Q. What is the AME Church doing to prepare for an in-person General Conference (GC)?
A. The meeting planning team is working closely with local Orlando authorities, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), and our hotel partners to determine and implement best practices. Further, CDC meeting and other federal, state, and local agencies’ guidelines are being followed for safety protocols.
Q. What COVID-19 protocols does the OCCC have in place?
A. The OCCC has a Recovery and Resiliency Plan to safeguard staff and all event and GC attendees. They maintain a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program which allows the OCCC to host conferences and events in the safest manner possible. The OCCC was also one of the first convention centers in the country to achieve Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Accreditation in COVID-19 outbreak prevention, response, and recovery.
Q. Has the OCCC updated its HVAC systems?
A. In accordance with OCCC operational policies, the HVAC systems in key areas in the convention center will run 24-hours per day during GC and fresh air exhaust will be used during move-in and move-out. HVAC HEPA filters are replaced every three months or as needed.
Q. Are vaccinations mandatory?
A. All attendees are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before arrival or to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.
Q. Why are participants being asked to sign a General Conference Promote Safety Acknowledgment?
A. Although the AME Church is implementing steps to ensure the safety of participants, there are no steps that eliminate 100% of the risk of COVID exposure and infection. The AME Church has determined that only with the assistance of participants in becoming familiar with the risks; self-screening and declining to participate in the General Conference, if during a specified time frame, the participant has had certain COVID symptoms or been exposed to contagious persons; and regular self-monitoring for symptoms and reporting to designated Point of Contact can the Church reasonably reduce the risk of the spread of the COVID infection.
Q. Will I be allowed to receive my credentials without signing the General Conference Promote Safety Acknowledgment?
A. No. Credentials will only be printed with a signed Acknowledgment.
Q. What is the face mask policy?
A. Face coverings will be required by all attendees at all times and in all locations. Attendees are encouraged to bring an adequate supply though some will be available on site.
Q. What other COVID-19 protocols will be required at GC?
A. All attendees will be responsible for daily self-monitoring and will be subject to daily temperature checks. Attendees will also be required to practice physical distancing of at least six feet. Hand sanitizing stations will be readily available and frequent hand washing is encouraged.
Q. Is transportation available from the airport to the partner hotels?
A. No. There is no GC- or hotel-sponsored transportation from the airport to the partner hotels. However, shuttles, taxis, and shared ride services are available.
Q. Do I need to bring my own electronic device to the GC?
A. Yes. Your electronic device will be needed to access the AME app which will be the best source of timely information on-site. Each DMR will have a large screen in order to view all the GC proceedings in the GSH.
Q. Will scooters be available?
A. Yes. It is necessary to reserve and pay in advance for scooter rentals. For more information, visit https://scootaround.com/en/amec-51st-quadrennial-session-of-the-general-conference-37th-biennial-convention-of-the-connectional-lay-organization.
Q. Are children allowed to attend GC?
A. Yes, we continue to recognize the importance of our youth in the overall operations and ministry of our church and they are welcomed to attend. While COVID-19 has limited some of our normal quadrennial activities, including the Youth Camp, young people can register as youth (ages 5-18)
Q. Will there be healthcare professionals at the GC?
A. Healthcare professionals will be in place in Orlando and Cape Town during both the GC and CLO meetings. They will manage all COVID-19 issues including testing as well as other medical care and health concerns, staff first-aid clinics, and provide telehealth options as needed.
Q. Is registration still open for observers?
A. Yes. We continue to encourage Observers to register for the GC and Lay Biennial. See www.observer.amec-2021gc.org.
Q. Are hotel rooms still available for observers?
A. Yes. Hotel reservations are still available. Observer registration requires a minimum deposit of a four-night stay.
Q. Who can we call if we have more questions about housing and registration?
A. For any questions regarding housing and registration, contact the GC Help Line at (833) 628–6180. Email housing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email registration questions to email@example.com.