Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
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ISCB Health and Safety Protocols

We encourage you to monitor this page to stay abreast of the latest updates on health and safety protocols for ISCB conferences. ISCB reserves the right to alter these protocols as appropriate at any time.

The safety of conference participants is ISCB’s top priority. Participants should be aware that, while ISCB will make every effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on-site, it is possible that attendees will come in contact with people in airports, hotels, or around the conference facility who could potentially carry the virus, which is why ISCB is recommending attendees for their own safety, as well as the safety of others follow World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

Entry into the host nation may require measures beyond those that are stated by ISCB to gain access to the country.  As ISCB is required to abide by those entry requirements, please be sure to consult the country's official website.

Participants of ISCB Conferences understand that it is their responsibility to review and ensure compliance with any stated country guidelines both for coming into the country and departing the country to return to their country of origin.  Costs associated with travel are the responsibility of the participant.

For the purposes of right of entry ISCB Conferences, ISCB follows the recommendations of the World Health Organization to take all COVID-19 vaccine doses recommended to you by your health authority as soon as it is your turn, including a booster dose if recommended.

For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, ISCB offers several virtual meeting registration options.

ISCB believes the most effective way for participants to maximize their own safety is for them to be vaccinated and boosted if eligible and able against COVID-19.

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How will vaccinations be verified?

Participants electing to attend in-person will be asked to self-attest during the registration process confirming they meet the entry requirements.

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Will ISCB require proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival?

While ISCB will not require proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival onsite, it strongly encourages all in-person participants to test for infection prior to departing for the conference.  As testing completion times vary world-wide, our suggested test period is no more than 48 hours before departing from your home.

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On-Site Safety Measures

Public health guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 continues to evolve, and ISCB will base its on-site protocols on the latest guidance.

We encourage attendees to bring their own test kits and test prior to attending the meeting and every day or two during the meeting to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. We can assist attendees who have no access to tests.  ISCB will provide the locations of local retail stores where tests can be purchased and will have a limited number of tests at the convention center for purchase by attendees.

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Even though the science now shows that COVID-19 transmission is less likely to occur from touching surfaces touched by multiple persons (i.e., lecterns), staff will clean these regularly to promote healthy sanitation overall. The convention center will also have sanitization stations throughout the venue.

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Protective Masks

The wearing of protective masks is not required, but they are strongly encouraged.  ISCB reserves the right to alter this protocol as appropriate at any time.  Participants are welcome to bring their own mask of choice and wear it if they wish. ISCB will have a limited supply of masks available onsite for those who wish to wear a mask.

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Symptom Development While Onsite

On-site participants must agree that if they become symptomatic, they will immediately cease in-person participation in the meeting and all related events and get tested for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive will not be permitted to continue attending the meeting in-person until a negative test is produced. Even with a negative test, those who are ill should not participate in the meeting in person.

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COVID-19 Testing

ISCB will not have a testing facility onsite at the conference location.  ISCB will have self-administered rapid antigen tests (supply limited) available at the registration desk for those who wish to test during the conference and are unable to obtain tests.  If you are onsite and experiencing symptoms, please contact ISCB (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); we will bring a test to your hotel.

ISCB strongly encourages participants to bring their own testing kits if they wish to test throughout the conference.

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What happens if I test positive onsite?

Participants who test positive for COVID-19 onsite must follow the COVID-19 rules of the country the conference is held in.  They will not be allowed to attend sessions in-person until a negative test can be produced, but they will still have access to the virtual platform.

Information on individuals who test positive, including the name of the individual testing positive and the session in which the individual participated, will be provided to staff overseeing the COVID-19 testing and response efforts. This will enable staff to follow up with these individuals to provide information on policies for isolating while on site, facilitate safe and comfortable quarantine arrangements, and provide information on local health care options as needed. While aggregate information about the number of positive cases will be made available to other attendees, the identity of individuals who test positive will be kept confidential.

Unfortunately, a formal contact tracing system is not available. ISCB will, however, make aggregate data available to attendees via the conference app about the number of positive cases reported at the meeting so they can make informed decisions about their participation.

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While ISCB is taking numerous precautions to alleviate the risk to meeting attendees, the possibility of testing positive during the meeting, and therefore possibly needing to quarantine in place per the guidelines of the country the conference is held in, may factor into individual decisions about attending the conference. To help address these concerns, ISCB recommends COVAC GLOBAL, a leading provider of medical evacuation services, to offer in-person attendees the option to purchase its COVID-19 Evacuation and Repatriation service. For those who purchase this service in advance, COVAC GLOBAL will arrange for medical transport – via private jet – back to your home to complete your quarantine at no additional expense, should you be diagnosed with COVID-19 while at the conference.

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Conference Refund Policy

ISCB understands the continued volatility of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. In the event a registered participant cannot travel due to a positive test result prior to departing for the conference, ISCB will partially refund the participant’s registration fee reducing it to the virtual registration fee which allows the participant access to the virtual platform.  Participants who are unable to participate in the conference virtually may request a full refund. Full refund requests must be made prior to the start of the conference and be accompanied by positive COVID-19 testing documentation. ISCB will not accept refund requests after the set conference start time.

The above cancellation policy is specifically related to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.  For details on conference cancellation, visit the conference's registration page

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ISCB COVID-19 Waiver

Upon registration to the conference, ISCB will require all in-person participants to sign the following waiver:

I understand that travel and gathering involves risk of sickness, including sickness from COVID-19. I (and on behalf of my guest(s)) waive and release ISCB and its sponsors and exhibitors, and their employees and agents, from and against claims, liabilities and expenses arising from injury, sickness or death from contraction or spread of COVID-19 or other communicable disease due to travel to or attendance at an event sponsored by ISCB.

I will take necessary precautions while at the event including, but not limited to, engaging in appropriate social distancing, wearing a mask when requested and/or required, frequently washing hands and avoiding risky environments such as overcrowded bars or restaurants. I agree to not attend any ISMB/ECCB event if I feel ill or had recent exposure to a COVID-19 case. This waiver and release is binding on me.

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