Dec 82021

ASM Early Bird Registration Closes

Jan 42022

ASM Registration Closes

JAN 21*2022


Jan 28*2022


Jan 28-29*2022


Jan 312022

CRA Membership Early Bird Registration Closes

FEB 22022


Feb 2-52022


Feb 7-8*2022


*Presented in virtual format exclusively. Registrations close at 11:59 pm EST unless noted.


» Back to Health & Safety Protocols


Do I have to be vaccinated to attend the ASM in person?

Yes. The safety and well-being of our members, their patients, and the extended rheumatology community is paramount to the CRA. The province of Québec’s health authority also requires that all registrants attending the CRA & AHPA Annual Scientific Meeting in person to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

If you are unable to meet this requirement, we encourage you to enjoy the ASM online from the comfort of their own home.

It is possible that attendees come in contact with people who may potentially carry the virus through travel, on-site accommodations, restaurants, and in and around the convention centre. It is important to note that, in accordance with the Province of Québec’s health authority, convention centre staff are not required to be vaccinated.

How do I know if I am fully vaccinated?

To qualify as being fully vaccinated, you must have received:

  • The full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a full series of a combination of accepted vaccines approved by Health Canada
  • The last dose of vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival at the ASM

Accepted COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty, tozinameran, BNT162b2)
  • Moderna (Spikevax, mRNA-1273)
  • AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD (ChAdOx1-S, Vaxzevria, AZD1222)
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Ad26.COV2.S)

What do I need to prove I am fully vaccinated?

You will be asked to show proof of vaccination upon arrival at the CRA registration desk.  Acceptable forms of proof of vaccination include e:

  • A photo or PDF file of the paper proof of COVID-19 vaccination (what you received when you were vaccinated)
  • Electronic proof of vaccination (Provincial QR code)

If you are unable to provide proof of vaccination you will not be allowed entry to the ASM.

Will everyone attending the meeting in person be fully vaccinated?

While all conference delegates, speakers, and CRA / AHPA staff will be fully vaccinated, in accordance with the Province of Québec’s health authority, Convention Centre staff are not required to be vaccinated  (staff are prohibited to report to work with flu or cold symptoms).

Apart from being fully vaccinated, what other requirements are there for registrants when attending the ASM in person?

Public health guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 continues to evolve, and the CRA will base its on-site protocols on the latest guidance from Health Canada, PHAC, and the Government of Quebec Health Authority in addition to the guidance from the Convention Centre.

Registrants will be given specific instructions prior to arriving on site; at the moment the requirements for those attending the ASM are:

  • To use only the designated entrance and exit when entering/leaving the Convention Centre
  • To participate in the required daily health assessment procedures when entering the Convention Centre
  • To wear a mask at all times, unless actively eating or drinking
  • To practice good personal hygiene:
    • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use a alcohol based hand rub of at least 60% alcohol
    • Cover mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing
  • To be vigilant for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and in the event of experiencing such symptoms:
    • To self-isolate and not attend the remainder of the meeting
    • To alert the CRA staff (details to come on specific reporting requirements)

Do we have to wear a mask at all times in the Convention Centre?

The wearing of protective masks is required of all attendees, CRA staff, and Convention Centre workers. Masks must be worn properly (covering both mouth and nose) at all times except when actively eating or drinking.

Do we have to wear a mask outside the Convention Centre?

We encourage all ASM attendees to familiarize themselves with the most up-to-date guidance from the Government of Quebec, which may be found here, and adhere to it while in Quebec.

I have a medical condition that means I cannot wear a mask. Can I still attend the ASM?

The Province of Québec’s health authority requires that all ASM attendees wear a mask inside the convention centre, so we encourage you to attend the ASM virtually, from the comfort of your own home.

What are my options if I can’t find my mask, or it breaks while I am attending the conference in person?

A limited supply of masks will be available from CRA staff or for purchase at the Convention Centre.

How do we maintain physical distancing while at the conference?

At this time, physical distancing is not a requirement while inside the Quebec Convention Centre.  “However, in keeping with public health best practices, floor plans will be developed with physical distancing considerations and the ASM agenda will allow for extra time when moving between sessions, facilitating an orderly procession between rooms.

The Convention Centre has also made a number of adjustments to its food hall design and procedures to protect the health and safety of its patrons. All necessary and appropriate precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of participants during food and beverage functions, and the CRA is working diligently with the Quebec Conference Centre on food service plans. Updates will be included here as plans are confirmed.

In addition, the servers have been trained in hygiene measures (hand washing and respiratory etiquette) and social distancing applicable in each workplace, and all frequently used objects and surfaces will be cleaned frequently.

The conference agenda has been developed to allow extra time for meal and coffee breaks, and we ask for our attendees’ patience in the event that there are lines at food or coffee stations.

How safe is the Convention Centre if there are potentially unvaccinated people in the space touching surfaces?

Even though the science now shows that COVID-19 transmission is unlikely to occur from touching surfaces touched by multiple persons (i.e., lecterns, internet stations, escalators, washrooms), the conference staff will clean these regularly to promote healthy sanitation overall.

If I experience signs or symptoms of COVID-19 while at the conference, what should I do?

If you experience an onset of new signs or symptoms of COVID-19 while in the Convention Centre, you must immediately notify the ASM registration desk or the Convention Centre security desk. If either the CRA or the Québec City Convention Centre are alerted to a presumptive case of COVID-19 during the ASM, they will immediately report the information to each other and local Public Health to follow the appropriate actions recommended.

If you experience any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 while attending the ASM but not in the Convention Centre (i.e., in your accommodation or at a restaurant), or if you feel unwell in general:

  • Do not attend the remainder of the conference
  • Immediately notify the CRA staff of your symptoms – details to come on specific reporting requirements.
  • Follow the guidance from the Government of Quebec, which may be found here

If I see an attendee who looks unwell and is showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do?

Do not engage with the individual directly as this may put you at risk for infection. Instead, immediately alert a member of the CRA staff, or the Convention Centre security team, who will take control of the situation and follow the appropriate protocols.

What should I do if I have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

In the event that you have come in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

  • Do not attend the remainder of the conference
  • Immediately notify the CRA staff of your symptoms – details to come on specific reporting requirements.
  • Follow the guidance from the Government of Quebec, which may be found here

Is there a contact tracing system at the ASM that will notify us of any potential COVID-19 exposures?

If you have been in contact with a confirmed case while attending the ASM, you will be alerted through the Province of Quebec Public Health team. If you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must self-isolate, as a preventive measure, while waiting to receive instructions from public health.

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