COVID masking update for Eastman community

April 15, 2022

Dear members of the Eastman community,

With news in today’s @Rochester email that the University is re-instating the mandatory mask mandate, I wanted to follow up with some clarification for how this impacts us here at Eastman.  In short, we are going back to the masking policies that were in place at the end of the fall semester, which are:

  • Everyone needs to wear a non-cloth mask (N95, KN94, surgical mask, etc.) at all times – in classes, lessons, rehearsals, performances, and all other academic and non-academic spaces.  The one exception is for professionally-made masks for musicians, which may continue to be used when performing as these masks are typically constructed with multiple layers and/or have additional filter material built into the mask.  In non-performance situations, however, everyone must follow the non-cloth mask policy.
  • Musicians who play an instrument with a mouthpiece must cut a small hole/slit in their mask so that their nose and sides of the mouth remain covered when they are playing.
  • Brass and woodwind musicians are required to use a bell cover at all times.
  • Brass players must use a container/rag to collect their condensation.

Exceptions to the masking requirement are limited to the following situations:

  • A single musician may be unmasked when performing in a jury or recital, but only if they can maintain 6’ of distance from others on stage.
  • A single instructor may be unmasked when teaching, but only if they can maintain 6’ from the rest of the class.

All our performances remain open to the public and there are no other restrictions on gatherings, activities, or dining at this time.  These rules will be in place through the conclusion of final exams, and at that time University leadership will determine if it is safe to go back to a “masks recommended” policy for senior week and commencement weekend. 

Once again, thank you for your continued flexibility in the face of the pandemic.  It’s a busy time of year, so we just want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep our community safe.  As always,  do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.


John Hain
Associate Dean of Academic and International Affairs
Eastman School of Music