As we plan our first in-person conference since 2019, we want to assure you that the safety and wellbeing of the SPA community is our top priority. We are developing a comprehensive safety protocol informed by COVID-19 guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local public health developments, association-specific resources and consultation with events and public health experts.

By registering for this event, you are agreeing to the liability waiver found here.

This section includes answers to common questions about health and safety protocols. It reflects what we know so far, and we will update it with more details to the March event. The next update will be on or before March 4, 2022. If you have any questions, feedback or concerns, you are welcome to contact us anytime by emailing

Update (February 21)As of today (February 21), SPA is still planning to be in-person in Chicago, IL. SPA is finalizing plans with the Westin Michigan Avenue on creating a safer and welcoming environment for all in-person attendees. SPA Leadership have clarified our mask policy, as well as our SPA COVID-19 Member Meeting Policy, to better reflect the current state of our world. Later this week, you will be able to upload your proof of vaccination to attend the convention.

As more information about variants of the Coronavirus (including Omicron) emerge, SPA will follow safety measures put into place by state and local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the safety of those participating in the in-person portion of the Annual Convention. Please see the "Do I need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination?" for SPA's vaccination requirements.

If SPA is required to move to a fully virtual program, anyone who has registered for the in-person convention will be refunded the difference in the virtual versus in-person rate. We will also transition any in-person meeting presentations to the virtual format.

If you are in need of testing when you are on-site at SPA, we have identified the following locations:

Category: Health & Safety

During registration, participants will affirm agreement to the SPA COVID-19 Member Meeting Policy. Please visit this webpage to learn more information about SPA’s policy.

Category: Health & Safety

You are our first line of defense! Please observe the following:

  • Wear your mask at all times in event spaces, except for when you are consuming food or drinks.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Hand sanitizer is a great second option.
  • Avoid crowding into elevators; there’s always the next one!
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If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with those listed for COVID-19, please avoid the event area altogether. Please notify Monica Tune at Here is a resource from the City of Chicago listing different COVID-19 testing sites in the area.

Category: Health & Safety

The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago is committed to hosting you safely and responsibly. For more information about Marriott International’s Commitment to Clean and the steps they are taking, click here. The hotel’s safety protocol highlights can also be found here.

Category: Health & Safety

We plan to allow for spacing between attendees when seated during sessions so they can enjoy SPA safely. More details to come about navigating and accessing the physical space.

Category: Health & Safety

Yes. SPA is requiring all participants to show documentation that your vaccinations are up to date per the recommendations of the CDC or your local health ministry. For U.S. attendees to the convention, the CDC clarifies that up to date vaccinations includes additional doses for individuals who are immunocompromised or booster doses at regular time points. If you are eligible for a booster, please ensure that you have one before you attend the SPA convention.

We will share more details on how to provide proof of vaccination and other logistics to implement this safety measure. If you have a religious or medical reason that prevents you from obtaining a vaccination, we invite you to consider the virtual-only experience or reach out to us at to discuss arrangements.

Category: Health & Safety

To ensure the safest experience possible, for attendees not presenting, masks will be required at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking or posing for a photo. For presenters in workshops or concurrent sessions, if social distancing may be maintained, you may choose to remove your mask when you are actively presenting. Poster session presenters must wear their masks during their presentations.

Your mask must completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps. Bandanas, gaiters, and masks with exhalation valves are not permitted.

To be clear, all participants will be required to wear procedure (a.k.a. surgical) masks with at least 3 layers of fabric, KN95, KF94s, or N95 masks during the event. The CDC updated their face coverings website on January 14, 2022. Cloth masks and Gaiters will not be accepted as facial coverings at the SPA Convention. Individuals may choose to wear cloth masks over a procedure mask, KN95, KF94, or N95, but a cloth mask alone will not be permitted.

To help evaluate your mask purchase, please use the CDC website on evaluating purchases of KN95, N95, and other masks.

Individuals who have a documented disability which precludes the wearing of a mask may request a modification to mask policies. Please contact Nathan Victoria, Executive Director, at to discuss modification(s) to mask policies.

Category: Health & Safety