Q&A Coronavirus – AC20 Update

7/2/20 Update

Announcing: This Is Why
CWEA AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo

On June 26th the CWEA Board of Directors made the decision to convert AC20 into a virtual conference for the safety of our members, exhibitors and staff. If you are already registered for AC20 in Reno, NV, your existing conference registration will be automatically applied to the virtual conference.

Moving our face-to-face conference to a fully online format presents us with the unique opportunity to spotlight the best of what online delivery affords and plenty of opportunities to participate in meaningful collaboration with colleagues near and far.

CWEA AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo
October 19-23, 2020

For our first-ever virtual conference, we are planning to offer 50+ contact hours with a mix of live, interactive sessions and recorded content you can access any time. All AC20 recorded content will be available to registered attendees on-demand for 90 days after the conference. The Conference Committee continues to plan, so conent and contact hours are subject to change.

We look forward to having you join us for this reimagined event and celebrate CWEA and our members’ collective resilience and dedication to forging connections without boundaries.

CWEA’s Annual Conference is known for its vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over emerging and salient topics in our field. The virtual conference will include our regular offerings and opportunities for engagement, including sessions, workshops, and keynotes, plus space to connect with sponsors, exhibitors, and professionals from across California.


Networking is a cornerstone of our annual event and attendees will be able to partake in interactive and engaging experiences through a new dynamic virtual conference platform. The virtual system also has interactive exhibition features and includes plentiful opportunities for sponsorship exposure, all while attendees connect from the comfort and safety of their home or office.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities during the virtual conference experience, please contact Christine Carchia, Senior Manager, Exhibitions & Sponsorship Sales, CWEA ccarchia@cwea.org or call 510.746.7415.


If you are currently registered for AC20, your registration is automatically applied to the virtual conference. Unable to attend? Please contact Member Services at memberservices@cwea.org.

If you have not yet registered for the AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo, we will be relaunching registration in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information.

We look forward to welcoming you to CWEA’s AC20 Virtual Conference & Expo.

More details will follow shortly.



510.382.7800 x0


3/13/20 Update:

Annual Conference 2020 is postponed

AC20 will now take place Oct 27-30 in Reno.

For details on what this means for attendees and exhibitors please read the letter from the CWEA President and Executive Director >

3/10/20 Update:

  • AC20 is on
  • The CDC notes the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is thought to be low. Link to CDC guidance.
  • A letter from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center
  • The Convention Center and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa are taking additional steps to ensure a safe and healthy conference environment.
    Additional Atlantis procedures include:

    • Re-outfitted cleaning chemicals and restroom soap dispensers to meet the latest industry guidelines
    • Expanded cleaning of all public areas
    • Expanded locations of hand sanitizers
    • Banquet staff has extensive food handling training and will wear gloves during CWEA’s event
    • HR policy for team members to remain home when sick
    • More information to come from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center
  • Washoe County (Reno-Sparks area) has not issued any public advisories that would alter or cancel an event such as ours
  • We are fully committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe and healthy environment for attendees, exhibitors, and staff
  • We will be posting recommendations that will include:
      • No handshakes
      • No hugs
      • Wipe digital devices before sharing
      • Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer

We’ll introduce more details on these efforts closer to the conference.

The CWEA Board and Conference Committee are looking forward to a fantastic and safe event.

What is CWEA doing in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we understand you may have questions about the CWEA Annual Conference. The CWEA Board and staff places the health and safety of our members, attendees and staff as our first priority.

The CDC notes the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is thought to be low. Link to CDC guidance.

Based on current federal and state guidance, Annual Conference is a go.

The CWEA Board and Staff are monitoring and reviewing daily updates from federal, state and local health officials. As information changes, we’ll take any additional necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of all attendees.

What steps are the Reno-Sparks Convention Center taking?

Please see this letter from Convention Center General Manager (pdf) >

What steps will be taken at Annual Conference?

Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizers are important.

We are implementing standard practices for events and conferences recommended by healthcare providers. We are following the guidance of the CDC, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and others for instructions on how to properly manage the conference.

At AC20 you’ll see signs and hand sanitizing stations such as this.

We recommend following best practices for hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette during the conference, and every day. Recommendations include:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing or sneeze into your elbow
  • Please understand any attendee or exhibitor’s request not to shake hands
  • Stay away from someone who is coughing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

These hand sanitation practices also help prevent the spread of seasonal colds and flu.

What happens next?

The CWEA Board and Staff will continue to monitor daily instructions from the CDC, state and local health officials.

We’ll be frequently updating this Q&A with the latest information on an ongoing basis.

What about the safety of collection system and wastewater treatment professionals?

Wastewater worker safety information was assembled by WEF and is available on the CWEA E-Bulletin website or on the WEF website.

View and download CDC handwashing reminder posters