As part of the POD Network’s ongoing efforts to make our events inclusive and accessible—and mindful of their impact on our larger communities—we urge all participants in the 2022 Seattle conference to join us in practicing the COVID safety precautions listed below. These policy decisions were developed in alignment with the POD Network’s values of equity and evidence: just as we rely on evidence to guide our work as educational developers and teachers, so too do we draw on up-to-date scientific evidence to enable equitable access to and involvement in the conference.

Returning to an in-person conference may elicit a wide range of feelings and reactions: joy and excitement at the prospect of reuniting with far-flung colleagues and friends, sadness for what we have lost, exhaustion that the pandemic continues, and trepidation for the risks we continue to face. These losses and risks have not been borne equally in our profession or in society as a whole. In acknowledgement of the complex and various impacts of the pandemic, we aim to foster a culture of care for POD conference attendees. Together we can create a safer conference for everyone, including our colleagues (and their loved ones) who are at greater risk of severe outcomes resulting from COVID infection.

Policies & Protocols

We are sharing these policies in advance so that participants can make an informed decision as to whether they feel safe attending the in-person conference. These precautions are expected of all conference attendees, but not of other guests staying in the conference hotel, so members should weigh those factors as they consider their options.

  • Masking: The POD Network expects all participants to wear a mask of N95 quality or better at all times inside the conference venue (defined as the 6th and 7th floors of the hotel), except when eating, drinking, or actively presenting in a session they are facilitating. All participants will be given four masks when they check in for the conference.
  • Vaccination: The POD Network strongly encourages all those for whom vaccination is an option to be up-to-date on their vaccines (ideally receiving their latest booster at least two weeks prior to the conference).
  • Testing: The POD Network expects all participants to test privately in their hotel rooms each day before attending conference events. All participants will be given three antigen tests when they check in for the conference and will have access to additional tests if they need them. If you do test positive while at the conference, please adhere to the isolation expectations below.
  • Meals: We are implementing a number of strategies to reduce the risk of transmission at meals:
    • “To go” boxes will be available at all meals during the conference for participants who would rather take their meal to eat in another location.
    • Participants are expected to mask while in the banquet hall except for when they are eating or drinking. Please take particular care to mask while around the buffet table.
    • Any presentations (such as the Presidential Address) will be scheduled for the start of the meal, so that those who would rather eat on their own can choose to leave once the presentation is over.
  • Session note sharing: To help isolating participants stay connected to the conference—and as a general accessibility practice—we will have google docs associated with every session, where participants can post their session notes for all conference goers to reference. We encourage all participants to contribute their notes!
  • Isolation expectations: We expect that anyone who tests positive on-site will follow the hotel’s policy to isolate in one’s room, as well as CDC guidelines regarding isolation. If you do test positive on-site, please contact the POD Network Office so we can help connect you with the support you need.

Please note that we trust participants to adhere to these guidelines in good faith, and we will not ask attendees to show vaccination records or test results. This decision stems, in part, from the POD Network operating as an almost entirely volunteer-run organization and the amount of additional labor such oversight would require. Furthermore, we are hesitant to ask volunteer workers to take on the responsibility of enforcing expectations with colleagues. We appreciate everyone doing their part to help create a conference that feels safe and welcoming to as many of our members as possible. Thank you for joining us in cultivating POD’s culture of care.

Information About the Venue

  • Conference events will occur on the 6th and 7th floors of the hotel. We have secured spacious areas for the conference to allow for as much social distancing as possible. Those needing a fresh air break will need to travel down to the first floor. Participants are also welcome to find space on other floors if in need of a mask break.
  • The hotel follows Hyatt’s Care & Cleanliness Commitment and has been Gold certified since June 2019 under the LEED for New Construction 2009 rating system. The building provides 30% more fresh air ventilation than the minimum standard amount.
  • Hotel employees are not required to be vaccinated. Hotel employees will be masked when on the 6th & 7th floors, and servers will be masked during meals.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the hotel and sanitizing wipes will be available in session rooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are in the process of developing an FAQ document that will include additional information related to COVID precautions while at the conference (such as suggestions for local restaurants with outdoor seating and sites that provide PCR testing). In the meantime, if you have any questions, please reach out to the POD Network Office.