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Covid Mitigation for the SJE Annual Meeting

We are very much looking forward to seeing you in January! In order to keep the conference as safe and accessible as possible in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging understanding of the long-term consequences of repeated SARS-COV-2 infection, we are implementing the following policies for our upcoming conference. Public health professionals have provided us with a baseline, but we are deciding to implement additional precautions because of a concern for our community. These policies were constructed in consultation with health professionals and disabled and immuno-compromised individuals.

Please read carefully and plan to make sure you can meet these conditions. We are not asking anybody to incur any additional costs to attend the conference. We will provide masks and tests as needed. Please direct any questions you might have to Dr. Zackary Berger, MD at, and put SJE in the subject line.

  • Full COVID-19 vaccinations AND boosters are required for attendance. This means having received a. A full primary sequence of any approved vaccine, and, b. At least the most recent bivalent booster, and ideally at least one dose of the original booster. For more information on what “fully vaccinated” means for you specifically, please refer to

* We will be checking proof of vaccination–either a paper vaccine card or an electronic record will suffice– upon your arrival in Chicago.

*If you have a specific medical reason why you are unable to be vaccinated, please contact Dr. Zackary Berger, M.D:

  • KF94/KN95/N95 or better masks are required for all indoor events (except for meals, on which, see below). We will be providing two styles of masks (to offer a better opportunity for proper fit) for all attendees.

*We also ask all attendees to wear masks during air, train, or bus travel to Chicago, and on public transit and/or rideshares to the conference site.

*To clarify matters: masks are effective when they are worn over your nose and mouth.

*You are, of course, free to supply your own KF94/KN95/N95 or elastomeric respirators (without an exhalation vent or, in the case of certain elastomerics, with the exhalation vent solidly blocked with duct tape, parafilm, or a manufacturer-provided vent cover) if you prefer. Reliable sources of masks and respirators include:

  • All attendees must take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) a. directly prior to traveling, b. every morning of the conference, and c. within an hour of communal meals. We will be providing enough RATs for each attendee during the course of the conference.

*If the test you take at the beginning of the day also happens to be within an hour of a given meal, that may count for both conditions.

*If at any point you test positive, please do not board your transportation or attend further conference events. Please instead isolate and rest to the best of your ability. We’ll be sorry to miss you, but we’ll be even sorrier if our conference becomes a spreader event–or if you overdo it and make yourself even sicker. (Some emerging research suggests that if you’re infected, one of the best things you can do to reduce your Long COVID risk is to do your best impression of a potato for at least a month).

  • We will be carefully monitoring the ventilation and filtration in our spaces and, where necessary, supplementing with portable HEPA units, especially during meals.

*We are currently in the process of gathering information about the existing ventilation and filtration systems at the Palmer House Hotel and will provide that information once it becomes available.

*We will also be monitoring the CO2 levels in the space during the conference itself.

Thank you for your cooperation. We look forward to seeing you in January in Chicago!

Rebecca Epstein-Levi Michal Raucher

SJE Covid Committee Chair SJE President

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