COVID-19 Health and Safety Update – August 9, 2021
We are thrilled that we will be able to see fans in person at Awesome Con 2021. It’s been far too long and we can’t wait to welcome everyone home! Rest assured the health and safety of all our fans, exhibitors, guests, and staff is and will always be our top priority at Awesome Con and all LeftField Media events. We are following CDC and local venue guidelines, and at present, these are the COVID-19 precautions we and everyone who attends the show is required to undertake in order to promote a safe experience for all who attend.
Please keep in mind that we are constantly reviewing and reevaluating precautions and protocols as the COVID-19 situation has the potential to change rapidly. These precautions are as of this moment in time, and we encourage you to revisit this page prior to traveling to the show.
- Masks – Everyone over the age of 2 who attends is required to wear a CDC approved face covering while at the show. Face coverings must cover both nose and mouth.
- Temperature Checks – All attendees will undergo a temperature check when entering the building. Please see our FAQ for a detailed explanation on how temperature checks will work.
- Social Distancing – This year’s show has been physically designed with more space to promote distancing between attendees of different social circles. Wherever you can, please leave distance between yourself and others, and minimize physical contact like hugs, handshakes, and high fives when interacting with others.
- Hygiene and Sanitization – Throughout the convention center there will be additional measures taken to support a safe environment. This includes precautions like enhanced cleaning procedures and additional sanitation stations throughout the building. We ask that all attendees sanitize and/or wash their hands as often as possible.
- General Wellness – We ask that all attendees self evaluate prior to coming to the show in order to protect others at the event. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the event, please do not enter the convention center.
- Guest/Fan interactions – Celebrities are people too, and each has their own preferences and comfort levels when it comes to COVID-19. Each celebrity interaction will have different precautions in place based on the individual guest’s comfort level.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center (WEWCC) is the first convention center in the northeast corridor to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s® GBAC STARTM facility accreditation and the first convention center in the United States to implement BIOPROTECTTM by SurfaceGuard, a NASA developed technology.
The convention center’s complete BACK TO BUSINESS guide is readily available to the public so that you can learn more about their enhanced cleanliness procedures and health and safety measures.
The WEWCC has made numerous technology updates to the facility to keep you safe and healthy. These safety and health technologies are subject to change based on changes to CDC guidelines, Convention Center procedures, local regulations, or other data.
BIOPROTECTTM by SurfaceGuard
BIOPROTECTTM is a patented technology that combines a hospital grade 5-Log Kill 99.999% effective solution with a patented antimicrobial which provides long-lasting protection for our guests and staff. It is a surface treatment that provides a long-lasting layer of protection against harmful microorganisms, including algae, bacteria, fungi, and mold. BIOPROTECTTM is non- toxic, non-corrosive, non-flammable, odor-free and biodegradable. It meets OSHA standards and is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation as safe for use in kitchens and on food surfaces. It is registered as an antimicrobial preservative under EPA and FDA regulation to preserve food preparation surfaces and food contact articles.
The antimicrobial formulation was proven by two Centers of Excellence of the Global Virus Network to kill and provide residual surface protection against SARS-CoV-2 (the unique coronavirus that causes COVID-19) for more than six weeks.
The extensive independent laboratory tests were announced by the Global Virus Network, a coalition comprised of the world’s pre-eminent human and animal virologists from 53 Centers of Excellence and 10 Affiliates in 32 countries. Led by the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia and the Rega Medical Research Institute of KU Leuven in Belgium, both Centers of Excellence used state-of-the-art high containment virology facilities to independently conduct extensive tests on a BIOPROTECTTM formulation to study its effects on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity on various surfaces.
SurfaceGuard technicians test and remediate all BIOPROTECTTM treated surfaces every 30 days to certify and ensure that our treated venues are germ-free.
The WEWCC treats all furnishings, tables, chairs, fabric, doors, escalator treads, fixed handrails, and glass surfaces in the Center with the BIOPROTECTTM process.
KOGNIZ AI Health Response Platform
The Kogniz AI Health Response Platform uses a combination of thermal imaging and artificial intelligence to provide real-time detection of elevated surface temperature and physical distancing management for large groups of people. The platform does not require the use of fixed walkthrough scanners but uses the existing camera system to scan surface temperatures of groups of people. The system monitors exposure detection and physical distancing. It uses cutting-edge detection algorithms and customizable rules developed over many person-years by top AI researchers, scientists, and developers.
The system merges thermal and optical images from disparate cameras into single images and leverages advanced facial detection algorithms to home in on facial areas that provide the most accurate temperature results. It constantly normalizes readings in real time so that readings reflect actual body temperatures, rather than surface skin temperatures that are highly inaccurate and vulnerable to ambient conditions.
The system also measures crowd densities and sends alerts when there are more people in a space than are permitted by system occupancy rules, allowing quick response to address physical distancing requirements.
The WEWCC has deployed the Kogniz AI Health Response Platform throughout the Center.
NanoSeptic Continuously Self-Cleaning Surface
The NanoSeptic self-cleaning surface turns high traffic public touchpoints into continuously self- cleaning surfaces. Powered by light, NanoSeptic surfaces use mineral nanocrystals to create a powerful oxidation reaction. The surface continually oxidizes contaminants. Unlike traditional disinfectants or cleaners, the NanoSeptic surface uses no poisons, heavy metals, or chemicals. Nothing is released from the surface as the nanocrystals are molecularly bonded to the material.
The WEWCC has treated elevator buttons, door handles, copier machines and similar high-touch areas in the Center with the NanoSeptic product:
Synexis DHP BioDefense System
The Synexis DHP BioDefense System is a proprietary process that synthesizes Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP), the gaseous form of hydrogen peroxide, from ambient oxygen and humidity in rooms. DHP flows wherever the air flows in all the Center indoor spaces, safely and effectively breaking down pathogens in circulating air. By continuously flowing through the indoor spaces DHP reduces the level of viruses, bacteria, mold, and odors in the air and on all surfaces.
DHP is naturally safe; Underwriter Laboratories (UL) has declared the Synexis DHP BioDefense System to be non-ozone producing.
The WEWCC has installed the Synexis DHP BioDefense System in the HVAC systems serving the East and West Salons, all Meeting Rooms, and the Ballroom. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is the first convention center to install the Synexis DHP BioDefense System.
Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization
The Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module is used to efficiently disinfect the handrails of escalators to suppress the spread of viruses. Escalator handrails are typically cleaned by housekeepers wiping down the handrail surfaces; continuous cleaning requires a housekeeper to remain at the escalator and continuously wipe down the handrail. The Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module uses germicidal UVC light to irradiate handrails through a 270° direct exposure, ensuring that surface bacteria and viruses are effectively killed. The process is chemical-free, continuous, and automatic. The module is installed inside the escalator, ensuring passenger safety; handrails are automatically disinfected as they circulate through the module. With this physical disinfection process escalator handrails are disinfected in an efficient and environmentally manner.
Escalators equipped with the Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module are identified by signage mounted on the escalator balustrade interior panel.
The WEWCC are installing the Sterile Touch – Sapphire LED UV-C Handrail Sterilization module on the most heavily used public escalators in the Center’s South (main entrance) and Middle (L Street entrance) Buildings.
Sharp Plasmacluster® Air Purifier
Sharp’s exclusive patented Plasmacluster® ion technology eliminates microscopic pollutants that traditional air filters cannot trap, by replicating nature’s own cleaning process of producing positive and negative ions from water vapor in the air. These ions refresh the air without any harmful chemicals or perfumes.
Positive and negative ions are dispersed into the air using airborne water vapor. These ions actively attach to and break down pollutants. The ions neutralize their charge by pulling apart airborne pollutants, thereby reducing the pollutants in the air. The ions then return to the air as water vapor.
Pharmacluster® ions are proven to significantly reduce bacteria viruses, mold, and fungus.
The WEWCC has installed Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifiers in each elevator in the Center