Q&A Novel Coronavirus – AC20 is Postponed

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