The US Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration ended on May 11, 2023, but SOT continues to monitor the advisories and guidelines of local, US, and world health advisory organizations. As such, the 2024 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo will adhere to local and national health rules and guidance, as issued by governing bodies such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) and the Salt Lake County Health Department. If those rules and guidance require specific policies and procedures associated with in-person meeting attendance, this web page and other Annual Meeting materials will be updated to inform registrants and potential registrants.
The Salt Lake County Mayor’s Council on Diversity Affairs (CODA) has existed for nearly 20 years, and in November 2020, it issued an action plan containing “measurable action steps” to guide “work in eradicating systemic bias and institutional racism from Salt Lake County and its services.” As part of the action plan, this vision was shared: “OUR VISION is for Salt Lake County to be a place where EVERYONE has equitable access to opportunities; a place where we act intentionally to connect people of ALL BACKGROUNDS to achieve their highest civic and economic potential; and a place where we confront and address the historic, systemic RACIAL INEQUALITIES that continue to exist in our community. CODA believes in the equal and inherent value of ALL people.” Further, CODA is meant to provide support between the Mayor’s Office for New Americans and the Mayor’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion.
In 2020, the municipality joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity, which is a “national network of government working to achieve racial equity and advance opportunities for all.” Salt Lake City also is a Certified Welcoming city by the Welcoming America organization. Per the Welcoming American website, “Certified Welcoming is a formal designation for cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion.”
Finally, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall issues regular proclamations recognizing various heritage, appreciation, and awareness days and months. Through July 2023, recognized communities, individuals, and events include Braille Day; Black History Month; Deaf History Month; International Transgender Day of Visibility; Autism Acceptance Month; Jewish American Heritage Month; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month; Pride Month; Immigrant Heritage Month; Disability Pride Month; and Muslim American Heritage Month.
Salt Lake City has taken a proactive step for pedestrian safety by installing containers holding brightly colored flags at each end of the city’s crosswalks. Pedestrians are encouraged to carry these flags while crossing, as they significantly enhance their visibility to drivers. Additionally, the simple act of holding a flag alerts drivers to the pedestrian’s intention to cross the street.
In addition to convention center personnel, SOT employs security staff to assist before and during the meeting. The personal safety tips outlined on this page are provided by these security experts.
The best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid situations in which you feel uncomfortable. Travel “smart” when you leave Salt Palace Convention Center:
The possibility of demonstrators is very real given the nature of toxicology research. Events of this nature range from verbal confrontations, protests, and strikes to riots. Here are some safety tips in the event of demonstrations: