Addressing Safety, Efficacy, and Access: COVID-19 Protocol for 2021 AO NA events

Our COVID-19 protocol implementation plan to accommodate faculty, participants and staff

15 December 2020

The health and safety of our learners, faculty, staff, and all other stakeholders is our number-one priority.  Planning for 2021, the AO NA staff team will implement new protocols to identify and mitigate risk of COVID-19 transmission.  We’ve been working behind the scenes with each of the hotels and bio-skills labs to obtain their updated safety protocol.  We will enforce these procedures, continue to monitor and communicate changes as they occur.  We hope the following list of safety measures will provide the necessary information you need to make decisions in your best interest and help you to be more comfortable about our learning environments.

Facial Mask Policy:  All in attendance will be required to bring their own facial mask covering their nose and mouth upon entrance into all facilities.  Masks will also be distributed at AO NA Course Check-In and must always be worn on site, except during meals.  Additional disposable masks will be provided at Practical Exercise and Bio-Skills lab entrance areas.

Hotel Staff Training and Monitoring:  Hotel associates have undergone COVID-19 health and safety training.  Employees are screened for temperature and other symptoms prior to the start of each shift.  Anyone not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms will be sent home.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols:  The hotels have implemented enhanced cleaning of guest rooms and all public spaces.  At some locations, to minimize the risk of transmission, staff may not be permitted to enter guest rooms once the guest has checked in. In other locations, in-room cleaning may be suspended during your stay and guests can arrange for clean linen delivery or pick-up. Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers using hospital-grade disinfectant and extra hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the hotel and bio-skills facility properties.

Meeting Room Physical Distancing:  To maintain CDC recommendations, limitations on facility capacity have been implemented by hotels and bio-skills labs to comply with state mandates. As this number continues to fluctuate, we will closely monitor this for all upcoming courses.  Transparent protective barriers are now being used at hotel registration along with QR code check-ins and contactless check-outs.  Meeting spaces will maintain the safe six-foot distancing between seats, as currently recommended by the CDC. In addition, signage and/or markers will be added in many areas to help maintain safe distances in high-traffic areas.

Practical Exercises:  Lab stations will be placed at least six feet apart with no more than two participants per station.  Participants will be required to wear masks during the exercises.  Instrumentation used during AO NA course labs will be thoroughly disinfected between lab exercises before re-use.  

Dining Options:  For the safety of all guests, hotels as well as caterers at bio-skills labs will offer plated or pre-packaged meals, disposable cutlery and packaging, and full-service coffee service and refreshments.  Buffet and self-service are discontinued until further notice.  Many outlets on site are temporarily closed.  This will be communicated in advance so that you can prepare accordingly.

Bio-Skills Labs:  Upon arrival, facilities will provide additional screening questions and mandatory temperature checks upon arrival, contactless check-in at registration desks, packages disinfected and held 24-hours before claiming, additional disinfecting throughout the day in high traffic areas, six feet distancing in meeting rooms, full PPE in labs, and at least six feet distance between lab stations.  Further information on specimen testing for COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 is available upon request.

We look forward to your future participation at AO NA courses.  We wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and continued good health.  Be well!  

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