Health & Safety, Our #1 Priority
The top priority of Explore St. Louis and the America’s Center Convention Complex is the health and safety of our staff and guests. We have worked extensively with infectious disease specialists, regional public health officials and the St. Louis Pandemic Taskforce to establish comprehensive protocols for operating in a safe and responsible manner during this challenging time.
The core set of principles that guide the protocols and help prevent the spread of infections by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19) include:
- Physical distancing – maintain the required separation between and among staff and guests at all times
- Health monitoring – ensure staff and guests are screened for illness and in good health before entry
- Use protective equipment – a fabric or disposable face covering must be worn by staff and guests at all times
- Clean/sanitize/disinfect – wash and sanitize hands, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces with EPA-approved disinfectant (Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.)
America’s Center works in collaboration with event organizers and the St. Louis Director of Public Health to develop comprehensive plans unique to each event we host. Event plans implement all the proper protocols to comply with federal, state and local guidelines and are approved by the Director of Public Health of the City of St. Louis. Plans include the following components:
- Tentative Schedule
- Prescreening – to include attendee self-evaluation prior to arrival and physical screening upon entry to facility
- Organizer Experience & Responsibilities
- Attendee Experience & Responsibilities
- Venue Responsibilities
- Food Service
- Travel Guidelines – if applicable
Attendees are provided with advance information (by the event organizer) on the health and safety protocols to expect when arriving at America’s Center. These considerations may include all or any of the following:
- Designated points of entry and/or a phased timed entry process allow for physical distancing and prevent guests from crowding an entrance.
- Guests enter through new state-of-the-art touchless doors eliminating contact with shared objects such as door handles. When possible, a portion of the doors will be dedicated and marked as ‘entry only’ or ‘exit only’.
- Guest temperatures are scanned with thermal cameras at a limited number of entrances. Attendees with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, or any other COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted entry and directed to seek medical care.
- Signage is placed at the entrances and throughout common areas asking guests to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings and wash their hands with soap and water frequently.
- All guests are required to wear face coverings upon entry and while in the facility except while eating or drinking.
- Traffic flows can be designed to maximize space and adhere to recommended physical distancing. This includes entrances, hallways, common areas or any area utilized by the Event. Protective barriers can be used to help accomplish this.
- Touchless faucets and soap dispensers allow for contactless clean up. Hand sanitizer dispensers, touchless whenever possible, are placed at key guest contact areas such as entrances, walkways, common areas, and elevator and escalator landings. Guests will be encouraged with signage in the facility and communication from the event organizer to wash their hands, or use sanitizer when a sink is not available, every 60 minutes (for 20-seconds) and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, blowing the nose, cleaning, smoking, eating, or drinking.
- Signage will be placed at the entrances and throughout common areas asking guests to practice physical distancing, wear face coverings and wash their hands with soap and water frequently. Electronic signs throughout America’s Center are used for messaging and communication.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
America’s Center has received the coveted Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s (GBAC) STAR Facility Accreditation for its commitment to ensuring a clean, safe, and healthy environment for its employees, customers, and stakeholders. GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities.
The accreditation means America’s Center has:
- Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus.
- Implemented the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
- Trained highly informed cleaning professionals for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
The Facility uses cleaning products and protocols which meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. We are working with our vendors, distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and the necessary PPE. A detailed cleaning plan with protocols and procedures specific to each event is prepared.
The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing has been increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including, but not limited to, counters, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms, ATMs, escalator and stair handrails.
America’s Center uses Electrostatic Sprayer technology to assist in disinfecting the facility, and has increased air exchange to maximize air quality.
Explore St. Louis and America’s Center worked with public health officials and leading restaurateurs in the St. Louis region to establish protocols for food preparation and dining in our community in a safe and responsible fashion. We have sought input from more than two dozen chefs/operators who understand the complexities associated with running a restaurant operation in our present environment. These same protocols help guide the safe food service experience at America’s Center.
Coordination with Partners
Explore St. Louis, in collaboration with several regional economic development agencies, established the STL Regional Business Recovery Initiative to provide industry-specific input to local public health officials regarding best practices for reopening businesses safely.
The Initiative convened working groups tapping industry experts to help recovery efforts in key segments including restaurants, hotels, venues and attractions, transportation, retail and more.
We have collaborated with leading hotel operators in the St. Louis region and public health officials and to prepare for the return of hotel meeting and event activity in a safe and responsible fashion. A working group of hotel executives with deep hospitality experience was assembled to help establish Hotel Operating Protocols.
A group of transportation leaders including representatives from St. Louis Lambert International Airport, St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, Amtrak, Enterprise, Lyft, Vandalia Bus Lines and Bi-State Development was also assembled to help understand the operational complexities of running transportation services in the present environment.
You can see all the protocols created with input from regional public health officials, in addition to the St. Louis Pandemic Taskforce, to help guide businesses in operating in a safe and responsible fashion.