ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX 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 ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMx 2022. The conference organizer reserve the right to alter these protocols as appropriate at any time as its leadership continues to assess the situation.
The safety of conference participants is the conference organizers’ 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 Querétaro, Mexico.
Participants should be aware that, while the conference organizers 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 attendees are required to be fully vaccinated for their own safety, as well as the safety of others.
Entry into Mexico (MX) may require measures beyond those that are stated by the conference to meet safe protocols to gain access to the country. As it’s required to abide by MX entry requirements, please be sure to consult the MX COVID-19 Traveler Information page of Mexico.
The conference organizers are 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 Querétaro, Querétaro, México (https://www.queretaro.gob.mx/covid19/).
Participants understand that it is their responsibility to review and ensure compliance with any stated country guidelines both for coming into Mexico and departing Mexico to return to their country of origin. Costs associated with travel are the responsibility of the participant.
For the purposes of right of entry to ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX, a person is considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series, 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 participant’s country of origin
- AND is boosted with a booster shot if person is eligible and able
For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, the conference offers virtual meeting registration options – https://www.iscb.org/la2022-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 QR codes 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 conference facilities staff to be vaccinated. The conference venue is within the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) that has enforced vaccination among their personnel, this means a high percentage of the personnel is fully vaccinated.
Will the conference require proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival?
The conference will not require proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival onsite, however, we strongly encourage 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: MX COVID-19 Traveler Information page of Mexico
On-Site Safety Measures
Public health guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 continues to evolve. The conference will base its on-site protocols on the latest guidance from the US CDC/WHO in addition to local regulations in Querétaro, Querétaro, México.
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. The conference will have a limited number of tests on hand thanks to a generous sponsorship by Akamai. After the test supply is depleted, we will do our best to provide information on where testing can be conducted.
Mexico has no air filtering policy. The Auditorium of Centro Academico Cultura (CAC-UNAM), is equipped with an air conditioning system installation with continuous maintenance of filters to ensure air security within the venue.
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 conference facility will also have sanitization stations throughout the venue.
The wearing of protective masks is required of all attendees, conference 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 conference 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.*
Participants who are not properly masked will be refused admittance to sessions and events and may have their badges revoked.
Symptom Development While Onsite
On-site participants must agree 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 Gobierno de Mexico guidance and regulations - https://www.imss.gob.mx/prensa/archivo/202201/C001.
If you wish to be tested by a laboratory or clinic, or If your travels home require a documented laboratory result, here is a list of local facilities:
- https://sanomilab.com/ PCR COVID test in less than 24 hrs, Antigen test is less than 30min. Book ahead for an on site visit for sampling. The laboratory is 10min away in Uber. (Service can be provided in English)
- https://www.farmaciasanpablo.com.mx/mi-consultorio/pruebas-covid in Juriqulla., 15min walk from the conference venue. Only Antigen tests (results in less than 1hr).
- https://www.chopo.com.mx/queretaro/deteccion-covid-19-por-pcr PCR COVID test in less than 48hrs, Antigen tests in less than 30min. Please be aware the closet sampling site requires an UBER drive of 20-30min
- https://salud-digna.org/covid-19/estudio-covid-19/ Cheapest PCR COVID tests in the region, be aware the results will be ready in 72 hours. Site is 30-40 min away in UBER. They also perform antigen tests with results in less than 2hrs.
For travel requirements, 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.
What happens if I test positive onsite?
Participants who test positive for COVID-19 onsite, must follow Gobierno de Mexico guidance and regulations - https://www.imss.gob.mx/prensa/archivo/202201/C001. 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 November 3, 2022 through November 7, 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. The conference organizers 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 the conference 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 may factor into the decision to attend the conference. To help address these concerns, we recommend 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 should always check current travel restrictions to Mexico on the MX COVID-19 Traveler Information page before planning your travel, to make sure you will be able to enter Mexico. In addition, please monitor local regulations at the origin destination to ensure that you will be able to return from Mexico.
Conference Refund Policy
We understand 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, the conference organizers 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. The conference will not accept refund requests after 9:00 AM CDT, November 3, 2022.
Conference COVID Waiver
Upon registration to the conference, the conference 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, SoIBio, BioNetMX 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 ISCB-LA SoIBio BioNetMX 2022.
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 conference related 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.