Creating a Safe Environment for In-Person Meeting

We are excited to be gathering again! Given that this will be our first gathering for an annual meeting since the start of the pandemic, we wanted to share the current COVID-19 policy for Charleston and set the tone for the meeting’s social norms.  

Based on the CDC’s community indicators, Charleston is currently in a low risk status . There are generally no requirements for masks or proof of vaccines for the city or the Marriott Hotel. However, people who are immunocompromised or unvaccinated should wear masks to protect themselves when in public spaces. 

Please see our meeting policies below and know that we will continue to monitor any changes in risks and policies and provide updates here.

Establishing an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect

We hope to establish an atmosphere that respects one another’s preferences so we ask that all members of our community do their best to not make assumptions or judgements related to mask wearing. We also suggest that we all check in with our colleagues’ preferences before offering a hug or a handshake.

Mask Policy

Masks are not mandated in the City of Charleston or in NOAA policies at this time. However, wearing masks is strongly encouraged throughout the meeting. We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the local and state guidelines if more stringent than our policy as stated here.


Spacing in the meeting rooms will be dependent on the number of participants. We will do our best to arrange the setup to spread out as much as possible, but we will not be able to provide any specific spacing in the meeting rooms.


Meals will be served buffet style. We ask that you please mask when approaching the food lines. If you are uncomfortable sitting with a large group for meals, you are welcome to take your plate to your hotel room or other meeting spaces not in use during meals.

Preparing for the In-Person Meeting

In preparation for the Meeting, we have developed the following recommendations in an effort to protect the health of all participants:

  • COVID-19 vaccination (including boosters) is strongly encouraged.
  • A rapid test is strongly encouraged prior to attending the Meeting.
  • Please follow CDC guidance if exposed to COVID-19 within the 10 days leading up to the Meeting (January 27-February 5). This includes wearing a well-fitting mask indoors.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 within the 10 days leading up to the Summit, please follow the CDC guidance for isolation.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 within the 5 days leading up to the Summit, please do not attend.
  • If you test positive within the 5 days AFTER the event please notify Maggie Pletta so other attendees can be alerted to the possibility of having been exposed. Your identity will not be shared only that a case was confirmed.
  • There is an inherent risk when attending any in-person event, by attending you are acknowledging that risk and agree to do your part to reduce risk to yourself and others.