COVID Safety Measures for GSA Connects 2021 [10 September 2021]
As a reminder, GSA has made the decision that all participants at the in-person GSA Connects 2021 meeting in Portland, Oregon, will be required to provide proof of full vaccination and receive a negative COVID test before traveling to the Connects 2021 meeting in Portland. Those who are unvaccinated or can’t make the trip should participate in our online-only program. Viral tests are acceptable, either molecular (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test—NAAT, e.g., PCR, RT-PCR, LAMP) or antigen. For more information please visit our GSA Connects 2021 Vaccine & COVID Test Requirements FAQ.
GSA is requiring the following measures to provide confidence in the safety of meeting attendees and to ensure that every arriving attendee can attest to their current health status. In-person meeting attendees must:
- Upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to the meeting
- And complete a daily health screening each morning prior to arrival
An easy-to-use tool called HealthShield will be used for the upload process and health screening. Please note we are not collecting or processing any information that is covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Neither GSA nor HealthShield/42Chat are “covered entities” under HIPAA rules. 42Chat is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant and US Commerce Department “Privacy Shield” compliant. Their security measures meet or exceed all current industry standards.
Presently the State of Oregon requires masks in all indoor settings and most public outdoor settings for anyone over the age of two regardless of vaccination status.
On Wednesday, 1 September, the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) announced that it is also implementing stricter safety measures for events, including proof of vaccination for people 12 years of age or older, which GSA is already requiring. The OCC will continue to follow Metro, Multnomah County, and State health official guidance for all events and is also working to schedule only vaccinated staff and contracted partner staff to work in and around events.
If you need assistance finding a COVID-19 vaccination, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment.
Please read below for further details on GSA’s Commitment to Care health and safety measures.
COVID and Vaccine FAQ
Read the Vaccine & COVID Test Requirements FAQ
Commitment to Care
Creating a safe, worry-free GSA Connects experience is our top priority.
GSA is preparing Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon, as an in-person event experience so that all individuals onsite—attendees, speakers, staff, vendors, and venue personnel—remain safe and comfortable. We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and are in constant communication with our partners at the Oregon Convention Center, Travel Portland, hotels within our block, GSA Councilors, and the Portland local organizing committee, and are reviewing updated CDC guidelines.
Venue and Accommodations
Our host venue, the Oregon Convention Center, and those hotels within our block have each developed sanitation protocols and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of their guests and staff. Click on the links below to learn more about what each of these venues are doing.
Health Screening and Proof of Vaccination
In-person attendees will complete a daily health screening and upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination with an easy-to-use tool called HealthShield.
HealthShield uses text messages to guide you through screening and document submission—no app required. If you provided your mobile phone number during meeting registration, HealthShield will contact you automatically. If not, or if you want to get started now, follow the links below to learn more.
You can also complete the screening process at the convention center entrance; however, completing it beforehand will be much faster.
Learn more about health screening and proof of vaccination with HealthShield
Connects 2021 Vaccine and COVID-19 Test Requirements FAQ
GSA is staying up to date on all travel guidelines, considerations, and restrictions from global and local authorities.
See what action TSA is taking in response to COVID-19.
Stay informed with what Portland International Airport (PDX) and TriMet Safety are doing by visiting their websites:
Learn what major U.S. airlines are doing by visiting their websites:
With planning, partnerships, and preparation, we're committed to creating a healthy, safe, and comfortable in-person event. We look forward to seeing you in Portland!