The World Pet Association’s main priority is the health and safety of the pet care community.  

As we plan for a dynamic in-person event, the Show Management Team is committed to delivering a clean and safe environment for all participants.  We are carefully following the most up-to-date recommendations and guidelines from the CDC and other federal, state, and local authorities.  In addition, we are closely working with the Georgia International Convention Center and our vendor partners to establish appropriate safety protocols and mitigation measures.  We will keep you informed of the safety procedures and processes put into place as they are implemented. Please check back often for details. 

Due to the state’s Executive Orders restrictions are eliminated for restaurants, bars, conventions, childcare facilities, live performance venues, and other organizations.

Below are some COVID-19 resources designed to aid our planning and your participation:

Center for Disease Control:  Coronavirus Updates

Center for Disease Control:  Considerations for Events and Gatherings

Center for Disease Control:  Travel

Georgia’s Statewide Executive Order:  Guidelines for Businesses including Conventions

World Health Organization:  Q&A Mass Gatherings & COVID-19

Since COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is spread mainly from person-to-person contact, the World Pet Association (“WPA”) has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during GROOM’D 2023 at the Georgia International Convention Center (“GICC”). However, WPA cannot guarantee that its attendees, participants, volunteers, partners, or others in attendance (collectively “participants”) will not become infected with COVID-19. While participating in events held or sponsored by WPA “social distancing” must be practiced, and face coverings worn in accordance with the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and any state governmental requirements and guidelines, as applicable, to reduce the risks of exposure to COVID-19.

WPA strongly encourages all in-person event participants to be ‘fully vaccinated’ (defined below) before attending GROOM’D. We strongly recommend that any GROOM’D participant who is fully vaccinated bring their COVID-19 vaccination documentation or certificate to the event.

In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, individuals who fall within any of the categories below should not attend GROOM’D. By attending GROOM’D, you acknowledge and warrant that you do not fall into any of the following categories:

Individuals who currently or within the past fourteen (14) days have experienced any symptoms associated with COVID-19, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath among others;

Individuals who have traveled at any point in the past fourteen (14) days either internationally or to a community in the U.S. that has experienced or is experiencing sustained community spread of COVID-19; or

Individuals who believe that they may have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not yet cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities or the health care team responsible for their treatment.

Event Safety

To promote the safety of everyone at the event, WPA will follow the CDC, State of Georgia, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia International Convention Center and other local regulations regarding COVID safety practices during GROOM’D. WPA may change its practices to account for changes in government health-related COVID-19 directives.

The GICC strongly encourages visitors to wear masks and they recommend separate entrances and exits be used.  The GICC still requires their own staff to wear masks. 

Starting November 1, the GICC became a cashless campus.  All major credit cards (except Discover Card) will be accepted for parking, concessions, etc.  Apple Pay and other apps are not accepted at this time.  Convenient Tap and Pay options will be available.

Attendee Safety

In light of events surrounding the COVID-19, this is an appropriate time to remind ourselves of the risks incident to participating in GROOM’D. Even with every reasonable precaution to keep you safe as outlined for you by the CDC, federal, state, and local governments and health departments, WPA cannot fully eliminate all risks of harm to GROOM’D participants or guarantee their safety, especially from risks posed by COVID-19 or its variant strains.

Safety Requirements

Upon arrival at the Georgia International Convention Center, you may be asked to submit to a temperature check and be generally observed by trained medical staff provided by the WPA for signs of COVID-19 like symptoms, including but not limited to fever, coughing or shortness of breath. If any of these or other COVID-19 related symptoms present, you will be denied entry, safely escorted from the premises, and/or advised to seek medical attention immediately. WPA reserves the right to deny entry or seek the immediate removal of anyone presenting with COVID-19 related symptoms.

While at the Georgia International Convention Center, you will be asked to follow the CDC’s or Georgia Department of Public Health’s latest guidance and governmental directives, including the requirement any applicable mask guidelines for events taking place in indoor spaces and socially distancing in effect during the event, and practice good hygiene.

Safety Reminders

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a fully vaccinated person is anyone having received the second dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and two weeks have transpired since the last dose.

It is inadvisable for anyone to attend if you are: a) unvaccinated and having COVID-19 related medical risk factors, b) having symptoms or signs of sickness or having been in recent contact with known positive COVID-19 cases, or c) testing positive for COVID-19 or any of its variant strains within the last 10 days.

In accordance with CDC guidelines it is strongly recommended that anyone traveling to and or attending a large indoor gathering be fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely.

It is inadvisable for anyone to travel without first determining the requirements for safely traveling to and within the United States, particularly when fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.