COVID-19 Protocols

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COVID-19 Preparedness and Event Safety Plan

EastWest Eye Conference

October 7-9, 2021

The EastWest Eye Conference is a regional educational conference for optometrists and their staff members operated by the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA), the professional trade association for Ohio’s Doctors of Optometry. 

The EastWest Eye Conference is open only to optometrists, opticians, their staff members and a limited number of eye care industry vendors. Members of the public are not able to attend the conference. All attendees are strongly encouraged to pre-register for the event. Because of our attendees’ status as healthcare providers, we anticipate a very high percentage of those in attendance will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, perhaps approaching 95% or higher.  

As a trade association representing the interests of health care providers and patients, the OOA takes the responsibility to protect attendees at the conference very seriously. Regardless of the high percentage of vaccinated attendees, the EastWest Eye Conference will comply with all state and local ordinances regarding group gatherings and implement necessary protocols, including the following:

  • Attendees will be required to pre-register and pre-pay for the conference in order to limit interaction with conference staff and congregation at the registration area.
  • All attendees will be asked to adhere to social distancing protocols when possible. 
  • All attendees will be made aware of CDC Guidelines for mask usage. These guidelines are currently as follows:
    • If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
    • In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, wearing a mask is required in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
    • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
    • If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
  • Food options for attendees will be limited and subject to pre-registration. Attendees will be encouraged to leave the facility and spend time outdoors. Any food consumed inside the facility must take place at the designated seating areas and eating/drinking will not be permitted outside of those areas.
  • Conference staff will monitor the event and enforce compliance with protocols.
  • All attendees will have access to advance information regarding conference protocols. 

In addition to these changes, the EastWest Conference will follow any protocols put in place by state and local officials to limit the spread of the virus, including social distancing, use of masks, hygiene and sanitation, and other requirements. Additionally, the conference will rely on the expertise of the Columbus Convention Center for assistance in conference layout, floor plans, venue capacity, ingress and egress from the facility and individual rooms, and other items. This plan may receive future updates in order to accommodate for possible changes in CDC guidance and state and local protocols.

The City of Columbus has issued a mask mandate directing individuals to wear facial coverings or masks in indoor public spaces. The mask mandate is required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents. Certain exceptions apply, including for those individuals who are actively eating or drinking and those giving a speech to an audience. The Columbus Convention Center has updated all signage and communications to reflect that masks will be required in all publicly accessible indoor spaces regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. For more information, read the city ordinance here: Columbus-Mask-Ordinance.pdf