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Health and Safety Guidelines

Fall21 Area Conferences


We Are Ready to Welcome You Back!

The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is excited to welcome teachers, exhibitors, and the education community back to its face-to-face conferences this fall:

  • Portland, Oregon: October 28–30, 2021
  • National Harbor: November 11–13, 2021
  • Los Angeles, California: December 9–11, 2021


After almost two years of not being able to gather as a family, share and learn from one another, and have in-person networking opportunities, we look forward to welcoming you back to our “new normal.”

For those of you who are “repeat NSTA conference goers,” our conferences may look a little different. That is because we are committed to creating a conference and exhibit show experience where we can come together in a safe, healthy environment and provide the necessary measures to ensure that each participant’s well-being is our top priority. Continue reading to learn exactly what health measures we currently have in place and how you can play a role in making these NSTA fall conferences successful ones.

Please note, items listed below are based on the current CDC guidelines and are subject to change.

Before You Travel

Are you fully vaccinated?  If not, please have a COVID test done within 48 hours of travelling. Are you symptom-free? If you feel sick, please stay home. We will miss you, but for your speediest recovery and the safety of your colleagues, please don’t travel. If in doubt, please use the CDC COVID-19 Self-Checker to get help assessing symptoms, making decisions, and seeking appropriate medical care.

  • Check your flight and travel arrangements. Be mindful of current travel restrictions in place to and from your destination, as well as selected airline policies.

  • Please make sure you have packed enough face masks for the duration of your trip. Face masks are required at all times.

Arriving at the NSTA Conference

Rest assured that we are taking additional measures to ensure your health and well-being. Please plan accordingly and allow extra time when arriving at the conference, attending sessions, and browsing the exhibit hall.

  • All attendees, staff, and exhibitors will be required to: (a) provide proof of vaccination or (b) provide proof of a negative COVID test that was taken no more than 48 hours before the event.

  • NSTA requests that all vendors and facilities being used during the conference adhere to the above rules.

  • Everyone is required to wear an approved face mask while indoors. See the list of acceptable masks below. Disposable masks will be provided, if one is needed.

  • As necessary, we’ll implement queue lines and one-way aisles to ensure distancing is safely enforced.

  • The venue staff will regularly clean all public touch spaces, including elevators, escalators, and door handles, etc.

What to Expect

Social distancing; frequent sanitizing; and properly worn masks, except when drinking and eating, will be enforced using the current CDC guidelines as a minimal standard.

  • Make sure you are properly wearing a face mask. Disposable masks will be provided, if needed.

  • Please follow all recommended CDC guidelines, including social distancing; frequent hand washing or sanitizing; coughing or sneezing into your elbow and not in your hand; and staying home or in your hotel room if you feel sick.

  • The exhibits floorplan provides adequate space for social distancing and one-way entrances/exits, as necessary.

  • Where directed, please observe and follow directional traffic flow.

  • We’ll remind you to keep a safe distance from others with floor graphics and/or stanchions.

  • Seating areas will be properly distanced, as recommended by CDC guidelines.

  • Exhibitors will have access to enhanced cleaning and disinfection services for their booths.

  • Trash, recycled materials, and compost will be removed throughout the venue with greater frequency.

  • Nightly disinfecting will take place to sanitize all seating, restrooms, and frequently touched public areas.

  • Feeling sick unexpectedly at the show? Medical personnel will be on-site to assist anyone feeling unwell.

  • Each of the NSTA convention centers has stringent cleaning protocols. Visit each website here for more details:

  • Air Quality

    • The Oregon Convention Center has upgraded all of its air filters to MERV 13.
    • Prior to reopening the hotel and in response to a global change by Marriott, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center upgraded all of the air filters in the meeting and public spaces of the hotel to MERV 13 filters.
    • The Los Angeles Convention Center is in the process of upgrading to MERV 13 filters throughout the facility.


Rooms will be set to accommodate the social distancing requirements at the time of the conference. Please do NOT overcrowd a room. If you enter a room and there is no seating, please go to another session.

  • Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the venue.

  • Properly worn face masks will be required throughout the centers, including the session rooms and exhibit hall.

  • Hall monitors will be on site to help remind attendees about well-being protocols.

  • Doors will be kept open for maximum airflow.

What Kind of Face Masks Will Be Accepted?

Cloth masks that are at least two-layered and FDA-cleared surgical masks are acceptable. If wearing a face shield, an acceptable mask must also be worn.

  • Face masks with vent, bandanas, buff or gaiter face shields, and face masks worn below the nose are NOT acceptable.

Food and Beverage

Please help to keep yourself and everyone else safe by only eating in the designated areas. Food will be made available in single-serving pre-packaged formats as much as possible. There will be increased dining space with frequent sanitizing of tables.

  • Masks must be worn when not eating or drinking.

  • Tables will be sanitized between seatings as often as possible.

  • Beverages and food must be consumed while seated and will be served in recyclable or compostable containers if possible.

Travel Information

Please contact NSTA’s designated travel agent, ATC Travel Management if you require help with travel arrangements. You may also contact them by calling 800-458-9383. For a specific airline’s updated travel policies, please contact that airline directly. A few airlines with health and safety websites are listed below for your convenience.


Ride Share Information

Convention Centers & Hotel Information

Portland, Oregon

National Harbor, Maryland

Los Angeles, California

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