The Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a Division of ISSA, announced Thursday that the Georgia World Congress Center and Between-based Dinner in a Dash are the first organizations to achieve GBAC STAR facility accreditation.

The GBAC STAR program helps commercial and public facilities of all sizes establish and carry out a systematic approach to cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention.

“Congratulations are in order for the Georgia World Congress Center and Dinner in a Dash, which have both put time and energy into reviewing their cleaning procedures alongside GBAC STAR’s criteria,” GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger said.

“We look forward to the many accreditations that will follow as other organizations seek third party validation from GBAC.”

Boasting more than 4 million square feet of total space, Georgia World Congress Center features 1.5 million square feet of flexible exhibit space, and is one of only a few venues to offer more than 1 million square feet of contiguous exhibition space.

As the world’s largest LEED certified convention center, GWCC welcomes more than 1 million visitors annually. GWCC was among the first convention centers in the country to commit to achieving GBAC STAR certification to make future gatherings safer.

“We are honored to be pacing the industry by achieving GBAC STAR accreditation,” Frank Poe, executive director of Georgia World Congress Center Authority, said.

“Although events will look different moving forward, our commitment to our customers, show attendees, and team members that the highest cleaning and disinfection protocols are being implemented at GWCC hasn’t changed. We would expect nothing less of ourselves and for our facility.”

In 2012, Julie and Mike Cook sought a way to make dinnertime easier and more enjoyable for their community. They founded Dinner in a Dash, which allows customers to pick up delicious home-cooked meals for busy weeknights and weekends. With six employees and just about 1,500 square feet of space, Dinner in a Dash was built as a to-go concept and doesn’t have dine-in customers. However, the family-owned company saw the GBAC STAR program as an opportunity to provide additional reassurance in uncertain times.

“Our employees and customers are the heart of our business,” Julie Cook said. “Achieving GBAC STAR accreditation further showcases our dedication to cleanliness and the people who have helped our business become what it is today.”

Facilities and organizations in 30 countries are adopting the GBAC STAR program to ensure they follow best practices in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include professional sports venues, hotels, restaurants, convention centers, airports, churches and more.

“With the threat of coronavirus still high in many areas, people want assurance that facilities are taking extra precautions to enhance cleanliness and safety,” ISSA Executive Director John Barrett said. “Whether an organization has space for millions or just a few employees, GBAC STAR will continue to be an important indicator of a facility’s thoroughness around cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention.”

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