Information about attending AHA22 in New Orleans.

Health and Safety in New Orleans

Q: Why has the AHA decided to proceed with an in-person meeting?
A: The AHA has been monitoring recent news about COVID-19, and we expect that it will be safe for most participants to attend the meeting in person. The city of New Orleans is well vaccinated and has stringent safety measures in place. Additionally, we see great value in meeting with fellow historians and academics in person. With protocols for health and safety in place, we are confident that it will be safe and worthwhile to meet in person again. That said, we are also providing options for presenters unable to meet in person.

Q: Why is it important that I stay in the AHA meeting hotels?
A: Staying in the meeting hotels keeps you in the heart of the action, and makes it convenient to drop by your room during the meeting. Not only that, it is a vital act of good citizenship to support the AHA housing block by booking a room through the AHA’s housing service, Maritz Global Events. Doing so offsets the considerable costs of organizing and holding the annual meeting. The AHA must fill a certain number of sleeping rooms to secure meeting space and other amenities, such as receptions and free WiFi. We must meet that guarantee or face significant financial penalties that limit the work of the AHA in all areas of our mission. In addition, filling our room block consistently helps us to secure favorable contracts for future meetings and keep registration prices down. Booking your room in the housing block helps support the continued success of the largest annual gathering in the discipline.

Q: How is the American Historical Association keeping attendees safe at the annual meeting?
A: We have established protocols for health and safety that will continue to evolve according to changing conditions and publicly available advice from epidemiologists and other public health experts. To ensure safety, attendees will be required to show photo or paper verification that they are vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks will be required in the meeting space, except when actively eating. 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. 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.

Q: What vaccines will be accepted in order to participate in the annual meeting?
A: We are accepting the three vaccines currently recommended by the CDC (Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson). Vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (AstraZeneca and Covaxin, for example) or an official vaccine record issued by another country are accepted for international attendees. We will follow the CDC’s definition of “fully vaccinated,” which is two weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose series or two weeks after a one-dose series.

Q: Are booster shots required to be considered fully vaccinated?
A: At this time, the CDC does not define fully vaccinated as having received booster shots, though it recommends that adults receive them. Although boosters are certainly recommended if possible, the American Historical Association is not requiring that attendees provide proof of booster shots.

Q: What proof of vaccination should I plan to provide at the AHA annual meeting?
A: Attendees should be prepared to show an original, digital photograph, or photocopy of a vaccination card. This should be an official vaccination card issued by the CDC, a state, foreign nation, or the World Health Organization. Proof of vaccination will be required to pick up a badge.

Q: What proof of vaccination should I plan to provide outside of the AHA meeting space?
A: 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 5 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. Additionally, the meeting hotels will request that guests who would like to use the fitness center or dine in the hotel bar or restaurant show proof of vaccination or a negative test result at check in.

Q: Will masks be required?
A: Masks will be required in the meeting space. 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 of vaccination status, to wear masks in the meeting space, except when actively eating and drinking. We cannot promise that other guests in the hotel will be wearing masks, but there will be no other large groups in the hotel during the meeting.

Q: What other safety measures are in place?

  • 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 planning staff has scheduled receptions and meals in larger rooms than usual to allow for social distancing and increased ventilation.

Q: What safety measures are in place for the hotel staff?
A: 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, associates, vendors, and contractors, 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 MarriottSheraton New OrleansJW Marriott New Orleans, and Hotel Monteleone.

Q: How is the air circulation in the meeting hotels?
A: 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.

Q: Will testing for COVID-19 be available?
A: 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.

Q: What if I test positive for COVID-19 while I’m in New Orleans?
A: If you test positive and need to quarantine before traveling, contact the front dest at your hotel and let them know that you will need to stay over due to quarantine and the hotel will assist you.”

Online Meeting and Other Options for Presenters Who Are Unable to Meet In Person

Q: Will there be an online meeting?
A: Sessions can move to an online format if members are not able to present in person. Additional details about AHA22 Online will be posted as we finalize our plans. The deadline for notifying the AHA that a session would move online was November 18. Online sessions will not take place at the same time as the in-person meeting, but will be scheduled at a later date (most likely the week of February 21).

Q: Can I attend AHA22 Online if I am not attending the in-person meeting?
A: Yes. Prices for online-only registration will be announced in early December. Attendees will be able to join sessions live, or view recorded sessions. We will provide regular updates as we finalize our plans.

Q: Will the exhibitors have a presence at the online meeting?
A: Yes. In-person exhibitors will have a presence at the the online meeting, and a few exhibitors will appear only at the online meeting. Exhibitors will have an online booth space where they can post text, links, and videos and set up live chats and consultations with attendees.

Q: Will any of the sessions at the in-person meeting be recorded and available online?
A: The presidential address will be recorded and available for viewing online, but unfortunately we do not have the technical resources or staff capacity to record other sessions at the in-person meeting.

Q: I will present at the online annual meeting. Do I still need to register for the meeting?
A: Yes, everyone participating in the annual meeting, whether in New Orleans or online in February, will need to register. Registration at the in-person meeting includes complimentary registration for the online sessions as well. Prices for online-only registration will be announced in early December. All US-based historians presenting at online sessions accepted by the AHA Program Committee must be AHA members. Foreign scholars and scholars in disciplines other than history are exempt from this requirement.

Q: If I decide I cannot participate in my onsite session, what are my options?
A: You have three options if you cannot attend in person: 1) your whole session could move to the entirely online meeting format to take place in February, 2) you may prerecord your presentation, to be played at the meeting in New Orleans by another panelist who is going, or 3) you may have one of your session panelists who is attending in person read your paper for you in absentia. We hope that these options will accommodate different needs and preferences while still facilitating an engaging annual meeting.

Q: I will present at the online annual meeting. When will you contact me about scheduling the session?
A: We will be in touch in January to ask session participants to consult with one another and fill out an online poll to help us create a final schedule. Due to high demand we will need to schedule sessions throughout the week. We will do our best to accommodate serious schedule conflict, such as religious observation, when possible.

Q: How should our panel proceed when we have individual presenters on an in-person session who cannot come to New Orleans?
A: Individual presenters on an in-person session will have a low-tech hybrid option, in which presenters prerecord their presentation to be played during the session (this option may not be available for some affiliate presentations, so be sure to check with your affiliate directly). Note that someone who is in-person on the panel will need to bring a laptop to facilitate this; we cannot provide computers for sessions. Presenters participating by recorded presentation should register at the online rate and are subject to the membership requirement.

Q: Can we do hybrid sessions where someone joins an in-person session via videoconference?
A: No. We will not have enough internet capacity to support individual presenters participating in in-person sessions by videoconference. Instead, we are offering options for presenters who are not able to meet in person. Our remote presentation policy includes the option for panelists on AHA sessions to present via a prerecorded presentations.

Q: Will the meeting hotels have WiFi?
A: Yes, the meeting hotels will have WiFi, however please note that the bandwidth will not be sufficient to support videoconferencing in the meeting space. If sessions attempt to use a hot-spot internet connection to connect online presenters, the AHA staff and hotel AV staff will not be able to provide any technical support.

Q: Will in-person and/or online sessions be recorded for later viewing?
A: In-person sessions will not be recorded, except for the presidential address. Recordings of online sessions will be available through the online platform; more details will be provided as they become available.

Other Questions about Attending In-Person

Q: How do I change or update my hotel reservation?
A: All reservations are managed by Maritz Global Events. They will send the information to the hotels at the close of business on December 10. Prior to that date, all changes must be made through Maritz. Between December 11 and 15, information is being transferred and no changes can be accepted. Starting December 16 all reservations, changes, and cancellations must be made directly with the hotel.

Q: I called the hotel and they don’t have a record of my reservation or I didn’t get a confirmation from the hotel. What do I do?
A: Maritz will email a confirmation; there will be no separate confirmation from the hotel. Reservations will be transferred to the hotels on December 12, 2021. Please do not contact the hotel prior to this as they will not have record of your reservation. Beginning December 15, 2021, please contact the hotel directly for any changes, cancellations or new reservations. Also at this time, your reservation should appear in your loyalty app if your number was provided at the time your reservation was made.

Q: How do I reserve a room with ADA accommodations?
A: You may request ADA accommodations for your hotel room through the housing website or by calling Maritz Global Events at 864-641-1557. The customer service team there will contact the hotel to determine availability of specific accommodations and contact them with a final confirmation. Because Maritz has to contact the hotel to set aside a room with the specific accommodations required, they will send an official confirmation following the initial phone call.

Q: Why is the housing bureau, Maritz Global Events, telling me that my room has been waitlisted?
A: We have fewer rooms set aside for check in before January 5 or check out after January 9, so the housing bureau sometimes needs to contact the hotel to confirm that a room is available at the discounted rate. You will receive an email once they reservation has been confirmed, which may take a few days.

Q: Is there a way to find roommates to share a hotel room with?
A: We do not keep a list of attendees seeking roommates. However, you might consider taking advantage of the AHA member forum, where you can post an announcement of this sort and receive suggestions from other members.

Q: How has New Orleans recovered from Hurricane Ida?
A: The AHA meeting hotels sustained minimal damage from Hurricane Ida, and New Orleans has made a remarkably fast recovery following the storm. The flood protection system designed after Hurricane Katrina worked as planned, and the vast majority of businesses have reopened. You can expect to be find Bourbon Street and Cafe du Monde alive and well, for example.

Q: I plan to drive to New Orleans, so will there be parking at the annual meeting hotels?
A: Parking is available at the meeting hotels for a fee; see individual hotel websites for details. We offer substantially discounted short- and long-term parking where you may leave your car for a day or for the duration of the annual meeting. This parking will be available at the National WWII Museum, which is only 1.3 miles away from the Marriott New Orleans (15 minute walk). For more information, please see Discounted Parking Available for AHA22 Participants.