AHA22 Health and Safety Information

The AHA has been monitoring recent news about COVID-19. We remain hopeful that vaccination levels will improve, and we expect it will be safe to travel to New Orleans for the annual meeting in January. We are paying close attention to the situation in the city and state, as well as regional and national transportation issues, and will adjust our plans and policies as necessary as the situation evolves. The health and safety of our members, attendees, exhibitors, hotel staff, and the people of New Orleans is our primary concern.

The AHA and our meeting hotels are working together to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to make attendance at the meeting as safe as possible. We expect that all attendees will be vaccinated at the time of the meeting. Attendees should comply with all mask and social distancing rules and guidelines established by the AHA, which will follow the guidance of the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as any additional requirements set by the conference hotels and the local government. We will regularly update members on health and safety guidelines via our website.

Vaccination levels in the city of New Orleans compare well with other cities in the US, and we have been impressed by the clear policies, benchmarks, and data analytics established by New Orleans public health officials. We are, of course, aware that vaccination rates in the rest of Louisiana are much less impressive, though they have begun to improve. We have contacted state officials to express our concern and encourage a vigorous public health effort so that it will be as safe as possible for all to attend.

The hotels report that they sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Ida.

Guidelines will be updated throughout the fall.

  • Attendees must affirm that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 and produce photo or paper verification of vaccination status on request.
  • The New Orleans department of public health requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours for entry to restaurants, bars, and entertainment spaces. 
  • Anyone 12 years of age and older must provide proof of an approved COVID vaccine or negative PCR test within 72 hours to enter restaurants and bars in the city, including those in the meeting hotels.
  • Masks are currently required in all indoor public areas in New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, except when actively eating. Masks are mandated regardless of vaccination status. We hope this will be unnecessary by the time of the annual meeting, but we will follow whatever protocols are necessary for health and safety.
  • We will make plans to accommodate presenters who are unable to travel to the meeting. See our policy on remote presentation for details.
  • We will work with our exhibitor services company, the hotels, and local public health officials to comply with all social distancing guidelines in the Exhibit Hall and registration area.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the meeting space, at registration, and in the Exhibit Hall.
  • The hotels will leave additional space between chairs in meeting rooms to allow for physical distancing.

The New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans have enhanced cleaning, sanitation, and social distancing protocols in place, and have hand sanitizer stations at the front desks, elevators, and in the meeting spaces. Employees are required to wear masks indoors. See Marriott International’s “Commitment to Clean” page for details. Additional information can be found on the hotels websites of the New Orleans Marriott, Sheraton New Orleans, JW Marriott New Orleans, and Hotel Monteleone.