The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., has announced its commitment to becoming one of the largest venues in the nation to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR accreditation on outbreak prevention, response and recovery. Recognized as the gold standard of safe venues, GBAC STAR provides third-party validation to ensure the implementation of rigorous protocols in response to biorisk situations.
As a division of the International Sanitary Supply Association, GBAC STAR is an industry accreditation focused on ensuring a clean, safe and healthy environment. The program establishes requirements to assist venues by providing best practices, protocols and procedures to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
“As we face these unprecedented times, it is vital that we take the necessary steps in order to recover from this crisis,” says OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “In collaboration with GBAC, we are incorporating some of the most stringent protocols into our recovery and resiliency plan to safeguard our guests, employees and community to instill a sense of confidence and trust when they return to the OCCC.”
The decision to pursue GBAC STAR accreditation coincides with the OCCC’s public release of its Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines. The guidelines were created by an internal OCCC committee to keep guests, employees and the community safe. The guidelines rely on the best available science and research on sanitation methods, in consultation with Orange County Government and can be accessed at www.occc.net/guidelines.
In pursuit of the GBAC STAR accreditation, the OCCC will complete 20 program elements with specific performance and guidance criteria. The comprehensive program will enable the OCCC to:
- Establish and maintain a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to control and/or minimize risk associated with infectious agents for employees, guests, the community and the environment.
- Provide assurance and establish confidence that proper cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention work practices are in place and implemented.
- Establish a framework for communication and raising awareness of best practices as they relate to cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention.
“When clients, exhibitors and attendees return to Orange County, we want them to have the peace of mind that they are safe and protected,” says Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “I commend the leadership of the OCCC in pursuing the GBAC STAR accreditation, and taking the necessary steps to secure a safe and healthy future for convention visitors and our community as a whole.”
As an important element of the OCCC’s Recovery and Resiliency Guidelines, the OCCC will continue to collaborate with credible industry resources and experts to provide employees with vital training in biorisk prevention.
The Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention facility in North America and provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the convention center has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.5 million attendees to the region each year. For more info, visit, www.occc.net.
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals, and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more info, visit www.gbac.org.
With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more info, visit www.issa.com or call (800) 225-4772 (U.S.) or (847) 982-0800.