AHA22 Health and Safety Information

The AHA has been monitoring recent news about COVID-19. We expect that it will be safe for most participants to attend the meeting in person, and that the majority of sessions will take place in the conference hotels as planned. To ensure safety, attendees must show photo or paper verification that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks will be rquired in the meeting space. The health and safety of our members, attendees, exhibitors, hotel staff, and the people of New Orleans is our primary concern. The situation regarding the pandemic remains uncertain, and we are aware that attendees might not yet know whether they will feel comfortable traveling. There is still time to make a final decision.

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 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. 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.

The city of New Orleans is well vaccinated and we have been impressed by the stringent 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 are improving. 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. This site has additional information about health and safety plans in the city of New Orleans.

Guidelines will be updated throughout the fall.

  • Attendees must show photo or paper verification that they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • 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. This list compiled by New Orleans & Company includes restaurants offering takeout options.
  • Anyone 12 years of age and older must provide proof of an approved COVID vaccine or negative PCR or antigen test within 72 hours to enter restaurants and bars in the city, including those in the meeting hotels.
  • Masks will be required in the meeting space. We will follow whatever masking protocols are necessary for health and safety, including adhering to the strictest standards set by the Centers for Disease Control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, city and state public health officials, and the meeting hotels. Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in all indoor public areas in New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The AHA will require all individuals, regardless regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in the meeting space, except when actively eating and drinking. 
  • 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.
  • Our planing staff has scheduled receptions and meals in larger rooms than usual to allow for social distancing and increased ventilation. The meeting hotels assure us that their air filtration and air mass refresh levels are at the highest quality, consistent with Marriott International's best practices.
  • PCR and antigen testing with same-day results will be available onsite (for a fee) in the Rhythms Office on the 4th floor of the Marriott. Testing will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, January 6 and Saturday, January 8. PCR: $89 per test, same day results. Antigen: $50 per test, 15 minute results.
  • If you test positive and need to quarantine before traveling, contact the front desk at your hotel and let them know that you will need to stay over due to quarantine and the hotel will assist you.

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. Both hotels require all employees, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in public areas, including meeting space. Hotel staff are either fully vaccinated or have recently tested negative for COVID-19, consistent with standards established by the CDC. 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.

We cannot promise that other guests in the hotel will be wearing masks but there will be no other large groups in hotel during the meeting.

  • We will offer options for presenters who are not comfortable meeting in person. We plan to expand our policy on remote presentation to include the option for sessions to move to an online format if members are not comfortable presenting in person. Online sessions will not take place at the same time as the in-person meeting, but will be scheduled at a later date (to be determined). More information will be forthcoming soon; please be patient as we review our options and finalize our plans.

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