MTNA National Conference Update

(March 9, 2020)

As of today (March 9), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not consider the situation regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a public health emergency in the United States. In addition, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has not issued any negative travel advice regarding visits to Chicago. Therefore, the MTNA National Conference on March 21–25 at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel will proceed as scheduled.

We are actively following updates from numerous sources, including WHO and the CDC. For rolling updates on the coronavirus from WHO please click here. Information from the CDC may be found here. The health and safety of conference attendees, competitors, exhibitors, MTNA staff and others involved in the conference is our paramount concern. To that end, we have instituted numerous safety measures and guidelines in accordance with recommendations from the CDC to ensure everyone’s health and well-being at the conference.

We ask that anyone planning to attend who believes they may have been exposed to the coronavirus in other travels, or those who are not feeling well, to refrain from attending the conference for the safety of the other attendees.

The following safety measures will be implemented onsite at the Chicago Marriott Hotel:

On-Site Preparations: While the coronavirus risk remains low at this time, MTNA cannot ensure a virus-free environment. MTNA has declared that the 2020 MTNA National Conference will be a hug-free and handshake-free meeting. MTNA will also distribute to attendees printed copies of safety measures. Additionally, there will be an increased number of hand sanitation stations available in the meeting areas of the Marriott Hotel. Disposable, disinfectant wipes will be provided, as quantities allow, in session and competition rooms.

Personal Protective Measures: All attendees to the MTNA National Conference are strongly recommended to adopt all of the following virus prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.
  • Seek medical care right away and alert our staff at registration should you begin to experience cold or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, trouble breathing) onsite. We will alert the appropriate hotel personnel to assist with your medical needs.
  • If you experience symptoms in your room, remain there and contact the front desk for further instructions. If you have a roommate, he or she should also remain in the hotel room.

MTNA is committed to providing a safe and healthy conference experience for all involved. We will continue to monitor the latest official information leading up to our conference and encourage you to do the same. Please do not hesitate to contact us at (888) 512-5278 or mtnanet@mtna.org if you have any questions.


(March 6, 2020)

With the MTNA National Conference on track to run from March 21–25, 2020, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, MTNA continues to closely monitor the coronavirus situation. MTNA is receiving and reviewing daily updates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Public Health (CDPH). We are also in constant contact with Marriott Hotel officials. The health and safety of conference attendees, competitors, exhibitors, MTNA staff and others involved in the MTNA National Conference is our paramount concern.

Travel to and in Chicago:

  • O'Hare International Airport in Chicago is one of the 11 U.S. airports screening flyers who arrive from China. The CDC has set up a screening area in Terminal 5 at O'Hare to check passengers for symptoms of coronavirus such as fever and coughing. CDPH are also monitoring returning passengers at O'Hare and complementing CDC federal screening. O'Hare is complying with the travel restrictions mandated by U.S. agencies.
  • Metra, Pace and CTA officials in charge of Chicago's train, elevated train/subway and bus systems are all monitoring the situation and taking extra precautions by cleaning and sanitizing trains and buses on a nightly basis. Employees have also been instructed on the need for frequent hand washing and sanitizing.

On-Site Preparations:

While the coronavirus risk remains low at this time, MTNA cannot ensure a virus-free environment. MTNA has declared that the 2020 MTNA National Conference will be a hug-free and handshake-free meeting. MTNA will also distribute to attendees printed copies of safety measures. Additionally, there will be an increased number of hand sanitation stations available in the meeting areas of the Marriott Hotel. Disposable, disinfectant wipes will be provided, as quantities allow, so keyboards in session and competition rooms can be routinely sanitized.

Personal Protective Measures:

All attendees to the MTNA National Conference are strongly recommended to adopt all of the following virus prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue.
  • Consult your health provider about receiving the influenza vaccination.

MTNA is committed to providing a wonderful conference experience for all involved, so please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions. We can be reached at (888) 512-5278 or mtnanet@mtna.org.

Sincerely,
Gary L. Ingle
Executive Director & CEO
Music Teachers National Association