CSTE Annual Conference Attendance Policies & Procedures


Annual Conference General Waiver


By participating in the Annual Conference, uploading photographs to social media with the hashtag #CSTE2024, or uploading photographs to the CSTE conference app, you grant CSTE the right to take and distribute photographs, video, audio and/or electronic reproductions of events and activities for use in CSTE print and digital materials.  

All attendees are expected to be respectful and professional to CSTE staff, presenting authors, moderators, and other attendees throughout the conference, including breaks, networking events, and receptions. CSTE reserves the right to ask an attendee and/or their guests to leave and/or log out of the conference immediately should they be deemed rude, uncooperative, unprofessional or intoxicated. In such cases, the attendee’s registration fees will not be reimbursed under any circumstances. Please find further details below in the CSTE Meetings and Events Code of Conduct.   

For the consideration of all attendees, please turn all electronic communication devices to vibrate or off and refrain from texting during the sessions, even if attending sessions virtually. If you must leave a meeting room during a presentation, do so with limited interruption to other attendees.    

CSTE will require attendees to comply with the health and safety standards put in place for the event.  In consideration of your in-person participation and of any travel to attend a CSTE Meeting, you acknowledge and agree (1) the contagious nature of pathogens including the SARS CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and newly emerging  variants; (2) that you are aware of the existence of the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by COVID-19 and/or other pathogens from the actions, omissions or negligence of yourself and others, including, but not limited to, travel by both air and/or road, and participation in activities related to your travel; (3) understand that COVID-19 and/or other pathogen’s impact on individuals is varied and may have long-term and/or serious implications on person’s health including those that are currently known and those that are yet unknown and/or unanticipated; and (4) you are fully and personally responsible for your own safety and actions while and during your participation and you recognize that you may be at risk of contracting COVID-19 and/or other pathogen. You hereby release and agree to hold CSTE harmless from, and waive on behalf of yourself, your heirs, and any personal representative any and all causes of action, claims, damages, costs, expenses and compensation for damage or loss to yourself and/or your property that may be caused by any act, failure to act of CSTE, or that may otherwise arise in any way connected to your travel and attendance of the conference.   

In the event of any injury requiring medical care throughout the Annual Conference, you, or your own personal health insurance will be responsible for payments of all medical costs. You further agree that you are not covered by CSTE’s liability, medical and/or travel insurance and thus are responsible for obtaining your own. You agree to accept all financial responsibility for the costs related to any emergency treatment and/or travels.   

By participating in the CSTE Fun Run/Walk, you agree to the CSTE Fun Run/Walk Waiver. 

CSTE is not responsible for any items lost, stolen, or left unattended throughout the conference dates including sponsor and exhibitor move in and move out.  

Health & Wellness Policy & Procedures


CSTE is committed to providing its members, partners, and staff with an experience that is as safe as possible and will be implementing a number of precautions to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 and other illnesses at in-person conferences, meetings, and gatherings, including the 2024 Annual Conference. By attending a CSTE conference, meeting or gathering, an attendee agrees to comply with the recommendations of the policy, as outlined below. CSTE may update this policy at any time based on the evolving information learned. 

Vaccination & Testing Requirement  

CSTE recommends in-person attendees be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. 

Mask & Physical Distancing Recommendations 

  • Masks will be optional during all meeting and gathering functions.  
  • All attendees should be mindful and respectful of other attendees when eating, drinking, or presenting. CSTE will not monitor or enforce mask usage by individual attendees, but we ask attendees to honor the request of others to physically distance. CSTE reserves the right to ask an attendee to leave should they be deemed rude, uncooperative, or disrespectful. 

Pre-Event Protocols 

  • Stay home if you feel unwell or were recently exposed to COVID-19, develop symptoms of COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19 within five (5) days prior to the event. 
  • Contact [email protected] to provide notification that you will not be able to attend the event.  

Attendee On-Site Protocols for Covid-19 

  • Attendees experiencing potential symptoms of COVID-19 during the conference should remain in their hotel room, get tested for COVID-19, and seek medical care. Attendees should not return to in-person attendance until they receive a negative COVID test result and symptoms have resolved.   
  • Options for COVID-19 test to treat facilities are available at https://covid-19-test-to-treat-locator-dhhs.hub.arcgis.com/ 
  • CSTE does not provide financial assistance for medical treatment, hotel accommodations, or travel to return home should an attendee develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 while attending an event. 

Code of Conduct


CSTE Values: Commitment to Service, Teamwork and Excellence through integrity and respect for all   

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) is a member-based organization that is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes providing a safe, welcoming, and productive environment that fosters open dialogue and expression of ideas, free of harassment, discrimination, and hostile conduct at CSTE meetings and events, whether held in-person or in virtual format. We have a shared responsibility for creating and maintaining that environment for the benefit of all and upholding our CSTE Values.    

CSTE is committed to supporting equitable opportunities and respectful treatment for all participants in our activities, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, physical or mental ability, disability, age, physical appearance, race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, nationality, or any other diverse characteristics. We seek to be a welcoming community in which you can consider and debate a range of relevant viewpoints in a respectful and inclusive manner.    

Scope of this Policy    

This policy applies to all participants, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, staff, contractors, consultants, media, attendees, and agents of CSTE during CSTE events and activities, both online and in-person, including but not limited to conference calls, meetings, conferences, off-site social events sponsored by CSTE, webinars, seminars, training courses, and networking events.  This policy extends to CSTE committees and workgroups, mentorship/fellowship programs, publications, community discussions, and engagement with CSTE on social media.   

Expected Behavior   

All participants are expected to treat others with respect and consideration, follow venue or virtual forum rules, and to alert CSTE staff to any violations of this Code of Conduct, dangerous situations, or circumstances that cause any participant undue distress. When you participate in CSTE activities, we expect you to:   

  • Treat others with respect and consideration;  
  • Respect differences of opinion and be inclusive of a diverse range of experiences and perspectives;   
  • Express differences in ideas and opinions productively, free of personal attacks;   
  • Consider the impact of your communications and communication style; words can be interpreted as aggressive or negative, even if this is not what you intended;   
  • Abide by all venue rules and policies;   
  • Presume goodwill in the absence of evidence to the contrary, and respectfully alert others if their comments or conduct are unwelcome to you;   
  • Respect others’ personal space, unless they invite the physical contact;   
  • Be an ally and speak up, reach out to the affected individual, or notify CSTE staff when you see unacceptable behavior that affects another; and    
  • For in-person events, alert CSTE staff or venue security (if available) to any dangerous situations or if anyone is in distress.    

Unacceptable Behavior   

CSTE will not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination, or abuse in connection with CSTE events and activities. Prohibited conduct includes but is not limited to:    

  • Speech, gestures, or behaviors that are known to be or should reasonably be expected to be unwelcome or are personally offensive, abusive, or derogatory;    
  • Harmful or harassing verbal or written comments related to or motivated by another’s gender identity, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, or other protected characteristic;   
  • Verbal or physical intimidation, virtual or in-person stalking or unwelcome following, threats, stalking, or bullying;  
  • Sustained or repeated disruption of events, including sustained interruption, yelling at, or threatening any speakers, attendees, or CSTE staff;   
  • Physical harassment, including unwelcome touching or groping, unwelcome attention, or inappropriate/unnecessary physical contact (including physical contact that exceeds the level invited by the other person)