video observation session (sold separately). This is not a comprehensive list of proctored testing options nor do we endorse either product listed. We recommend checking with your local health care provider to determine the option that works best for you.

Attendees who are fully vaccinated* do not need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before participating in conference activities. Attendees who cannot show proof of vaccination will need to provide proof of a recent** negative COVID-19 PCR test or a negative clinician-delivered*** or proctored**** Antigen test (results from rapid antigen self-tests will not be accepted) prior to participating in the conference. We recommend carefully planning ahead to attendees who opt to show proof of a negative test. You should schedule your PCR test on Saturday 10/23 if you plan to pick up your badge on Tuesday 10/26. Most PCR tests aren’t available for lab work on Sundays, so you might consider a proctored/clinician-delivered antigen test as an alternative.

*Fully vaccinated status is defined as having received the last required dose of a CDC or WHO recognized COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 weeks before the start date of the conference

**PCR test results should be within the last 72 hours, Antigen test results should be within the last 48 hours

***A clinician-delivered test is one administered by a licensed medical professional. Examples include in-person lab testing facilities, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices

****A proctored antigen test can be administered either in-person in one of the facilities noted above or at home via a telehealth service. Examples of the telehealth option include the Abbott BinaxNow™ Ag Card Home Test paired with eMed’s NAVICA app, and the ellume COVID Test Kit paired with an Azova video observation session (sold separately). This is not a comprehensive list of proctored testing options nor do we endorse either product listed. We recommend checking with your local health care provider to determine the option that works best for you.

Attendees who arrive at the registration desk for badge pickup who do not have proof of vaccination or a qualified negative test will have the option for on-site testing administered through medical technician in the Convention Center Hall A Concourse. We recommend this only as a backup option, as it will cause a delay in your registration/badge pick up and you will also be responsible for the cost of the test (estimated at $85). The City of Philadelphia maintains a list of permanent and pop up COVID testing sites, which could be a local alternative to on-site testing at the Convention Center. Note some of these providers require appointments and pre-enrollment, so please plan ahead.

Please be prepared to present a physical card/test result on-site or submit a digital copy of your vaccination or negative test status in advance. More information about the specifics of vaccination and testing verification options will be available shortly.

EDUCAUSE staff participating in the in-person event will be vaccinated. In addition, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and all major vendors have informed us that their staff will be required to be vaccinated prior to participation in the event.

Regardless of vaccination status, all event staff and participants/attendees are required to wear masks. This is in accordance with the current City of Philadelphia's mask requirement for indoor businesses and events. We strongly encourage attendees to bring their own masks that cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly against the sides of the face, and can be worn comfortably all day.

Masks will be available on-site if you need one. Attendees who cannot wear masks due to a health condition should consult a medical professional about possible alternatives. Attendees will be reminded to wear a proper-fitting mask by event personnel.

We also recommend that attendees wear masks while traveling to and from the event and follow COVID-safe practices in the weeks leading up to the event. If you've engaged in activities or behaviors that put you at high risk for COVID-19, we kindly ask that you join us for the online Annual Conference experience.

Exceptions to the mask policy are limited to actively eating or drinking while seated or standing in a designated area, or when presenting and you can socially distance yourself from other attendees.

We are building the event to accomodate 4,000 attendees to join us in Philadelphia and 1,000 attendees to join us online. We understand that given the current circumstances, we might have fewer than expected attendees on-site and more than expected online, and we are fully prepared to modify the experiences appropriately. Regardless of the size of the conference, we are committed to providing a top-notch experience for those who attend. Our last in-person conference in Chicago (October 2019) had almost 9,000 attendees, so this is a unique opportunity to host a more intimate in-person event.

Currently, there are no social distancing mandates in the city of Philadelphia. However, we are asking that attendees be mindful of fellow attendees who may be less comfortable with close contact or sharing spaces. Attendees will have the option to add stickers to their badge to indicate their comfort level for close contact.

We have designed a conference space that allows attendees to spread out to their level of comfort, and we encourage attendees to take advantage of the ample space available. Attendees can make use of the wider aisles in the exhibit hall, choose from several wide-set seating options in session rooms, or practice social distancing while walking through the convention center.

The conference programming has been scheduled to allow for 30 minutes between each session in order to avoid bottleneck situations during ingress and egress from rooms. This also allows the convention center staff to clean and sanitize each room before the next session begins.

We will widely distribute and showcase pandemic etiquette messaging, letting attendees know about protocols such as whether it is okay not to handshake or hug, reminding attendees to wash or sanitize hands often, and to always respect others' personal space. This will include signage to raise awareness about new and alternative business meeting etiquette, as well as badge sticker options to display your personal preferences for how other attendees should expect to engage with you.

Masks will be available on-site if you need one, and attendees will be reminded to wear a proper-fitting mask by event personnel. Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout the conference space and disposable disinfectant cloths such as Lysol or Clorox wipes will be available to wipe down shared space and equipment.

In addition to vaccination/negative COVID-19 test and mask requirements as set forth by the City of Philadelphia, EDUCAUSE and the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) are committed to the following cleaning and sanitization practices:

  • PCC staff will clean and sanitize all rooms and common areas at regular intervals, with high-traffic areas being sanitized hourly.
  • A "Touch free" on-site registration option (simply scan the QR code from your email confirmation) has been made available for attendees, and registration/badge pick-up sites will be available in at either the Marriott lobby or the Bridge, 200 Level, of the convention center.
  • We have created a clean presentation experience for speakers. Speakers will upload presentations to the cloud before the event so that personal computers will not need to be connected. Mics, lecterns, computer equipment, and chairs will be sanitized between sessions. Sessions with multiple speakers will have the option to spread out on stage.
  • The Pennsylvania Convention Center has invested heavily in advanced safety and sanitization protocols over the past year. They are Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accredited, and they have launched a Venue Shield environmental hygiene program. These protocols and improvements include:
    • HVAC air quality and ventilation upgrades
    • UV light sanitization of escalator rails
    • Contactless point-of-sale systems for on-site food vendors
    • Staff cleaning rooms and common space
    • Hand-sanitizing stations

Attendees who do not have proof of vaccination or a qualified negative test will have the option for on-site testing administered through a medical technician in the Convention Center Hall A Concourse. We recommend this only as a backup option, as it will cause a delay in your registration/badge pick up and you will also be responsible for the cost of the test (estimated at $85).

The City of Philadelphia maintains a list of permanent and pop up COVID testing sites, which could be a local alternative to on-site testing at the Convention Center. Note some of these providers require appointments and pre-enrollment, so please plan ahead. If you feel ill or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 while on-site, we want you to know where to go, how to get tested, and what to do if you test positive. We are working with our Philadelphia partners to create the resources you need to seek medical advice or treatment while in Philadelphia.

We are working with the catering and food service units in Philadelphia to implement enhanced food safety protocols. These include touch-free pay options and reduced contact of common goods at food venues.

We have built in a two-hour "on your own" lunch break for attendees to find a suitable meal on their own—in your room, with a trusted circle of colleagues, or appropriately distanced in a common area or restaurant.

Masks may be removed for eating and drinking ONLY while sitting or standing at a table. Designated tables exist near where food and beverage are served.

The deadline for full refunds has passed (September 30). Individual cancelations received on or before September 30 received a full refund.* After September 30, those who are unable to travel will have full access to the online conference. To request a cancelation and refund for the difference between the in-person and online event fees, please send an email to [email protected]

*No refunds will be issued for the bulk package. Those who redeem a promo code purchased as part of this package may cancel, but a refund will not be issued. Recipients are encouraged to find another participant within their institution or corporation to redeem this promo code on their behalf.

In the unfortunate event of a cancellation, all attendees registered for the conference in Philadelphia will automatically have access to the EDUCAUSE online experience, scheduled to take place during the same time. EDUCAUSE will refund the difference between the in-person and online event fees. Bulk registrations are not refundable.

If EDUCAUSE cancels the in-person event either before or during the live conference dates, attendees will be automatically shifted to the online event and receive a refund for the difference between the in-person and online event fees. EDUCAUSE is not able to reimburse or refund for hotel, transportation, and other expenses associated with the conference. Attendees will need to negotiate these refunds individually with their specific airline and hotel or with their trip insurance provider.

We have created a clean presentation experience for speakers. Speakers will upload presentations to the cloud before the event so that personal computers will not need to be connected. Mics, lecterns, computer equipment, and chairs will be sanitized between sessions. Sessions with multiple speakers will have the option to spread out on stage. Solo presenters will not likely have to wear masks when speaking, but panelists may choose to keep on masks if they cannot properly socially distance.

If you must change your status from in-person to online only (or vice versa), please let us know ASAP (email [email protected]). We are no longer able to accommodate shifts from one format to another at this late date, but invite you to enjoy the program as an attendee if not a speaker this year.

In the event that EDUCAUSE cancels the Annual Conference, EDUCAUSE will offer the opportunity for participating companies to receive a refund, apply those funds to the EDUCAUSE 2022 Annual Conference, or repurpose those funds into additional opportunities, such as the new Community Platform experience. This does not apply to any expenses (travel, hotel, booth build-out, etc.) that a company may have incurred outside the specific participation that was purchased from EDUCAUSE.

Unlike last year, our online conference is already planned and accepting registrations, and based on last year's success we are confident that this will be an exceptional option. If we move to online-only, we would work to create alternate ways for you to connect with members in the months that follow.

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