Infectious Disease Mitigation & Masking Policy

The world continues to adjust to returning to in-person spaces as we navigate a new normal in this ongoing endemic. SFWA not only has a responsibility, but sincerely endeavors to make all of our spaces as safe, as inclusive, and as welcoming as possible. The SFWA board of directors and events team have been working together on an overall infectious disease mitigation policy as we plan for the 2024 Nebula Conference. 

This includes monitoring current situations and advice given by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and medical professionals, our peer conferences and conventions, state and federal entities, and other relevant factors. Our aim with the following policy is to protect everyone as much as possible, including our attendees, volunteers, staff, and those working in hotel hospitality.

Should the situation evolve, SFWA reserves the right to make changes to this policy to further mitigate the risk of spreading disease.

Masking Policyments

SFWA will be holding the 2024 Nebula Conference in a public hotel. The State of California and City of Pasadena do not currently mandate the use of masks, nor do the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Instead, these entities provide prevention guidelines that are available to tailor for your own personal circumstances. 

In light of these changes, SFWA will be unable to control masking in public areas of the hotel, with hotel staff, or spaces such as elevators, corridors, lobbies, bars, or the restaurants.

With that said, in order to provide safer spaces for those who would like to experience the in-person component of the 2024 Nebula Conference, masks will be strongly encouraged in all conference areas and we will designate specific spaces where masks must be worn with no exception. These spaces will include but will not be limited to at least one of our paneling rooms and socially-distanced tables in the hospitality suite, banquet hall, and other seating areas. Locations will be properly marked with signage and escalation procedures have been designed to help deal with those who do not follow these rules. When being assigned panels, potential speakers will be able to request participation in a panel room which requires this masking protocol.

Proper usage of masks includes the full coverage of the nose and mouth. Masks may be removed for brief intervals during eating or hydrating, but must be appropriately put into place once those actions are complete. 

SFWA is looking at additional measures in all of our paneling rooms which include additional microphone and surface cleaning procedures between each panel, the availability of hand sanitizer in each space, and mitigating distance of the head table from the first row of attendees.

In addition, we will be making every effort to record all of our in-person events and, in some instances, livestream our events online for those who still wish to participate this year if your personal situation does not allow in-person attendance.

SFWA reserves the right to change this policy as new information is made available.

Vaccination Requirements

Due to the variance in global requirements and consideration for allergies that may occur with certain types of vaccinations, SFWA will not be requiring attendees to show proof of vaccination upon registration or during badge pickup.

SFWA does however strongly recommend that you act in accordance with the advice of your own medical professionals, and follow their guidance in vaccinating against any/all communicable diseases if your personal health situations allow. 

SFWA also recommends that if you are feeling unwell before the conference begins,that you do not attend in-person. In the event that this occurs, we ask that you contact immediately and discuss the options available to you. While we understand the excitement of seeing your colleagues and friends, we hope you understand that coming to an event while ill will put everyone at risk.

Additionally, while at the conference, if you start to experience any symptoms of anything, we ask that you immediately mask, isolate, and test for covid and flu. After you return home from the conference, we ask that you report any symptoms or positive test results to SFWA as well at, so we may inform the appropriate people who may have been in close contact with you.

Other Recommendations

Limiting physical touch and maintaining appropriate distance can also help protect those in the community that are most at risk from not only Covid-19 but other respiratory and communicable diseases. SFWA recommends that you wash your hands frequently in addition to using hand sanitizer after any contact, where available, but especially after handshakes. It’s always a good idea to ask the person with whom you are connecting what exactly they may be comfortable with and how they’d like to reconnect. 

Consent is key in all situations. Should you have any concerns or questions about this or any SFWA policy for our in-person, online, or hybrid-events, please do not hesitate to send all queries to

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