Health and Safety Protocols and Measures

ASTRO is facilitating measures that seek to ensure optimal health and sanitary conditions in all environments where in-person interactions take place during the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting. ASTRO is working with the city of Chicago and will follow all recommended Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety protocols and will comply with all federal, state and city regulations. We will continue to closely monitor all guidelines and regulations and will update these safety protocols as appropriate. Attendees, staff, exhibitors, exhibitor appointed contractors, vendors and members of the labor force should stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for their COVID-19 test results, have COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19.

ASTRO will continue to monitor federal, state and local recommendations and will update these protocols and measures as appropriate. The most up-to-date version can be found on this page, easily accessed at

General safety and wellness measures include but are not limited to:

  • Hand sanitizing stations
  • Mask requirement for anyone not vaccinated (per CDC) and recommendation for masks in the convention center and Exhibit Hall
  • Cleaning between sessions
  • Wider Exhibit Hall aisles
  • More space in session rooms
  • Touch-free technology
  • On-site Health and Wellness Room
  • Daily heath screening


Please see below for more details regarding general safety and wellness measures.


The McCormick Place has received GBAC STARTM Service accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA – the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide. GBAC STAR accredited facilities have demonstrated that appropriate work practices and procedures are in place for cleaning, disinfecting and infection prevention.

The McCormick Place has also made several air quality improvements to include increasing building intake/air change rates during event hours and an ongoing process of replacing HVAC air filters with efficient hospital grade rated filters.

Visit the McCormick Place website to learn more about cleaning procedures and other safety and health protocols that have been implemented.

Maintaining Healthy Environments

ASTRO Show Management and the McCormick Place have implemented several strategies to maintain a healthy conference environment.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the McCormick Place.
  • As per the CDC guidelines, masks are optional for fully vaccinated attendees and exhibitors and mandatory for unvaccinated attendees and exhibitors. However, given the size of the event, ASTRO is recommending that masks be worn in the convention center, including the Exhibit Hall, other than while eating, drinking or taking medicine. Attendees and exhibitors should bring their own mask. A limited number of masks will be available on-site.
  • Scheduled, routine cleaning that includes frequently touched surfaces within the McCormick Place will take place throughout the day. Cleaning personnel will pay special attention to high touch points, such as wall handrails, door handles, step railings, escalator rails, trash/recycling containers, public space furniture, podium technology, touch screens and keyboards.
  • Extended break times between sessions have been implemented to allow for meeting rooms and gathering spaces to be cleaned throughout the day. At the conclusion of each session, please promptly exit the meeting room so that the cleaning efforts may begin. Verbal and visual prompts will be given at the conclusion of each session. Please follow the prompts given.

Modified Layouts

  • Attendees will notice updates in the seating layout or availability of seating so that individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • Kiosks and help desks will be spaced apart to reduce and eliminate lines or queues.
  • Signs will be posted to remind attendees about physical distancing, including unique visual cues such as tape and floor decals throughout the meeting.
  • Designated café areas and grab and go refreshment options will be available for purchase during the meeting.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • All attendees, staff, exhibitors, exhibitor appointed contractors, vendors and members of the labor force are asked to be mindful of their hand hygiene and wash their hands frequently (for example, before, during, and after using a keyboard or touch screen, or after touching garbage) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, attendees can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.
  • We encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.
  • Please be mindful of coughing and sneezing practices to reduce the spread of germs by using a tissue or the inside of the elbow. Keeping hands clean can help prevent the spread of serious respiratory illnesses like influenza and COVID-19. 

Exhibit Hall

  • The Exhibit Hall layout has been reconfigured with wider aisles and space between inline 10 foot by 10 foot booths to assist with traffic flow, mitigate congestion and facilitate physical distancing while on the show floor.
  • Signage will be placed at entrance of Exhibit Hall and in key traffic points to promote physical distancing and healthy hygiene recommendations.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in high traffic areas throughout the Exhibit Hall.
  • An attendee designated seating area that follows physical distancing protocols will be located in the rear of the Exhibit Hall.
  • Exhibitors will also have the option to order enhanced cleaning and disinfection services for their booths.


Parking, Taxi and Rideshare Protocols

New procedures have been implemented at McCormick Place for on-site parking, taxi, shuttle bus and rideshare services.

  • Increased availability of non-touch payment methods for attendees parking in self-park facilities at the McCormick Place.
  • Increased cleaning of on-site parking equipment, such as ticket machines.
  • Dedicated transportation gates have been designated for shuttle bus, taxi and rideshare services. Drop off areas will be stationed with sufficient distance to assist with crowd control. Sidewalk graphics will be placed at transportation gates to encourage physical distancing.

ASTRO Shuttle Service

ASTRO’s shuttle bus service will seek to follow all CDC and federal, state and local recommendations regarding COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time of the meeting.


ASTRO hotels have indicated they have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure a cleaner stay for guests. Learn more about your hotel's practices and cleaning initiatives before booking. Below are a sampling of ASTRO meeting hotels’ global cleaning initiatives posted on their websites:


  • Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park


  • Hampton Inn Chicago McCormick Place
  • Hilton Chicago
  • Hilton Garden Inn Chicago McCormick Place
  • Home2 Suites Chicago McCormick Place


  • Hyatt Regency McCormick Place


  • The Blackstone
  • Marriott Marquis Chicago


  • Swissôtel Chicago

COVID-19 Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Compliance Commitment
All attendees will be required to agree to and abide by the below COVID-19 Assumption of Risk, Waiver, Compliance and Personal Accountability Commitments.

I am aware of the inherent risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus involved in attending the in person 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting and that COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. To the extent that I attend the in person event, I agree to honor the Personal Accountability Commitment stated below and to follow all instructions contained in the Attendee Policies, these Health and Safety Protocols and Measures, as well as any posted instructions and signage while attending the ASTRO meeting and events. I voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 when attending ASTRO meetings and events and WAIVE LIABILITY AGAINST ASTRO, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CONTRACTORS AND VOLUNTEERS FOR ANY LOSS, DAMAGES, OR SUFFERING RELATED TO EXPOSURE TO COVID-19.

Personal Accountability Commitment
I agree to abide by and engage in appropriate health and safety conduct as specified by ASTRO while attending the Event. This includes, but is not limited to, adhering to the Health and Safety Protocols and Measures, posted signs, placards and verbal requests, engaging in physical distancing as appropriate, engaging in hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and not attending the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting if I am ill or have recently been exposed to COVID-19.

Additional Resources

American Society for Radiation Oncology
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Arlington, VA 22202
Telephone: 703-502-1550


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