Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Connecting, Training, Empowering, Worldwide

Health and Safety Protocols

Zettabyte Sponsors

Terabyte Sponsors

Gigabyte Sponsors



ISMB 2022 Health and Safety Protocols

We encourage you to monitor this page to stay abreast of the latest updates on health and safety protocols for ISMB 2022. ISCB reserves the right to alter these protocols as appropriate at any time as its leadership continues to assess the situation. (last update: February 28, 2022)

The safety of conference participants is ISCB’s top priority, and we believe the most effective way to ensure the safety of all attendees is for them to be vaccinated and boosted if eligible and able against COVID-19. Please note that proof of vaccination will be required for all in-person conference participants prior to traveling to Madison, WI, USA.

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, and around the conference facility who could potentially carry the virus, which is why ISCB is requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated for their own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Entry into the United States (US) may require measures beyond those that are stated by ISCB to gain access to the country.  As ISCB is required to abide by US entry requirements, please be sure to consult the COVID-19 Traveler Information page of the US State Department.  Other References: US CDC International Traveler Requirement; US FDA list of accepted vaccines; Visit Madison City Information

ISCB is also required to adhere to all state and local regulations and restrictions as imposed by local governments.  You are encouraged to review the local regulations and restrictions that are in place in the city of Madison, WI, USA (https://www.cityofmadison.com/health-safety/coronavirus).

Participants of the ISMB 2022 understand that it is their responsibility to review and ensure compliance with any stated country guidelines both for coming into the US and departing the US to return to their country of origin.  Costs associated with travel are the responsibility of the participant.

References: US CDC International Traveler Requirement; US FDA list of accepted vaccines; US State Department COVID-19 Traveler Information page

For the purposes of right of entry to ISMB 2022, a person is considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines; or
  • Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, such as the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine; or
  • Full course of immunization with any vaccine that has been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The product may be either fully authorized or authorized under an emergency use authorization or equivalent at the time of travel (see list of eligible vaccines - {https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who/} ).
  • And is boosted with a booster shot if person is eligible and able

Vaccination with a vaccine that is not included on the WHO website as authorized will not be accepted.

For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, ISCB offers several virtual meeting registration options – https://www.iscb.org/ismb2022-register.

How will vaccinations be verified?

Prior to arriving on site, participants electing to attend in-person will be asked to upload proof of vaccination status during registration.  ISCB will accept any Country, Province, or State proof of vaccination image, which is to include COVID vaccine certificate or a “CLEAR health pass”. 

In addition to all attendees, all ISCB staff working at the meeting will be fully vaccinated; however, ISCB is not legally able to require local convention center staff to be vaccinated.  ISCB is working with local entities in Madison, WI, USA,  to develop on-site protocols in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, including requiring all local conference facilities staff to wear masks.

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, ISCB, however, strongly encourages all in-person participants to test for infection prior to departing for the conference.  As testing times vary world-wide, our suggested test period is no more than 48 hours from the departure of your home.  

Entry requirements are updated often.  Be sure to check the entry requirements well in advance of your departure to the conference and return to your home country.

References: US CDC International Traveler Requirement; US FDA list of accepted vaccines; US State Department COVID-19 Traveler Information page

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 from the CDC in addition to local regulations in Madison, WI, USA.

We would encourage attendees to bring their own test kits and test prior to attending the meeting and at regular frequency 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 the attendee. 

Air Circulation

The Monona Terrace air ventilation and filtration systems meet the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recommendations. Systems have a minimum of three (3) air exchanges per hour in a function space.  The number of exchanges is determined by how many rooms on a specific air handling unit are in use and to what air temperature we are heating or cooling the room.

For air filtration, Monona Terrace filters at a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) level, using MERV 8 pre-filters and MERV 15 final filters.

Physical Distancing

Meeting rooms will be set up to accommodate those attendees who prefer more personal space as well as those who prefer to sit closer together, even if physical distancing is not legally mandated at the time of the meeting.


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.

Protective Masks

The wearing of protective masks is required of all attendees, ISCB staff, and conference facility workers, regardless of whether or not it is required by law at the time of the meeting. Participants are welcome to bring their own mask of choice. N95 and KN95 (FFP2) masks are strongly preferred. Surgical masks are accepted but known to be less effective.  Cloth masks, gaiters, bandanas, and masks with exhalation valves will not be accepted. Masks will be provided onsite for a donation (suggested $1) should you need one.

Masks must be worn properly (covering both mouth and nose) at all times indoors, except as noted below. The indoor mask requirement applies to all spaces where in-person ISCB events are being held. Masks are not required outdoors.

Masks may be removed briefly in the following situations:

  • When actively eating or drinking*, eating and drinking are prohibited within the session rooms
  • When speaking at the lectern (as the distance between the speaker and audience is greater than 6 feet). Speakers should put their masks back on when not actively presenting (i.e., sitting at the head table on the dais).*
  • When being photographed or interviewed on camera by registered media or ISCB staff.*

*PLEASE NOTE: Attendees should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others when unmasked in the above-mentioned situations

Participants who are not properly masked will be refused admittance to ISCB sessions and events and may have their badges revoked. Please see Centers for Disease Control guidance on masking.

Symptom Development While Onsite

On-site participants must agre that if they become symptomatic they will immediately get tested for COVID-19 and cease participation in the meeting and all related events. Individuals who test positive will not be permitted to continue attending the meeting in person until a negative test is produced and must follow CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation.

COVID-19 Testing

ISCB will not be providing a testing facility onsite at the conference location, Monona Terrace.  ISCB will have self-administered rapid antigen tests (supply limited, testing kits sponsored by a generous donation by Akamai) available at the registration desk for those who may wish to test during the conference.  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.

Those wishing to be tested at a clinic or testing facility should visit Public Health Madison & Dane County for the most up-to-date information on testing options.  Many local pharmacies across Dane County, community test sites and the Public Health clinic at 2230 S. Park St. in Madison, all provide testing. Rapid drive-thru testing is available through Walgreens.

If you wish to arrange testing without traveling to a clinic or laboratory, you may consider this concierge service by Pivotal Health, https://pivotalhealth.care/locations/madison-wi/.

If your travels home require a documented laboratory result, Madison/Dane County testing facilities can be found at https://publichealthmdc.com/coronavirus/testing#testing.

You may also consider purchasing  Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test through eMed.  Most airlines will accept this tele-health verified self-administered test. Please be sure to check with your airline prior to purchasing.  Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test can be found at https://www.emed.com/airline-travel and other retail providers. ISCB will also have a limited supply available at the registration desk.

Complimentary testing supplies are brought to you by a generous sponsorship from Akamai. ISCB has a limited supply of rapid antigen tests and Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test through eMed which will be distributed complimentary to those in need (donations to support travel fellowship funds are encouraged).  Once the testing supply is depleted, we will do our best to obtain additional tests at the expense of the participant. ISCB strongly encourages participants to bring their own testing kits if they wish to test throughout the conference.

What happens if I test positive onsite?

Participants who test positive for COVID-19 onsite, must follow CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation. They will not be allowed to attend sessions in person until a negative test can be produced, although they will still have access to the virtual platform. Staff on site will be available to provide assistance to individuals who test positive via a Quarantine Support Concierge. Support will include:

  • Daily wellness phone calls to check on the individual.
  • Assistance with modifying hotel arrangements to extend the check-out date to the end of the quarantine period. The cost of the additional quarantine period will be the responsibility of the participant. ISCB has worked with the hotels to provide reduced hotel rates for quarantine purposes.  
  • Coordination with the hotel for the contactless delivery of water, food, beverages, and housekeeping supplies, since housekeeping service will cease (food costs will be the responsibility of the participant)
  • Coordination of contactless delivery of other items needed from non-hotel sources (i.e., pharmacy or grocery stores; at cost to the participant)

Quarantine Support Concierge services will be available July 8, 2022 through July 16, 2022.

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 on a daily basis so they can make informed decisions about their participation. The identity of individuals who test positive will be kept strictly confidential.


While ISCB is taking numerous precautions to alleviate the risk to meeting attendees, the possibility of testing positive during the meeting, and therefore needing to quarantine in place per the CDC guidelines {https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html}, may factor into the decision to attend 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.

International Attendees

International attendees should always check current travel restrictions to the U.S. on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, before planning your travel, to make sure you will be able to enter the U.S. In addition, please monitor local regulations at the origin destination to ensure that you will be able to return from the U.S.

Conference Refund Policy

ISCB understands the continued volatility of the ongoing pandemic. 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 participants registration fee to still allow the participant access to the virtual platform.  Participants who are still 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 6:00 PM CDT, July 10, 2022.


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, minimize face touching, frequently washing hands and avoiding risky environments such as overcrowded bars or restaurants. I agree to not attend any ISMB event if I feel ill or had recent exposure to a COVID-19 case. This waiver and release is binding on me and my heirs and successors.