Our Public Health Commitment
DDW is committed to creating a safe and healthy event by following local health and safety guidance. Our health protocols will be updated in accordance with expert guidance from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
DDW strongly recommends all attendees, industry supporters, speakers and staff comply with travel guidelines issued by the CDC when traveling to D.C. We expect all individuals will think carefully about any risk they may pose to others and make informed choices regarding their travel and engagements during the event.
COVID-19 Policy at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center
DDW will follow recommendations from the CDC and specific to Washington, D.C. when informing participants about decisions pertaining to health and safety precautions for the meeting. Registered attendees will be notified in advance of any changes to meeting precautions, recommendations or requirements.
If you are attending DDW 2024, we strongly recommend that you take the following precautions:
- Ensure that your COVID-19 vaccinations are up to date.
- Take a rapid COVID test within 24 hours prior to your departure for the meeting and do not attend in person if you test positive.
- Do not attend the meeting if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection and leave the meeting if you develop such symptoms.
- Wear a mask in crowded indoor settings. A limited number of masks will be available onsite for meeting registrants.
- Follow all health and safety protocols as required by the meeting facility and local and state health departments.
- Review and implement the current CDC guidance for protecting yourself from COVID-19.
In the event that you are unable to attend in person due to illness or a positive COVID-19 test, as a registered attendee, you will have access to:
- Online programming (four concurrent channels of livestreamed sessions),
- On demand (session recordings) of all scientific sessions,
- ePosters site; and
- The online Industry Supporter Directory.
Safety as a Visitor to Chicago
As with any large city, visitors should exercise safety when navigating the streets of Chicago. Ensuring the safety of our attendees is a priority for the DDW, and DDW has invested in enhanced security measures in and around McCormick Place. Additionally, the city’s police department has a strong partnership with Chicago’s tourism and hospitality community, and so the police department maintains a strong downtown presence to help ensure the safety of Chicago’s visitors.
However, here are practical safety tips to remember when you are a tourist away from home:
- Remove your event badge once you leave McCormick Place.
- Be careful about leaving valuables and ID/Passport in meeting and hotel rooms. Make a copy of your ID/Passport so if it were lost, officials could use the information to check databases.
- Do not carry your passport with you once you arrive at DDW. Secure your passport in your hotel room safe. If lost or stolen, obtaining a new one can be difficult, time-consuming and may even delay your return home.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you. If possible, store most of your cash in your hotel room safe. Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other valuable items in public.
Be observant of your environment. Use well-lit streets and areas that feel safe. Select routes that are the shortest distance between the convention center and your destination.
Safety in numbers. Travel in groups and avoid traveling by yourself.
Just Say No! Avoid street solicitors. If you feel compelled to give, donate to a charitable organization via their official website, rather than through a solicitor on the street.
- Whether in a meeting room or guest room, be aware of the nearest exits in case of an emergency.
- Use all auxiliary locking devices on your hotel doors and windows. Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry. Don’t let anybody in your hotel room without knowing they are expected and wearing a uniform or badge. If in doubt, call the front desk.
- In case of a fire emergency, be sure to check the door for heat and smoke before exiting.
All participants will be required to provide proof of their full COVID-19 vaccinated status to gain access to the event. “Fully vaccinated” at DDW is defined as individuals who have received one of the following:
- A second shot in a two-dose series of any vaccine approved by CDC or the World Health Organization (WHO), such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, by Saturday, May 7, 2022.
- One shot of a single dose of any vaccine approved by CDC or WHO, such as the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine, by Saturday, May 7, 2022.
While we are not requiring that participants receive a booster vaccine, we strongly encourage all attendees to be boosted.
There will be no exceptions to the vaccine requirement. If you registered to attend DDW in person and are not vaccinated, you have two options.
- You can attend DDW virtually. To switch from an in-person attendee to a virtual attendee, send an email to [email protected]. In the subject line, type Switch my DDW registration from in-person to virtual. In the body of the email, provide your first name, last name, and the confirmation number you received in your confirmation email. Any in-person ticketed sessions you purchased will be refunded to you. Refunds can take up to 14 working days.
- You can cancel your DDW registration and received a full refund by sending an email to [email protected]. In the subject line, type Cancel my DDW registration due to COVID vaccine requirement. In the body of the email, provide your first name, last name, and the confirmation number you received in your confirmation email. Refunds can take up to 14 working days.
To ensure the safety of all in-person attendees and provide secure and streamlined access to the San Diego Convention Center, we are using a system powered by 42Chat that allows attendees to upload their vaccination card and verify their vaccination status in advance of the meeting. 42Chat does not use personally identifiable information of End-Users for any purpose other than in support of Healthshield, the application used to upload and validate DDW attendee vaccine cards.
IMPORTANT. We strongly encourage all registered attendees to begin the automated upload and validation process as early as possible. Validation of your vaccine card can take a minimum of 24 hours.
Registered attendees from the U.S.:
- Text UPLOAD to 877-509-1104 to begin the automated upload and validation process. If you do not receive a link to start the process, please make sure you sent the text to 877-509-1104 and typed the word UPLOAD. If you try to text again and still do not receive a link, or if you need any assistance, text SUPPORT to 877-509-1104.
- Registered attendees from the U.S. whose vaccine status is verified by April 27, 2022, will receive their meeting badges in the mail. The meeting badge will serve as proof of vaccination and can be used to enter the convention center.
- Registered attendees from the U.S. whose vaccine status is not verified by April 27 will need to pick up their meeting badges at the convention center and show proof of vaccination to enter the convention center.
- Watch the online tutorial for uploading proof of vaccination via SMS.
Registered attendees from outside of the U.S.:
- Use this link to begin the automated upload and validation process.
- Registered attendees from outside of the U.S. will not receive their meeting badges in the mail. They will need to pick up their meeting badges at the convention center and show proof of vaccination to enter the convention center.
- Watch this online tutorial for uploading proof of vaccination via web link.
- If you are attempting to use the link from a computer at your place of work, there is a chance your network administrator may block access to the upload website. If this happens, try using the link from a personal device or talk to your company’s network administrator.
After uploading a vaccine card, the registered attendee will receive a notification that the document was uploaded and is awaiting validation.
After a registered attendee’s vaccine status is validated, they will receive a notification via either text or email, based on how they initiated the process, with a link to their validated status (see below). Attendees who use the web link should check their spam folder in the event the email is delivered to that folder.
Registered attendees who do not receive their meeting badges in the mail will be required to show this validation along with a valid ID to enter the convention center to pick up their meeting badges and materials. They should save this validation to their phone or print out a copy to present for entry into the convention center. See “Entering the Meeting Venue” for more information about where and how to enter the convention center.
Checking your status: Validation of your vaccine status can take a minimum of 24 hours. If you have not received a notification a validated status, check your status by either:
- If you uploaded your card via text, go to your original text message and type STATUS.
- If you uploaded your card via the web link, go to the link using the same device you used to upload your card. If you use another device with a different IP address, the website will not recognize you and will not provide a status update.
We strongly recommend attendees consult the CDC COVID-19 Travel Page for requirements related to travel to and within the U.S. Attendees traveling from outside of the U.S. also should consult their local government for guidelines and requirements. All attendees should check with their airline(s) for requirements regarding testing, vaccination or other documentation.
Entry to the convention center will be through controlled access points where vaccination status will be verified. No attendee will be able to enter the convention center without providing proof of vaccination status.
Registered attendees with a meeting badge*:
- Enter the convention center through the Hall D entrance.
- Your badge will serve as proof of your vaccination status.
Registered attendees without a meeting badge*:
- Enter the convention center through the Hall A entrance.
- You will need to present a valid ID and your proof of vaccination from 42Chat.
- You will pick up your meeting badge and meeting materials in Hall A.
- Re-entry to the convention center will be through the Hall D entrance with your meeting badge.
*See “Providing Proof of Vaccination” for information about our automated vaccination card upload and verification system, and which attendees will receive a meeting badge in advance of the meeting.
Regarding the use of face masks, we will follow California health guidelines in place in May 2022; however, we strongly recommend everyone wear a mask at all times while attending DDW events in San Diego.
The Exhibit and Poster Halls will have wider main aisles to allow for social distancing. In addition, the Exhibit Hall will have limited carpet to allow for easier and faster cleaning.
The following cleaning protocols will be in place at the convention center.
- Meeting rooms will be cleaned after each session.
- High-touch areas within the convention center, including all bathrooms, will be cleaned regularly.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout the convention center.
If you feel sick while attending DDW, you are required to proceed as follows:
- Wear a mask at all times when you are not in your hotel room.
- Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible by visiting a local testing site.
- If your test results come back positive, self-isolate in your hotel room. You can still watch the livestream of many of the scientific sessions through the DDW Virtual™ meeting platform.
- Adhere to CDC guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation periods. You can use the Quarantine and Isolation Calculator to determine when it’s advisable to leave quarantine or isolation.
Rapid antigen and/or PCR testing may be available at local pharmacies for attendees who are not feeling well or who require a negative test before air travel. Following are resources for identifying some testing locations. Note that testing options and turnaround times for PCR/NAAT testing and Rapid-result (PCR) may vary. We recommend that you schedule appointments ahead of time.
As of April 15, 2022, the following pharmacies near the convention center provide testing options.
CVS Pharmacy (Gas Lamp)
400 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Monday-Friday 8 AM––8 PM
Saturday 9 AM––6 PM
Sunday 10 AM––6 PM
PCR/NAAT: results in 1 – 2 days
Rapid-result (PCR), results within hours (limited availability)
Recommend scheduling appts ahead of time due to volume.
101 G St, San Diego, CA
Pharmacy Direct Phone: 619-237-7660
Sun: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Mon – Fri: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sat: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
This location only offers at-home OTC COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for sale.
No onsite PCR/NAAT or Rapid-result (PCR) testing is available.
CDC Guidance for COVID-19
The CDC provides guidance on a variety of topics to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Health & Safety in D.C.
Review the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s health and safety protocols.
Attending from outside the U.S.? Here’s information you need to know.