Orange County Convention Center aiming for GBAC Star accreditation

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) has announced its commitment to becoming one of the largest venues in the nation to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) 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 (ISSA), 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 we take the necessary steps to recover from this crisis,” stated 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 and 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; and
  • Establish a framework for communication and raising awareness of best practices as they relate to cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention.

“When people return to Orange County, we want them to have the peace of mind they are safe and protected,” said 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.”

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