Important details on COVID-19 vaccinations for students - ESM COVID-19 Resource Center

Important details on COVID-19 vaccinations for students

August 2, 2021

Dear students,

This message is a follow-up to the University-wide communication about our vaccine requirement, which was sent out last Friday.  For you reference, you may review that important update here:  While Eastman and University leadership continue to strongly encourage all individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are able, we recognize there will be a small number of students who, despite the University’s vaccine requirement, will receive a medical or religious accommodation to this requirement and will therefore be unvaccinated during the 2021-2022 academic year.  

To protect the safety of all members of the Eastman community, effective immediately music-making at Eastman will be governed by the following policies:

  • Unvaccinated musicians, regardless of instrument, must wear a mask and bell cover (if applicable) at all times.  The only exception is if an unvaccinated musician is alone in a practice room, as they may remove their mask and bell cover in this case.  Vaccinated musicians may perform without a mask and bell cover but may choose to wear them if they have concerns about their safety.
  • For musicians playing non-aerosol producing instrument (strings, percussion, and keyboard instruments), no physical distancing is required regardless of vaccination status.
  • For musicians who produce aerosols (brass, woodwind, and voice), unvaccinated musicians must be distanced at least 6’ from others at all times (e.g. ensembles, chamber music, private lessons, other performance or practice scenarios).  Vaccinated musicians have no distancing requirement while performing or practicing.
  • No downtime or air exchange is required between rehearsals and performances regardless of whether unvaccinated musicians are using the space.
  • Unvaccinated students will be restricted to specific practice rooms and rehearsal spaces.  Practice rooms will be set aside for unvaccinated students, and these rooms will follow the same safety protocols that were in place last year.  These rules include the requirement that the students sign out their practice rooms in advance, that there be 30 minutes of downtime between practice sessions, and that an individual student occupy the room for a maximum of 2 hours.  Unvaccinated students may be unmasked in a practice room if they are alone, but if another individual enters the space then masks must be worn along with bell covers, if applicable.  In the designated unvaccinated rehearsal spaces, all students, faculty coaches, and/or collaborative pianists – regardless of vaccination status – must wear a mask, maintain 6’ of distance, limit music-making to 30 minutes for aerosol-producing instruments or 60 minutes for non-aerosol producing instruments, and ensure that there is 30 minutes of downtime in between sessions.
  • There are no additional restrictions on unvaccinated musicians beyond masking and, if applicable, distancing.  Otherwise, unvaccinated musicians may perform in all ensembles alongside their vaccinated colleagues.

As we have done since the start of the pandemic, our guidelines will continue to be informed by and subject to change based on information from the University’s medical experts, the current state of COVID-19 on campus, any additional state and federal guidelines, as well as the commitment to the University community’s health and safety.

All the best,

Dean Hain and Dean Fox