NRPA Employs New Health and Safety Measures to Mitigate Potential COVID-19 Spread at 2021 Annual Conference

Ashburn, VA (September 1, 2021)

*These health and safety measures have been updated as of September 1, 2021.

Conference attendees required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, in addition to enforcing other safety measures, for NRPA’s annual conference this September.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is hard at work ensuring a safe and educational conference experience in Nashville, Tennessee, September 21-23, 2021. This means watching the status of COVID-19 cases in the area, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and state and local responses carefully.

We will continue to adapt our health and safety measures on an ongoing basis to provide as safe an environment as possible for the expected 3,000 attendees. 

As a leader in health and wellness, NRPA will require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test, within 72 hours of arrival/check-in at the conference for all in-person attendees, staff, exhibitors, sponsors, vendors, volunteers and speakers, regardless of your registration date.

To expedite this process, attendees should upload their vaccination cards or negative test results to a link that will be emailed to all attendees and participants prior to arriving at the convention center. A third-party health screening vendor will then verify the submitted information prior to the event. This will eliminate long lines to enter the building and get your badge. If an attendee does not wish to upload their information or forgets in advance, they can show proof onsite as well.

Health screening checkpoints will occur at various entrances of Music City Center. Attendees who prefer to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test onsite must have their information readily available before they can enter the convention center.

Acceptable proof of vaccination is an official CDC vaccination card with all information (name/date/dose details) OR a negative PCR Test or Antigen Test that shows valid details (name/date/medical results).

Exhibitors will receive their link earlier for set-up purposes.

Also, according to the CDC website: “Given what we know about the Delta variant, vaccine effectiveness, and current vaccine coverage, layered prevention strategies, such as wearing masks, are needed to reduce the transmission of this variant.”

Therefore, NRPA is implementing the following health and safety protocols*:                                    

  • Attendees who do not show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be prohibited from attending the conference in person but will be given full access to our virtual 2021 NRPA Annual Conference platform.
    • A photo of your government agency vaccination card on your phone or mobile device will be accepted.
    • At-home test kits with associated observation reporting apps are also accepted.
    • Conference attendees traveling to Nashville from outside of the United States may show COVID-19 vaccination cards issued by other governmental public health agencies equivalent to CDC standards.
  • Face coverings are REQUIRED in all NRPA Annual Conference gathering spaces and events. Attendees who do not comply with mask protocols will be prohibited from attending the conference in person.
    • Recommended face coverings include the kn95 mask, the 3 ply, over-ear loop mask, or a folded/double-layer gaiter.
  • Daily health and wellness checkpoints will be conducted at checkpoints inside the Center entrances.
  • Physical distancing measures will be in place at all gathering spaces and events, including:
    • Seats in education session rooms will be 3-feet apart (following CDC’s guidelines for classroom seating)
    • Education Learning Pods to help mitigate crowding in lobbies, corridors, the exhibit hall as well as during breaks and conference luncheons
  • The venue will routinely clean and disinfect shared surfaces.

    *Updated as of September 1, 2021. NRPA may update these requirements at any time at its sole discretion.

NRPA will make every effort to ensure these health and safety measures are followed at the conference to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible, but we cannot do this alone. However, NRPA cannot guarantee that its attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, or others in attendance will not become infected with COVID-19. We ask all attendees to do their part by taking personal responsibility and remaining vigilant about their own health, including:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19
    • Find local no-cost vaccination sites here:
    • CDC acknowledges a fully vaccinated person is one who receives two (2) shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccine; two (2) shots of the Moderna vaccine; or one (1) shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (J&J).
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 prior to attending the Conference*
  • Wear face coverings in other indoor places throughout the city (e.g., restaurants, bars and other indoor attractions)
  • Practice physical distancing in indoor spaces
  • Use hand-sanitizing stations as they are available
  • And wash your hands frequently

*If you are not feeling well or are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, you should not attend the conference in person. To learn more about our health and safety guidelines, visit

To learn more about the NRPA Annual Conference, visit


About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit