Getting Back to Business

GWCCA is committed to creating compelling guest experiences. As we look to open our doors and welcome events back on our campus, the health and safety of our guests and team members mean more than it ever has before. While we’ve already taken a number of steps to support our guests and team members, GWCCA is developing a comprehensive plan featuring enhanced safety measures and operational changes designed to meet the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19, and that aligns with Gov. Kemp’s executive order for conventions.

GBAC STARTM Accreditation

GWCC is the first convention center in the U.S. to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. It is the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation. GBAC STAR enables facilities to create and maintain an organized, effective approach to work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

Touchless Experience

With the implementation of cashless transactions for parking, food and beverage, and coat and bag check to opening doors, directing guests, and exhibitor services desk, we are creating several no-contact experiences to reduce the number of person-to-person touchpoints throughout Georgia World Congress Center.

Crowd Density Protocols

From ingress/egress, building access, physical distancing guidelines for public spaces, food lines, meeting rooms, and exhibit halls to reevaluating attendee flow, analyzing occupancy limits, and applying registration protocols, we are creating a safe environment for attendees, exhibitors, and team members.

Enhanced Communication

Visitors to GWCC can expect gentle reminders on required physical distancing and hygiene guidelines in the form of signage near elevators, escalators, high-traffic common areas, food stands, restrooms, and any other place we can find to help reinforce protocols and guidelines. You also will see information on our social channels, interior monitors throughout the facility, and outdoor digital billboards.

GBAC STARTM Accreditation

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Touchless Experience

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Crowd Density Protocols

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Enhanced Communication

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We're working on a lot more. Here's what to expect...

Team Members

All GWCCA team members, contractors and vendors will be subject to screenings, including temperature check. Anyone exhibiting signs of illness, such as a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell will not be allowed entry into the facility and asked to contact their supervisor. Additionally, GWCCA team members will be required to stay home if they feel sick or will be sent home if they feel sick while at work.

All team members in a customer-facing role will be required to wear a face covering.

All team members will receive training on our updated hygiene policy and general best practices, including proper personal hygiene and preventative measures to protect themselves, team members, and guests, as well as required cleaning protocols in team member common areas.

Enhanced Cleaning

GWCCA will increase the frequency of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces using EPA-registered disinfectants. High-touch surfaces include restrooms, door handles/knobs, staircase and escalator rails, elevators buttons, and ATM/vending machines.

Additional team members will be added in high-traffic areas such as restrooms and other public spaces; increased sanitizing stations will be available to guests in public areas.

Parking

Guests will be greeted by team members wearing the appropriate PPE.

To reduce touchpoints, we are implementing frictionless payment options, including credit card, mobile payment solutions, and prepaid reservations, which are available at gwccparking.com and parking.com.

Reserve Parking

Pedestrian Flow

To encourage proper physical distancing, it is GWCCA’s expectation that the general public will follow guidelines established and published by the Governor’s Office and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Similarly, our expectation is that the general public will self-govern and be responsible for their own wellbeing.

Signage will be posted near elevators with recommended capacity per ride and guests and team members traveling on escalators will be encouraged to leave a minimum of two steps between each other. High-foot traffic areas will be designated as one-way passages and include wider aisles, wherever possible.

Physical distancing indicators will be placed on the ground at key waiting areas such as bag and coat check, Guest Services kiosks, event registration, restrooms, elevators, and food lines to help guests maintain proper distance.

Food & Beverage

GWCCA will implement processes and modify its current menu offerings to allow for proper physical distancing and reduce overall person-to-person contact where possible. All team members who prepare or handle food will be required to wear a face covering, gloves, and hairnets/hats while in any food preparation or serving capacity. Protocols are in place for handwashing and glove changes.

Plexiglass shields and sneeze guards will be used when and where appropriate for interactions between team members and guests. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available at service workstations. Kitchens will be deep cleaned and disinfected daily, while food preparation stations will be sanitized before and after each use.

Food queuing lines, dining areas, and bar seating will be spaced to allow for proper physical distancing; proper signage also featured. Menu modifications include pre-packaged food items prepared in advance, individually wrapped utensils, and touchless payment options. Increased levels of service attendants to replace all self-serve food and beverage options (e.g. buffets).

Event & Meeting Space

Where practical, meeting and event spaces (e.g. seating capacities and room sets) will be modified to allow for limited touch and proper physical distancing, but customers and individual guests are responsible for adhering to proper physical distancing behaviors.

We advocate for exhibitions, table, and/or booth placements to allow for 6' between fellow exhibitors; exhibitors are encouraged to use a physical barrier to create distance from attendees.

GWCCA Public Safety will work alongside event planners to organize attendee pedestrian flow.

GWCCA team members will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of shared items and high-touch surfaces throughout the day.

Technology & Audiovisual

Our partners CCLD and ON Site are committed to providing a safe, clean environment for team members, customers, and event attendees and will follow the same daily health screening requirements as GWCCA team members.

ON Site team members stand ready and committed to comply with all state, local, and GWCCA guidelines and requirements in order to provide a safe and effective meeting and event experience for guests. Learn more about what ON Site is doing to combat COVID-19.

CCLD team members also will follow the same customer facing requirements; they will provide multiple options to assist planners in providing virtual content to attendees not on site as well as virtual site visits showing room sets with physical distancing requirements applied.

Response & Protocols

If a guest or event attendee is presumed to have, is exhibiting symptoms of, or is lab-diagnosed with COVID-19, GWCCA Public Safety, where possible, will escort person(s) to medical and/or coordinate engagement with the Department of Health.

In the event of a known exposure, we will deep clean all known points of contact/exposure and re-clean impacted common and high-traffic areas on property regardless of when they were last cleaned.

As a precaution, GWCCA will maintain a first aid station during business hours for its team members.

Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to add to our FAQ, in the meantime please contact your GWCC Event Services representative for answers to questions not found here.

Updated June 4, 2020

General Safety Questions

GWCCA Public Safety is partnering with in-house medical provider Event Medical to quickly respond to and isolate those presenting with COVID-19 symptoms. Event Medical will be able to conduct testing of those suspected of having COVID-19 and we will adhere to current CDC protocols for a response to a person under investigation (PIU).

GWCCA Public Safety can activate an isolation room, if necessary, either for team members or if a customer wishes to include a room within their medical plan. Please ask your Event Services representative to connect you with GWCCA Public Safety to discuss plans and cost.

We will follow current CDC guidelines. If this is still a recommendation, we will continue to recommend that event attendees wear a face mask when they enter the facility.

Air handling and circulation has been thoroughly studied and tested during the build out of GWCC’s use as an alternate care facility. We are confident in the facility’s ability to optimize airflow to provide the safest environment.

GWCCA Public Safety can administer temperature checks. Please ask your Event Services representative to connect you with GWCCA Public Safety to discuss plans, staffing, and cost.

It is GWCCA’s expectation that the general public will follow guidelines established and published by the Governor’s Office and the CDC. Similarly, our expectation is for the general public to self-govern and be responsible for their own wellbeing.

Yes. All medical plans need to be compliant with all guidelines established by the Governor’s Office and CDC recommendations.

Cleaning and Crowd Density

Visitors to GWCC can expect gentle reminders on required physical distancing and hygiene guidelines in the form of signage near elevators, escalators, high-traffic common areas, food stands, restrooms, and any other place we can find to help reinforce protocols and guidelines. You also will see information on our social channels, interior monitors throughout the facility, and outdoor digital billboards.

It is GWCCA’s expectation that the general public will follow guidelines established and published by the Governor’s Office and the CDC. Similarly, our expectation is for the general public to self-govern and be responsible for their own wellbeing.

Customer and team member safety have always been a priority for GWCCA. Frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces and high-traffic areas are part of our standard protocol.

With the onset of COVID-19, GWCCA’s Facility Operations staff performed constant disinfecting and cleaning of common touchpoint areas (door handles, escalator handrails, comfort stations, food service areas, etc.), placed additional alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations throughout the Congress Center, increased cleaning frequency of commonly contacted surfaces, and amplified handwashing protocols. GWCCA also posted signage throughout the facility and on digital monitors inside and outside the facility detailing further guidelines recommended by the CDC. We are exceeding the recommended CDC guidance on cleaning frequency.

A midday room refresh includes removal of trash and replacement of trashcan liners, sweeping and vacuuming as necessary, and addressing any other general housekeeping procedures. Please note these refreshes will occur as meeting schedules allow and that we will not be disinfecting during normal refreshes. An overnight room refresh includes pulling trash and replacing trashcan liners, straightening chairs, replacing any soiled linen, sweeping and vacuuming, and disinfecting touchpoints.

Rooms are swept and vacuumed, trashcans are disinfected and liners are replaced, and doors are cleaned and disinfected. Additionally, we will clean and disinfect touchpoints on equipment after it is placed.

GWCC has more than 150 hand washing locations and is well equipped with hand sanitizer locations, including mobile stands.

Common areas are maintained throughout the day by dedicated staff following protocols based on attendance and footprint of events in the facility. GWCCA will increase the frequency of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces using EPA-registered disinfectants. High-touch surfaces include restrooms, door handles/knobs, staircase and escalator rails, elevators buttons, and ATM/vending machines. Additional team members will be added in high-traffic areas such as restrooms and other public spaces; increased sanitizing stations will be available to guests in public areas.

All equipment will be sanitized after room/equipment is set by means of fogger, backpack sprayer, and/or wipe down. Meeting rooms will then be "sealed" by means of door hanger or other signage indicating the room is ready for customer use.

Customers who want to bring in a contractor/third party for additional cleaning can do so if the contractor operates within the scope of GWCCA’s prevailing contractual agreements. GWCCA has several relationships in place and would happy to provide information upon request.

It is GWCCA’s expectation that the public will follow guidelines established and published by the Governor’s Office and the CDC. Similarly, our expectation is for the public to self-govern and be responsible for their own wellbeing. We are prepared to work with customers to achieve the desired room layouts, while adhering to current CDC guidelines.

Where practical, meeting and event spaces (e.g. seating capacities and room sets) will be modified to allow for limited touch and proper physical distancing, but customers and individual guests are responsible for adhering to proper physical distancing behaviors. We strongly encourage clients to follow current CDC guidelines and work with their Event Manager on room layouts and to review various options.

GWCCA Public Safety will work alongside event planners to organize attendee pedestrian flow.

GWCC event managers are available to work with customers to determine entry and flow patterns for their event and will be required to provide any signage and/or personnel to implement the plan.

Customers are encouraged to collaborate with exhibitor on laying out their exhibit floors to promote physical distancing and follow CDC guidelines.

Campus/Building Access

Yes. Please get with your Event Services representative for details.

It is GWCCA’s expectation that the general public will follow guidelines established and published by the Governor’s Office and the CDC. Similarly, our expectation is for the general public to self-govern and be responsible for their own wellbeing.

In additional to utilizing our camera system, open doors will be monitored by GWCCA personnel along with continuous spot checks by GWCCA Public Safety.

All team members and contractors will continue to enter GWCC through the team member entrance. GWCCA Public Safety will staff the team member entrance 24/7 to monitor and control access into the building during non-business hours.

For parts of GWCC not in use, controlled access would be implemented by placing stanchions at the applicable floor level at the top of the escalators in order to control access to lower levels.

Alternate Care Facility (ACF)

Georgia World Congress Center ceased medical operations on May 16 and served in a "warm" capacity through June 23rd. The alternate care facility has completely vacated GWCC and all areas of Building A have been disinfected and deep cleaned.

GWCC was used for treatment of COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate (non-ICU) illness levels, excluding ventilator support. Walk-up patients and visitors were not permitted.

GEMA utilized one exhibit hall in Building A and three meeting rooms for hospital staff. There was no patient access to lobbies, or upper floors. All patient movement occurred via back dock access. Entry to the facility was limited to doors with direct access to the halls.

The ACF will ceased medical operations on May 16th. According to PAE, it takes approximately 5 days to demobilize, decontaminate/clean, and restore GWCC’s exhibit hall. After decontamination, the ACF footprint was reduced from 200 beds down to 40 beds. The 40-bed structure will be left in place in a "warm" capacity through June 23rd to ensure that if Georgia sees a spike in hospitalizations, the ACF could be recommissioned with very little set up time.

PAE has partnered with Beck Facility Services (Beck) to provide complete decontamination services for both internal and external environments at GWCC’s alternate care facility according to protocols set forth by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Beck uses CDC approved and EPA registered industrial strength disinfectants with a broad spectrum kill claim and provides a proactive viral pathogen cleaning service designed to target high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, railing, electrical outlets, light switches, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, chairs, tablets, and tables. Its three-phase approach relies on CDC guidance and is designed in consultation with medical professionals, infectious disease experts, and commercial cleaning professionals.

Prior to use as an alternative care facility, GWCCA had already placed additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the Congress Center, increased cleaning frequency for commonly contacted surfaces, and amplified handwashing protocols. GWCCA also posted signage throughout the facility and on digital monitors inside and outside the facility detailing further precautions recommended by the CDC. These precautions will continue.

With the exception of a small inventory of meeting room equipment being used for a press briefing area outside of the exhibit halls, no GWCC equipment was used within the alternate care facility

No, all food and beverage equipment is secured and was not used in the support of the alternate care facility.

All recommended CDC infection control guidance for healthcare facilities are being implemented. Additionally, all medical staff and support members who entered the “hot zone” donned/doffed appropriate PPE upon entering and exiting the alternate care facility. Clinical staff and support staff were trained in the latest infection control procedures.

The medical vendor disposed of all medical waste in accordance with regulatory guidelines from the CDC.

Additional Questions

GWCCA has been proactive in providing COVID-19 information and personal hygiene guidance, wellness and basic needs resources, as well as telework and flexible leave policies to provide peace of mind and the ability for team members to care for family impacted by the pandemic.

Bottled water is available for purchase through Food Services and water fountains are available throughout the facility.