AAAL 2022 Conference Health and Safety Protocol

We are excited to welcome our attendees to the AAAL 2022 Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, from March 19 – 22, 2022!

AAAL 2022 organizers are following the safety guidelines and protocols of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, and the Omni William Penn Hotel.

The American Association for Applied Linguistics asks for your help to ensure the safety of all attendees at this event, which will operate consistent with CDC, State and venue guidance, and restrictions related to COVID-19.  Participants will receive a logistics email the week of March 1, 2022.

Health Pass by CLEAR

American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) will be using Health Pass by CLEAR, which provides secure, digital proof of COVID-related health insights via the free CLEAR mobile app. Complete your health screening with Health Pass by CLEAR ahead of time for expedited check-in and entry!

Click Here for Download Instructions


As of November 1, 2021, AAAL has decided that all attendees are required to comply with the following protocols. We will require:

  • Vaccines:  Proof of vaccination no later than 14 days prior to the start of the conference or a negative PCR COVID - 19 or antigen COVID-19 test within 72 hours of participation will be required at AAAL Conference registration for participants to claim their required participation badge. A photo of a vaccination card or negative test result on your phone is sufficient as proof. If you’re providing proof of vaccination, the last vaccination dose must be administered prior to March 4, 2022.
  • Masks: Regardless of vaccination status, masks will be required for all indoor events, except when speaking at a microphone as part of event proceedings or when in the act of eating or drinking. This includes exhibitors in the exhibit hall.
  • Personal responsibility: If you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or believe you encountered someone with COVID-19, please abstain from attending conference events and get a PCR COVID - 19 or antigen COVID-19 test (see FAQs below for more information on locations in Pittsburgh).
  • Sanitizing Stations: Will be available throughout the Omni William Penn Hotel, especially in high touch-point areas.


Please note that these protocols are subject to change depending on the local and government health guidelines close to March 2022. AAAL also reserves the right to choose to exceed protocols mandated by the local government.

Below, you will find the information you need regarding our AAAL 2022 COVID-19 answers to frequently asked questions.


  1. What does 'fully vaccinated' mean?

AAAL will consider you fully vaccinated if you have received all the recommended doses (the first two vaccinations are recommended) of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized or approved by your country’s health authority.  

  1. What counts as proof of vaccination?

AAAL considers proof of vaccination to be a vaccination document or record (e.g., card or digital copy) approved by your country’s health authority. 

  1. Who will check vaccination status or negative COVID-19 diagnostic test at the registration?

AAAL volunteers and staff will check your proof of vaccination or negative PCR, or antigen COVID-19 test prior to picking up your name tags. You will receive your badge after showing your documentation. Nametags must be worn throughout the entire conference.  

  1. I don’t have proof of full vaccination. What do I need to do?

In this case, you will need to show either a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 test at the registration desk on site. The test should be taken within 72 hours prior to March 19th, 2022, the first day of the conference.

  1. Where can I get a COVID-19 test onsite? Please plan to receive your test no later than 72 hours prior to the start of the conference.
  • The Pittsburgh airport has rapid COVID testing for a fee at the TACKL Health’s clinic in Concourse A across from gate A2.
  • COVID-19 testing nearby the Omni Hotel where the AAAL 2022 conference will take place includes
    • Rite Aid in Pittsburgh administers free COVID-19 tests but you must have an appointment to get a test.
    • Curative, a COVID-19 testing center 10 minutes walking distance from the Omni Hotel, offers free appointment only for a PCR COVID-19 test with 1-2 days turn-around.
    • the UPMC Mercy-South Side Campus, an 8-minute car drive away.
  1. Is AAAL requiring a specific type of COVID-19 diagnostic test?

AAAL will accept either a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 diagnostic test.

  1. Where can I find the most up to date COVID-19 health protocols for AAAL 2022?

Check the AAAL 2022 Conference website regularly for updates as guidelines are subject to change. You can also download the COVID Alert PA, the official mobile app for weekly local COVID alerts by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).

  1. Is my health information protected?

AAAL will not collect, store, or have access to health information.

  1. Am I able to present at the conference if I am ineligible for vaccination due to underlying health conditions?

AAAL 2022 will be held in-person. We are unable to offer any hybrid or virtual options for attendees. If you are a presenter with underlying health conditions, and therefore unable to present in person, please check out our travel policy here and contact for any inquiries. 

  1. I am an international attendee. Do I need to quarantine for a certain period after I enter the US?

According to the current CDC guidelines, if you are fully vaccinated, you do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States. Still, all international travelers arriving in the United States are recommended to get a COVID-19 PCR test 3-5 days after travel regardless of vaccination status.

  1. Will there be any social distancing guidelines implemented during the conference?

In 2022, AAAL will encourage all attendees to wear bracelets in one of three colors so that they can signal their comfort levels with physical distancing. Bracelets will be provided at the registration desk. The bracelets are color-coded as follows:

  • Red indicates no contact. You are comfortable always maintaining about 3 feet or 1 meter from other attendees.
  • Yellow indicates that you are comfortable maintaining a slight distance. Fist bumps only.
  • Green indicates that you are comfortable with being in close contact with other attendees. Hugs, High Fives, and handshakes are acceptable.

In addition to the bracelet system, the Omni William Penn Hotel has information on their website about things they do to maintain a safe hotel.

  1. What happens if I fail to comply with the COVID-19 safety protocols at the event?

If you do not show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test, you will not be allowed to participate in the AAAL 2022 conference.  Nametags must be worn throughout the entire conference. 

The current deadline for conference cancellation is February 10, 2021. If you receive positive test results within 72 hours of the conference, you must submit proof of the positive test.  The refund policy for attendees who test positive within 72 hours of the conference will be posted on the conference website before the conference dates.

  1. If I choose to bring my children to the conference, what are the guidelines?

Our utmost concern is for the safety and security of our attendees, presenters, sponsors/exhibitors, and their children.  The decision to bring your children to the event is your preference. Please note that all attendees, including children, must follow the same guidelines, including showing COVID -19 vaccinations or a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 diagnostic test, wearing a mask, and wearing a name badge throughout the conference.

  1. What if I experience COVID-19 symptoms during the conference? What should I do?

Please refer to the U.S. CDC guidelines below for COVID-19 symptoms.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. If you are experiencing any or more of these symptoms, please self-quarantine in your room and contact Conference Manager, Sherry Battle, or Managing Director, Terry Dougherty, until you are tested for COVID-19.