2022 WQA Convention & Exposition COVID-19 Policy

March 21, 2022
 

With the health and wellbeing of all WQA Convention participants as our top priority, WQA has updated its COVID-19 Policy. We believe the revised policy will create an environment where everyone can feel comfortable, regardless of their company policies or their home state policies, and allow for a safe and productive event.

Before collecting a WQA Convention badge at the Orange County Convention Center, all exhibitors and attendees will be required to demonstrate compliance with ONE of three options:

  • Provide proof of vaccination OR
     
  • Provide negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test administered in the prior 72 hours OR
     
  • Health Check – complete a one-time onsite health questionnaire and touchless temperature check

The review of these documents will be facilitated by SafeAccess, WQA’s third-party HIPAA-compliant service provider.

Wearing a face mask during the event is optional.

Individuals who fall within any of the categories below should not participate in in-person 2022 Convention events.By attending a WQA event, you certify that you do not fall into any of the following categories:

  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated (or who have not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days) AND have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 within 5 full days preceding the 2022 WQA Convention; or
     
  • Individuals who have a positive viral test for COVID-19 within 5 full days preceding the 2022 WQA Convention, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms; or
     
  • Individuals with current symptoms of COVID-19 or who have had COVID-19 symptoms within 5 full days preceding the 2022 WQA Convention, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested.

In-person participants, exhibitors, and vendors agree to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during and immediately after the event and withdraw from convention participation promptly if they experience any symptoms. Additionally, participants should contact WQA at convention@wqa.org if they experience symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 within fourteen (14) days of attending the 2022 WQA Convention.

By registering as an exhibitor or attendee, and by attending the 2022 WQA Convention, you agree to adhere to and be bound by the COVID-19 practices and requirements, including any changes or modifications, announced and implemented by WQA for the 2022 Convention.

A personal note from WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser, MWS, CAE:

There are opinions, stances, political views, and data on EVERY side of COVID. And if I were a betting person, I would bet most people are just done with it. All of it. I get it.  

Masks, no masks, vaccinate, don’t vaccinate, test, don’t test, which test, do everything, do something, do nothing.

WQA’s Convention participants are no different. We have groups with the same diversity of opinions, stances, political views, and data on EVERY side of COVID. There is NO policy WQA could apply for our Convention that 100% of participants will agree with.

Yet, we had to set a policy. So, we compared every option we could think of, leveraged every piece of data at our disposal, talked to exhibitors, talked to attendees, and leaned on knowledge from similar events going through it in real-time seeking lessons learned.

We don’t ask anyone to agree with the policy, but we do ask for understanding and appreciation that WQA developed the policy with best intentions in absence of politics or hidden agendas. WQA will continue to closely monitor all information, and if changes can be made or should be made, we will adjust.

RELEASE:

I hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless the Water Quality Association (WQA) and its affiliates, including their respective employees, officers, directors, agents, and/or representatives, from any claim or cause of action, including all liabilities, penalties, losses, damages, costs, or expenses of any kind, arising out of or relating to exposure to COVID-19. I agree that the foregoing release, discharge, and covenants apply even when WQA or its affiliate directly or indirectly caused injury, losses, or other harm related to COVID-19, whether by negligent acts or omissions, and whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation in any WQA (or affiliate) program. This release is binding on my heirs, administrators, executors, successors, and assigns.

 

How to Provide Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or a Negative COVID-19 PCR Test
Prior to Arrival at the Orange County Convention Center

Beginning March 14, those who have registered for the WQA Convention and Exposition will receive an email from our third-party provider, SafeAccess, that directs you to upload your proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test results. Once you have completed this step, you will receive a yellow Pending Access status and your information will be reviewed by SafeAccess Trusted Reviewers. When your submission has been verified and approved, you will receive an email confirmation of your Cleared Status.

You may also return to live.safeaccess.app to check your status at any time.

If you have already received a cleared status, you may proceed to any registration counter onsite at the Orange County Convention Center to pick up your badge beginning April 6*.  Everyone must pick up their own badge.

Your registration for the Convention is considered “incomplete” and your badge will not print on site without this information uploaded and verified. WQA recommends that you complete this step before coming to the Orange County Convention Center, as it will greatly expedite your entrance into the event.

*If you are registered for WQA Business Boot Camp or the Commercial/Industrial RO Sizing Workshop and are not cleared prior to arrival at the April 5 events, you will undergo a health check onsite.

How to Provide Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination a Negative COVID-19 PCR Test
On-Site at the Convention Center*

If Already Registered:

Your registration for the Convention is considered “incomplete,” and your badge will not print on site without this information verified. WQA recommends that you complete this step before coming to the convention center, if possible, as it will greatly expedite your entrance into the event.
 

If you arrive and have not uploaded your vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test documentation, please proceed to the SafeAccess counter to present your documentation for verification. Once verified, you will be provided with a confirmation card to take to a clerk in the full-service registration area. Please be prepared to show a photo ID along with your SafeAccess confirmation card.
 

If Not Registered:

If you arrive and have not registered or uploaded your vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test documentation:

Please proceed first to the SafeAccess counter to present your vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test documentation for verification. Once verified, you will be provided with a confirmation card to take to a clerk in the full-service registration area to process your registration. Please be prepared to show a photo ID along with your SafeAccess confirmation card.

 

*If you are registered for WQA Business Boot Camp or the Commercial/Industrial RO Sizing Workshop and are not cleared prior to arrival at the April 5 events, you will undergo a health check onsite.

How to Access the Health Check Option
On-Site at the Convention Center Only

This is a multi-step process, so please allow plenty of time.

If Already Registered:

  • Your registration for the Convention is considered “incomplete,” and your badge will not print on site until you undergo the onsite Health Check and have the information reviewed.
     
  • Upon arrival, please proceed to the Health Check site, where you will complete the questionnaire and have your temperature checked using a touchless thermometer by an EMT. You then will visit the SafeAccess counter and present your results. Once your Health Check is verified, you will be provided with a confirmation card to take to a clerk in the full-service registration area. Please be prepared to show a photo ID along with your SafeAccess confirmation card to receive your convention badge.

 

If Not Registered:

  • Upon arrival, please proceed to the Health Check site, where you will complete the questionnaire and have your temperature checked using a touchless thermometer by an EMT. You then will visit the SafeAccess counter and present your results. Once your Health Check is verified, you will be provided with a confirmation card to take to a clerk in the full-service registration area. Please be prepared to show a photo ID along with your SafeAccess confirmation card when registering for the convention so you can receive your convention badge.

FAQs

What Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is acceptable?

All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have:

  • Personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on your photo ID.
     
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
     
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination
     
  • Clear, legible, and unobstructed uploads are required for approval. Illegible or incomplete records will be rejected with a request to re-upload.

 

What proof of negative COVID-19 test result is acceptable?

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or digital copy). The documentation must include:

  • Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT/PCR test)
     
  • Entity issuing the result (e.g., laboratory, healthcare entity, or telehealth service)
     
  • Sample collection date (showing the sample was taken no more than 72 hours before arrival at the Convention)
     
  • Information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number)
     
  • Negative test result
     
  • Clear, legible, and unobstructed uploads are required for approval. Illegible or incomplete records will be rejected with a request to re-upload.

Please note that your negative COVID-19 test must be submitted and your badge must be picked up within 72 hours from the date your test was administered, or you will have to submit a new negative test result for approval.

Tests must be professionally applied and documented. Home tests will not be accepted.

 

What vaccines are acceptable for entrance to the WQA Convention & Exposition?

All vaccines listed as accepted by the U.S. Government are also accepted for entry into the WQA Convention & Exposition.

 

What if I received my vaccination outside of the United States?
All vaccines listed as accepted by the U.S. Government are also accepted for entry into the WQA Convention & Exposition.
 
 
What defines fully vaccinated?

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
     
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
     
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
     
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT considered fully vaccinated and need to submit a negative test as outlined below.

A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

A person who has received only one dose of an accepted 2-dose series and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition, and therefore is NOT considered fully vaccinated for travel to the United States or to attend the WQA Convention. You need to submit a negative test as outlined below.



What is the Health Check Questionnaire?

You can find it linked here.

 

Will my Health Check Questionnaire be kept confidential?

Completed questionnaires will be kept confidential by SafeAccess, WQA’s third-party, HIPAA and GDPR compliant service provider.
 


Is the Health Check required to be done daily?

No, it is required only once prior to obtaining your registration badge needed to enter the Convention and Exposition.

 

Is the Health Check required if I provided proof of vaccination or negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test prior to arrival or upon arrival?

No, the Health Check is required only for those who choose not to provide proof of vaccination or negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test prior to arrival or upon arrival.

 

What is the amount of time needed to complete the Health Check?

It is not expected to take long but will be dependent on the number that choose this option.  Those that submit information prior to arrival will go straight to badge pick-up.  For those able to submit information in advance, we strongly encourage this option to avoid lines and delays in obtaining your registration badge.

 

I prefer not to upload my information to a third party. What should I do?

If you prefer not to upload your information through SafeAcess, please visit the SafeAccess counter on-site, where you can present your health documentation for verification. Once verified, you will be provided with a confirmation card to take to a clerk in the full-service registration area. Please be prepared to show a photo ID along with your SafeAccess confirmation card.

Your registration for the WQA Convention & Exposition is considered “incomplete,” and your badge will not print on-site, without this verification.

(You also have the Health Check option if you prefer not to submit documentation. If you choose this option, you will need to visit the Health Check area before moving to the SafeAccess desk for confirmation.)

 

I am concerned about data privacy related to providing my vaccination information. What can you tell me?

SafeAccess is HIPAA and GDPR compliant. Users are providing their vaccine or test records directly to SafeAccess via a secured and encrypted platform. HIPAA Security Rules regulate and protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the Personal Health Information created, received, maintained, or transmitted electronically with administrative, physical, and technical measures. All collected data will be deleted at the conclusion of the event.