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#ARNOVA21: Vaccination Policy

ARNOVA Annual Conference

ARNOVA Conference Atlanta 2021 Vaccination Policy

We look forward to seeing as many of our ARNOVA members as possible at our upcoming conference in Atlanta. We realize, though, that we are still in the midst of a pandemic that just won’t quit.  In order to assure the safety and comfort of our members, we have made the following considerations:


We know that many of our potential attendees have been vaccinated, while others have not – for a range of reasons.  We have done our research, consulted many from a range of perspectives, looked at what other conferences are doing, and more in order to figure the best way to proceed at this time.


Current CDC guidelines do not recommend requiring vaccinations for large events.  Rather, the science is now clear that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can transmit COVID-19.  Consequently, the ARNOVA Executive Committee carefully considered questions related to the efficacy of instituting a vaccination verification requirement for our conference.


First, concerns about efficacy specifically were related to our unsecured hotel venue, as it will be open to attendees of other conferences in the same hotel, non-conference guests, vendors, and the public at large. Second, attendees will have traveled to our conference through airports, on planes, in public transportation and ride shares, and in other unsecured modes where vaccination verification is not required.  Third, our attendees will likely encounter unverified populations at their places of accommodation (if not staying in the conference hotel) as well as in public venues such as retail stores and restaurants, throughout our event.  Finally, vaccine verifications require enforcement and security, practices which could create an environment of forced compliance.


Given these considerations, we STRONGLY recommend that you are vaccinated against Covid-19 in advance of your in-person attendance at the November 2021 ARNOVA conference in Atlanta. 

Some argue that we should require vaccinations.  While that is ideal, we do not have the capacity to:

  • Verify – beyond a simple “check-box” at time of registration or onsite check-in
  • Safely store your vaccination information

If we did require vaccinations, that does not offer any guarantee that someone wouldn’t be exposed and/or contract COVID-19. Why?

  • Our conference will not be conducted in a secure bubble; we cannot prevent exposure to anyone outside of the ARNOVA membership, including other hotel guests, staff and more
  • Travel to the conference is not secure against exposure to the virus

We do not choose to open ourselves to any claims of our liability if someone was exposed to the virus, and blamed ARNOVA, if we had a required vaccination policy yet someone contracted the virus.


The following information is, and will remain, on our website for attendee information.  We will update this information as/when additional information becomes available.


As a Reminder For Those Attending the Annual Conference:

  • ARNOVA will be following relevant federal, state, and local laws and guidelines in hosting the Annual Conference and will provide updates as needed based on changes in these laws and guidelines.
  • ARNOVA strongly recommends that all attendees be vaccinated prior to traveling to Atlanta for the conference. 
  • Per the current CDC recommendations, we ask that members who are unvaccinated stay home, stay safe, and do not travel to attend our conference in person.(Some sessions will be available in a virtual format…) 
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms of illness on-site should quarantine in their room until obtaining a negative COVID-19 test. (And should notify our ED, Lynnette Cook at 740-973-6094).
  • Wearing a mask will be required at the ARNOVA conference in accordance with the City of Atlanta mask mandate that requires that everyone wear masks indoors, even people who are fully vaccinated. 
  • To help ensure attendee safety, ARNOVA will:
    • Place hand sanitizing stations throughout conference meeting space.
    • Keep a stock of masks in the registration area.
    • Provide packages of sanitizing wipes in all meeting rooms to allow participants to wipe down high-touch surfaces.


  • Note that per the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 92 percent of the U.S. population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher had been fully vaccinated as of 8/31/2021. (While we recognize that citing this data may feel uncomfortable for some – i.e. elitist, etc., the reality is that ARNOVA membership is comprised of just such a demographic – with an even higher proportion of doctoral degrees, of course…)
  • Some (Atlanta area) restaurants are requiring (and more may require in future) proof of vaccination and/or recent negative COVID-19 test prior to entry. You may want to call restaurants where you plan to dine to check their policies or check their websites for up-to-date information. This list from Eater Atlanta may also be helpful.
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