March 18, 2020

Updated June 24, 2020

To our AOAC Members and Community,

As public health measures take effect in the United States and around the world, many normal business operations are being impacted. You may have questions about the status of AOAC’s operations that affect you or your business. We hope the following status report will be helpful. This information will be updated as the situation evolves.

AOAC Executive Director Dave Schmidt on March 16 encouraged state, local, and federal authorities to ensure mobility and access to personnel in public and private testing labs to ensure food safety and public health. Read the letter >

Events

The 2020 AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Meeting & Exposition, Building the Future of Analytical Science, has been reformatted into an all-virtual event employing state of the art technology designed to maximize the presentation, discussion, and networking experience.

The Annual Meeting will kick off on September 8 with the Analytical Solutions Forum, two days of exploring emerging issues and technologies, followed by Working Group meetings over the rest of the week.

Attendees can participate in twenty-five scientific sessions that will take place from September 14 to 24. The meeting will wrap up with award-winning student research presentations and a Hot Topic Symposium on COVID-19. AOAC will also offer live online training courses to be announced later and held in early October.

If you have questions, please contact the AOAC meetings organizer, Lauren Chelf, at [email protected].

Business Operations

AOAC has implemented a policy of telework for staff working in the Rockville, Maryland office, which will remain in effect until July 5. Normal business operations including meetings, communications, and standards development are continuing as usual via remote technology such as conference calls and project management platforms. Email and calls to our main line (301/924-7077) are being continuously monitored.

Beginning the week of July 6, 2020 we are implementing a phased-in return to the workplace starting with an “every other week” schedule. Approximately half of AOAC staff will be allowed to return to their normal workstations each week, alternating with the other half the following week. While in the office, staff will be expected to adhere to strict guidelines on wearing of masks, moving about in public spaces, and sanitizing high-touch items after use. This “every other week” schedule will continue until at least September 1st of this year, subject to local and federal public health guidelines.

Standards and Official Methods

AOAC expects these critical areas of work to continue through remote technology, which is already a well-established part of our Standards and Official Methods infrastructure. However, some delays are to be expected in the short term as contributing scientists and businesses focus on adapting their operations to the immediate impact of the public health situation. If you have any specific issues please contact Deborah McKenzie, Senior Director of Standards. ([email protected])

Proficiency Testing

Samples are shipping normally. AOAC will continue to monitor the impact of coronavirus-related business closures, border closures, and other public health measures that may have an impact on shipping, laboratory operations, or other aspects of the Proficiency Testing process. Please contact Arlene Fox, Senior Director of Proficiency Testing, ([email protected]) if you are experiencing an issue.

Performance Tested Methods

The AOAC Research Institute and Performance Tested Methods program are functioning normally via telephone, video conferencing, and electronic communications. Please contact Scott Coates, Senior Director of the AOAC Research Institute, ([email protected]) with any questions or issues.