COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

Updated: Jan. 7, 2022

The Chicago Dental Society is very excited to present the 157th Midwinter Meeting as an in-person event Feb. 24 - 26. As we prepare for the in-person Midwinter Meeting, we want to continue to share our current health and safety protocols for all our attendees, exhibitors, speakers and guests in this rapidly changing environment. Please note that there will be no virtual option. 

We want to emphasize that you DO NOT need to be vaccinated to attend the Midwinter Meeting. However attendees who visit a food venue with seating at McCormick Place will be required to show proof of vaccination.

The 157th Midwinter Meeting is not cancelled, but new requirements enacted Jan. 3 by the City of Chicago will require patrons of some of the food venues to present vaccination proof and identification upon entry though medical and religious exemptions will be allowed. (Please see details below.) The city's order is open-ended with no known end date at this time. 

As the City of Chicago and McCormick Place continue to fine-tune requirements, there may be further changes, will be communicated as soon as we know them.

CDS must follow all required City of Chicago, Chicago Department of Public Health and state mandates and orders pertaining to COVID-19. As of Jan. 3 those include:

  • Providing proof of being fully vaccinated when entering indoor establishments that serve food or drink and offer seating
  • The wearing of masks indoors, except when eating or drinking
Vaccination Requirement

You DO NOT need to be fully vaccinated to enter the McCormick Place building, the course rooms or the exhibit floor. However, the COVID-19 Liability Release Waiver must still be filled out in order to complete registration for the meeting.

Chicago's order mandates that any person over the age of 5 visiting venues where food and beverages are being served must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and, if over 16, a valid photo ID.

This extends to McCormick Place food vendors, which will require individuals to display proof of vaccination to enter areas where food and beverages are served -- including banquets, cocktail receptions, and demarcated areas on the exhibit floor -- for on-site, seated consumption.

Presentation of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into a restaurant is not permitted by the City of Chicago, unless you have a medical or religious exemption.

Areas and events currently affected by the order are:

  • Keynote Session
  • Wisconsin Breakfast
  • Overlook Cafe
  • New Dentist Reception
  • Dental Student Reception
  • Mentor Luncheon
  • Food Court (W375AB)
  • LaBrea Restaurant
  • Exhibitor Lounge
  • VIP/Speaker/Scout Suite
  • Press Room
  • Mandatory Dental Student Breakfast/Lunch
For unvaccinated attendees, there will be grab and go food options available within McCormick Place when transactions are 10 minutes or less.

Definition of Full Vaccination
According to the CDC definitions as of Jan. 7, to be fully vaccinated you will need two shots of some COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Two shots: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires two shots, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines require two shots.

  • One Shot: If you get a COVID-19 vaccine that requires one shot, you are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your shot. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine only requires one shot.

If it has been less than two weeks since your shot, or if you still need to get your second shot, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking steps to protect yourself and others until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot).

Providing Proof of Vaccination On Site
A valid photo ID and COVID vaccination card (actual, photograph or photo copy) are to be presented for entry to the food venues that CDS has designated. These food venues will be marked with special signage.

Your attendee badge will then be stamped indicating that your ID and COVID Vaccination Card have been checked. You may then freely move about the building as a fully vaccinated guest.

Medical and Religious Exemptions
According to the city's order, individuals do not have to provide vaccination proof if they have previously received a medical or religious exemption, provided such patrons provide proof of the medical or religious exemption and a COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours prior to entering a covered location. 

Mask Requirement
The State of Illinois and City of Chicago require masks to be worn for all indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status.

Enhanced cleaning
Lecture rooms will be sanitize following each presentation to provide an added level of safety. McCormick Place was re-accredited by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), and the entire campus continues to hold GBAC Star accreditation, the gold standard within the industry. McCormick Place also has a vaccination policy for its workers.

First Aid Station
CDS will provide a room that attendees can visit if they feel sick or are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. If you are feeling ill before traveling to Chicago for the meeting or are a local attendee, please do not attend the meeting. Details about the room's location will be provided at a later date.

Midwinter Meeting Room Block Hotels
Each Midwinter Meeting Room Block hotel will establish its own protocols to meet the mandates and orders as issued by the Mayor of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Public Health. You can view our room block hotels here. Hotels in the City of Chicago and Cook County are also subject to this mandate, so please refer to your specific hotel's website for updated information on when and where you must provide proof of vaccination at their food/beverage sites.


Who should I contact if I want to change my meeting registration?
Call or email the CDS registration company, Advanced Tradeshow Technology (ATT) at 630.241.1345 or 888.696.2446 or email [email protected].

What is the last date by which I can cancel without penalty?
All cancellations must be requested by Feb. 6, 2022. This cancellation date applies to registration, badges, courses and events. It does NOT apply to exhibitors and booth space. Exhibitors with questions should contact Director of Exhibit Services Lisa Girardi at [email protected] for assistance.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]