COVID Policy for YWM-Engage 2022
An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and Guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
*By attending YWM-ENGAGE you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.*
OAC takes the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, especially with the severe consequences and risks of complications and death for those with obesity. OAC strongly urges all attendees to discuss the risks of attending an in-person event with their healthcare professional. Like with aspects of obesity care and treatment, personal risk tolerances vary and OAC recognizes there are strong views around COVID-19. OAC asks that all attendees follow the principles of the OAC Respect Pledge when considering this policy. This policy was designed respecting two core values of the YWM Meeting, specifically that it be inclusive but also a safe space for those living with obesity.
OAC meetings will follow all local, state, and federal requirements regarding in-person gatherings. In addition, OAC will:
- Require each attendee to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine (all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose when eligible.) For those who are unable to vaccinate due to medical or religious exemptions, OAC will accept a limited number of exemptions but reserves the right to cap such exemptions to 15% of participants. OAC will respect attendee privacy and not retain any medical information.
- In addition, OAC event attendees will be required to attest to following local, state and federal regulations and to not attend any events if experience of COVID related illness.
- OAC requires each attendee to take a widely available home test before travelling to YWM-Engage and reserves the right to require COVID-19 testing on-site at OAC’s expense.
- OAC reserves the right to require 100% masking during the event with a mask provided by OAC.
- OAC reserves the right to alter these policies as necessary to protect attendees and staff.
COVID Policy FAQs
Am I required to be “vaccinated” to attend YWM2022-Engage?
Yes in most cases. OAC is requiring all attendees to be Up to Date on their COVID-19 Vaccines though a limited number of medical and religious exemptions will be permitted (see below).
What does “Up to Date” with COVID-19 vaccine mean?
Per the CDC, Up to Date means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and one booster dose when eligible. Getting a second booster dose is not necessary to be considered up to date at this time.
I just started my COVID-19 Vaccine series and won’t be eligible for my booster by the meeting. Am I allowed to attend?
Yes. The Up to Date definition means that you have received all doses you are eligible for at the time of the event.
What about second boosters as they’ve been in the news lately?
The current Up to Date definition does not include a requirement for second boosters.
What documentation will OAC require to demonstrate vaccination?
Final policies will be set two weeks prior to the meeting but attendees should be prepared to show their CDC Vaccination Card or documentation from another official source, or their signed exemption statements (see below).
What qualifies as a medical exemption?
OAC will allow individual attendees along with their healthcare providers to determine criteria for medical exemption. Those attendees seeking a medical exemption should be prepared to show a signed letter from their physician/nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant stating they have a medical exemption from vaccination. To help maintain privacy, such letter does not need to state the reason for the medical exemption.
What qualifies for a religious exemption?
Religious exemptions may be granted for any sincerely held religious, moral or ethical belief. Those attendees seeking religious exemption should be prepared to provide a signed statement saying they are seeking a religious exemption.
What happens if more than 15% of people registering for Engage 2022 seek exemptions?
In the Engage 2022 registration process, attendees will have to attest to being Up to Date on vaccination or claim an exemption. Only 15% of attendee slots will be available for those with an exemption.
The policy mentions COVID-19 testing prior to arrival. What kind of test should I use and how do I access it?
Each attendee must either test themselves with a home test immediately prior to traveling to Engage 2022 or have a PCR test within 48 hours of traveling. If you’re using a home test, we recommend testing yourself on your travel day. If the test is positive, you must not attend the event. Any CDC-approved COVID-19 test may be used. You can visit covid.gov/tests to find access to free tests in your area or order free home tests.
How do I document my COVID-19 test results prior to the meeting?
A photo will suffice.
The policy mentions you reserve the right to require testing on site. What does that mean?
OAC is planning to have tests available for all attendees on site. We may require attendees to test prior to attending daily events. Final policy regarding testing will be determined two weeks prior to the meeting. OAC will cover the costs of any testing on site.
The policy says you reserve the right to require 100% masking. Am I going to have to wear a mask the whole time?
You might. Two weeks prior to the meeting, OAC will set final policies regarding masking depending on COVID-19 levels in the Las Vegas area as well as the nation. OAC encourages anyone at high risk to strongly consider wearing a mask. OAC will provide high quality masks to all attendees.
Is OAC trying to create a COVID-free “bubble” with our policies?
No. Unfortunately, we don’t believe creating a bubble to prevent COVID-19 is possible. We can’t control all aspects of the meeting or the individual attendees. For example, we don’t have control over exposures during travel to and from the event, hotel staff or guests, and the like. And as we know, even vaccinated people can contract COVID-19. As such, all participants must recognize that some risks will remain even if all protocols are followed. We encourage you to discuss your individual risks with your healthcare provider in deciding whether you will attend.