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Covid Protocols

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Old Dominion University Concert Choir, Dr. Nancy K. Klein, Director, at the Old Dominion University Music and Dance Showcase.

Masks

  • Must be worn by all students and instructors whenever participating in ensembles or face-to-face lessons, whether indoors or outdoors
    - Must be worn prior to entering the room and throughout the rehearsal
    - Must cover mouth and nose
    - Reusable masks should be washed daily
    - Never share masks
    - If a student shows up without a mask, a limited supply of disposable masks may be available in music office conference room

  • Winds/Brass (except flute): Custom masks are on order that allow access from mouth to mouthpiece while keeping mask on. These are to remain on throughout rehearsal.
    - If custom mask is unavailable or lost, students are to use a disposable surgical mask with a slit opening for mouthpiece. A second, regular mask should be worn when talking, at rest, or moving about room.

  • Flutists should have a mask readily available during rehearsals and wear mask properly whenever talking, at rest, or moving about room

Instrument accessories

  • Flute/Piccolo
    - Mouthpiece cover (such as Win-D-Fender or Flute Air Shield) are to be worn at all times when playing in ensembles or face-to-face lessons
    - Alternative: wear a surgical mask but insert flute from side to play
    - "Flute sock" covering end of flute is recommended to reduce spreading of aerosols through end of flute (see "A 'Mask' for the Flute" by Rose Johnson on YouTube, for example). At minimum, a folded handkerchief wrapped loosely around end and fastened via scrunchie or rubber band will suffice.

  • Oboes/Clarinets
    - Bagged instrument covers must be used at all times to reduce aerosols escaping from keyholes and bell (School of Music has ordered one cover for each student)
    - If bag cover is unavailable, bell cover should be used
    - At minimum, a folded handkerchief wrapped loosely around bell and fastened via scrunchie or rubber band is better than nothing
    - Rule of thumb: Any cover is better than no cover

  • Bassoon/Brass/Saxophones
    - Bell covers must be used at all times to reduce aerosols escaping from bell (School of Music has ordered one cover for each student)
    - If custom bell cover is unavailable, makeshift cloth covering is better than nothing
    - Rule of thumb: Any cover is better than no cover
    - Spit valves - Brass players are not to empty spit valves on bare floor. Students are responsible for bringing own puppy pad, rag, or at minimum paper towels.

Instrument sharing

  • Percussion (instruments and mallets)
    - Avoid sharing of instruments/mallets in a given rehearsal whenever possible
    - Assign same instrument to same person for all pieces in any given concert cycle if possible

  • Auxiliary wind instruments - no sharing
  • Methods instruments - no sharing
  • Stands - no sharing

Ensemble setups

  • Rehearsal space:
    - Outdoors is generally safer than indoors and may be a viable option for some rehearsals/lessons at instructor's discretion, pending weather and instrument safety
    - Note: The School of Music does not control use of grounds surrounding the Diehn building

  • Spacing:
    - Minimum 6' x 6' between each player (trombonists: 9' x 6')
    - Whenever possible, leave additional space for woodwinds/brass, who require deep breaths to play—especially oboe. Note that air also escapes through keyholes (not just bell)
    - Whenever possible, leave additional space around director (who does the most speaking during rehearsals)

  • Formation:
    - Straight-line formations recommended (as opposed to curved formation)
    - All students should face the same direction, back to front (as opposed to facing each other or facing the conductor)

  • Plexiglass shields:
    - The University of Colorado-Boulder's aerosol study recommends not using them at this time "because the room HVAC system cannot properly change the air as designed. 'Dead zones' or areas where aerosol can build-up are a concern. Aerosol particles can still float around and move with the air; particles are so small that they do not fully respect gravity."
    - However, plexiglass shields will be available for individual students, teachers, or accompanists who request them for added personal safety.
    - Plexiglass shields should be set up as flat as possible, without risk of it falling over—zigzag or gentle curve (as opposed to a tight circle)
    - Person who uses panel is responsible for cleaning panel with disinfectant wipe after use
    - Plexiglass shields must be stored flat against a wall when not in use.

Rehearsal length [preliminary guidelines—subject to revision]

  • Indoor rehearsals are to last for a maximum of 40 minutes (30 minutes is recommended by UC-Boulder study) followed by a complete clearing of the room for 20 minutes to allow the HVAC system to change the air.
  • Outdoor rehearsals: The UC-Boulder study recommends a maximum of 30 minutes of playing at a time, with 5-minute breaks in between to allow aerosols to disperse
  • Instructors whose classes/ensembles meet back to back should coordinate beginning and end times to allow a minimum of 20 minutes for air exchange before next class (or before student workers arrive for next ensemble setup)

Entrance-exit procedures

  • Each ensemble director will instruct students as to the protocol for entering and exiting their ensemble in an organized and expedited manner, keeping in mind the number of students in the ensemble and the number of doors that can be used to enter and exit
  • General guidelines:

    - Doors should be propped open to prevent multiple touching
    - Students should pick up disinfectant wipe upon entering for wiping stand/chair at end of rehearsal, and dispose of wipe upon leaving (wipes will be available at entrances to each rehearsal space)
    - Students must observe social distancing upon entering or exiting rehearsal space
    - Students are asked not to crowd around entrances to classrooms and ensemble rooms before or after classes

  • Students should rack their own stand and/or chair in orderly fashion (e.g. by row, starting with row closest to exits), per director's instructions
  • Instructors should advise students to leave rehearsal space immediately at the end of rehearsal, and to clear the doorway and hallway surrounding the rehearsal space
  • Percussion setup
    - Each percussionist should be the only one to handle the instrument(s) that person is playing at any given rehearsal
    - Instrument assignments should be made to minimize instrument sharing. If instrument must be shared between 2 people within a rehearsal, one person should be designated to setup and strike instrument for any given rehearsal
    - Cleaning
    - Disinfectant wipes are NOT to be used for certain surfaces (rosewood instruments, cymbals, drum shells, leather straps)
    - All mallets used in a rehearsal should be deposited in box labeled "used mallets"
    - One percussionist should be designated at end of any given rehearsal to disinfect all percussion instruments and mallets using UVC wand (available in each percussion rehearsal space)

  • Pianos
    - Pianist should wipe down keys with disinfectant wipe before and after playing

Applied teaching

  • Virtual lessons recommended
  • If lessons must be taught face-to-face:
    - Music office will assign largest room size available for face-to-face lessons
    - Instructor should sit at corner/end of room furthest from entrance
    - Masks should be worn by teacher and student to greatest extent possible
    - Plexiglass shield masks are available for instructors in the Main Office upon request
    - Drum shields are available to instructors upon request
    - Note: Plexiglass shield masks and drum shields only protect against large droplets; aerosols can still spread throughout room over time, so masks should still be worn
    - Maintain 6-ft. minimum distance (more for winds/brass if possible, especially oboe; 9+ feet for trombonists)
    - Point wind/brass bells away from each other
    - Do not share music stands
    - A minimum of 10 minutes between applied student lessons is required to allow for room air exchange

References

For the most recent and past reports and recommendations from the University of Colorado-Boulder aerosol study, visit:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/

Masks

  • General guidelines: masks must be worn by all students and instructors at all times whenever participating in ensembles or face-to-face lessons, whether indoors or outdoors, as required by university protocol
    - Must be worn prior to entering the room and throughout the rehearsal
    - Must cover mouth and nose
  • Singer Masks
    - Singer Masks have been purchased and will be made available to members of DSOM vocal ensembles. These masks are designed to enable singers to breathe more easily while following mask requirements.
    - Singers may not share masks.
    - Each singer is responsible to bring and utilize their personal singers masks.
    - Singers are responsible to wash and maintain their Singer Mask.
    - Reusable masks must be washed after each use as recommended by the CDC.
  • If a student shows up without a mask, a limited supply of disposable masks may be available in music office

Ensemble setup

  • General guidelines
    - Spacing
    - minimum 6' x 6' between each individual as recommended by the CDC
    - whenever possible, leave additional space around director (who does the most speaking during rehearsals)

    - Formation
    - Straight lines recommended
    - Students should sit facing in the same direction, back to front

  • Choir room (Diehn 1201)
    - Chairs and stands on risers in the choir room have been preset to adhere to the spacing guidelines. Chairs and stands on the risers are not to be moved.

  • Plexiglass shields
    - The University of Colorado-Boulder aerosol study recommends not using them at this time "because the room HVAC system cannot properly change the air as designed. 'Dead zones' or areas where aerosol can build-up are a concern. Aerosol particles can still float around and move with the air, particles are so small that they do not fully respect gravity."
    - However, plexiglass shields will be available for individual students, teachers, or accompanists who request them for added personal safety.
    - Plexiglass shields should be set up as flat as possible, without risk of it falling over—zigzag or gentle curve (as opposed to a tight circle).
    - Plexiglass shields must be stored flat against a wall when not in use.
    - It is the responsibility of the ensemble director to set up and store the plexiglass shield and to disinfect it after each use.

Rehearsal length (Preliminary guidelines -- subject to revision)

  • Indoor rehearsals are to last for a maximum of 40 minutes (30 minutes is recommended by UC-Boulder study) followed by a complete clearing of the room for 20-minutes to allow the HVAC system to change the air.
  • Instructors whose classes/ensembles meet back to back should coordinate beginning and end times to allow a minimum of 20 minutes for air exchange before next class (or before student workers arrive for next ensemble setup)

Entrance-exit procedures

  • Each ensemble director will instruct students as to the protocol for entering and exiting their ensemble in an organized and expedited manner, keeping in mind the number of students in the ensemble and the number of doors that can be used to enter and exit (for example, in the Choir Room (Diehn 1201) there are two (2) doors that can be used).
  • General guidelines
    - Doors should be propped open to prevent multiple touches
    - Students are asked not to crowd around entrances to classrooms and ensemble rooms before or after classes.
    - Students must observe social distancing upon the entering or exiting of a rehearsal space.
    - Students should pick up disinfectant wipe upon entering for wiping stand/chair at end of rehearsal (and dispose of wipe upon leaving).

Cleaning procedures (for chairs, stands, piano, and any other communal equipment)

  • All musicians and directors: wipe any communal surfaces that are used with disinfectant wipe before and after use

Applied lessons

  • Virtual applied lessons are strongly recommended

References

For the most recent and past reports and recommendations from the University of Colorado-Boulder aerosol study, visit:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/unprecedented-international-coalition-led-by-performing-arts-organizations-to-commission-covid-19-study/