Ohio University

Health and Safety Policy in View of COVID-19

The Ohio University School of Music is committed to providing our students with a safe, robust, and meaningful educational experience while protecting our faculty, staff, and guests. The health and safety of all our stakeholders is a chief priority. What follows is in accordance with guidelines set forth by the State of Ohio, Ohio University and the CDC and is informed by the emerging research on COVID-19 and the implications for musicians.

This information is dynamic and will evolve with both the growing body of research and with the changing severity of the pandemic. This policy will serve as a framework and the guidelines presented herein are to be applied to all members of the Ohio University School of Music community including students, faculty, and staff as well as visitors, guests, vendors, and contractors.

Vigilant physical distancing, use of face-coverings, and meticulous hygienic practice are critical for maintaining a healthy learning environment and to prevent the transmission of disease. These guidelines are established to not only protect oneself but also those in one's proximity, particularly those who are high-risk. Our diligent attention to and practice of these safety and prevention guidelines are essential as we seek to cultivate and fully embrace a culture of care. Please regularly check the Be Safe Bobcats page (https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus) for the latest and most up-to-date information.

Designated Contact

  • Please direct all questions or concerns to Dr. Christopher Fisher (fisherc@ohio.edu) or your faculty mentor.

Online COVID-19 Safety Training

  • All Ohio University students and employees granted access to Glidden Hall must first complete an online COVID-19 safety training and the OHIO Pledge prior to entering the building. The online training is required of everyone whether or not they are returning to campus. At the end of the COVID-19 online training is the OHIO Pledge. Everyone is required to sign off on this pledge.
  • https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/training
  • After completing this training module, students must take a screen shot of the completion certificate and email this to Ms. Debbie McAdoo (mcadood@ohio.edu).

Managed Access to Glidden Hall

  • Glidden Hall will remain locked. Only students who have received approved access to Glidden Hall may enter the building using their ID swipe card.
  • To gain swipe card access to Glidden Hall by September 28th, students must first successfully complete the COVID-19 safety training no later than Friday, September 25th. If you complete the training after that date you will be given access as soon as we can get this confirmation added to your school’s access list, which may take 2-3 days.
  • Admittance to Glidden Hall is strictly prohibited to those who have not been granted approved access.
  • Failure to comply with these policies will result in the loss of building access.

Daily Health and Wellness Checks

  • It is your responsibility to perform a daily symptom and body temperature check. Be aware of COVID-19-related symptoms. All students, faculty, and staff are asked to complete the check list found here daily. Create a journal to record this information for health safety and tracking purposes. This information may be requested by our local health department to assist with the contract tracing process if you or someone else in the building tests positive for COVID-19. Please have this information available upon request.
  • People with COVID-19 may exhibit a range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, including:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nause or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Follow CDC guidelines for self-quarantine and seek appropriate medical attention if you feel ill.

OhioHealth Partnership

Reporting Illness

  • If you are ill or think you are becoming ill, do not enter Glidden Hall for any reason. Contact the Ohio University COVID-19 Response Hotline at 877-OU-COV19 (877-682-6819) and notify your faculty mentor or advisor immediately. The hotline can be accessed seven days per week by Ohio University students and employees that are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The COVID-19 Hotline is a first stop for all current students on all campuses to ask COVID-19-related questions, to be connected to further resources including potential testing at an OhioHealth testing site or guidance to alternative testing sites, and to submit reports of positive COVID-19 tests.
  • Students can use the hotline to access treatment and management of their individualized needs as part of expanded services through expanded student health services. If a COVID test is needed, the Ohio University COVID-19 Response Hotline will work with a provider to place the order. It is important to note that a provider’s order is required for COVID-19 testing.
  • Please also use the OHIO Incident Form if you are symptomatic or think you are sick/exposed to COVID-19 https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?OhioUniv&layout_id=46

Student & Employee COVID-19 Response Protocol

  • Students must be familiar with Ohio University’s Student & Employee COVID-19 Response Protocol which covers steps for managing OHIO community members who have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive or probable COVID-19 case. See: https://www.ohio.edu/coronavirus/protocol

Physical Distancing and Campus Density

  • Physical distancing is required of all who are on the Ohio University campus. Physical distance of a minimum of 6 feet is our baseline practice, with more expansive distancing recommended when additional spacing is possible.
  • Respectfully refrain from shaking hands, hugging, or other physical contact.
  • Classroom, studios, and performance venues have been re-configured based on social distancing regulations and capacity protocols in an effort to reduce density in these spaces.
  • Rooms in Glidden Hall will be designated with signage that indicates maximum capacity for each space.

Face Coverings

  • Clean face masks and/or face coverings must be properly worn (fully covering one’s mouth and nose) by all people at all times while in Glidden Hall or any other building or outdoor space on the Ohio University campus. Additionally, masks must be worn while entering, exiting, or waiting in line to enter any building on campus.
  • In single occupancy rooms, one must wear a face mask if the door is open. One may choose not to wear a face covering if the door is closed in a single occupancy room.
  • Follow CDC guidelines for cleaning reusable face masks.
  • Face shields are not acceptable face coverings. Community members may wear both a face shield and a face covering, but not a face shield alone. The process for students or employees seeking a facial covering exemption can be found here.
  • For complete details about appropriate face coverings, please click here.
  • It is strongly recommended that wind and brass players play with a slit mask if at all possible.
  • Singers will be issued a special singer’s mask.
  • No talking should occur without wearing a mask.

General Hygiene

  • Regular, thorough handwashing and/or the use of hand sanitizer is required of all who enter Glidden Hall. Hands should be washed with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Hand should be periodically sanitized (washing or hand sanitizer) during your time in the building and especially following the use of the restroom. This is particularly important after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol, covering all surfaces of the hands, and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Signage and hand sanitizing stations will be strategically placed throughout the building.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw tissue away after use. Immediately wash your hands.

Equipment Usage

  • Regularly disinfect your cell phone, tablets, and computers
  • Refrain from touching anything without sanitizing your hands, both before and and after touching an object. 
  • When at all possible, use your own equipment.
  • Do not share writing utensils.
  • Strictly follow guidelines below for the use of shared equipment.

Cleaning and Sanitation

  • While University Custodial Services will routinely clean Glidden Hall, it will be up to students, faculty, and staff to do our part in maintaining a clean and safe environment.
  • Students will be required to thoroughly clean their desk/workspace using disinfectant wipes before and after each class.
  • Practice rooms and faculty studios will be supplied with disinfecting wipes. Students will be responsible for wiping down surfaces including piano keyboards, music stands, doorknobs, light switches, and other high-touch surface areas before and after use.

Ventilation/Mechanical Systems

  • Several measures have been taken across campus to enhance ventilation and mechanical systems, including:
    • Air handling units have been adjusted to maximize the use of outdoor air (100%) for building air circulation and exchange
    • Enhanced air filtration using MERV 13 filters
    • Supplemental mechanical solutions such as the use of HEPA air filtration systems will be installed where deemed necessary
  • Even with these HVAC enhancements, it is recommended to limit the amount of time you are indoors and in close contact with people. Take frequent outdoors breaks for fresh air.

Foot Traffic Patterns

  • Carefully follow posted signage throughout the building.
  • Doors will be clearly marked as to whether they are to be used as an entrance or exit.
  • Always walk to the right side of the room, hallway, or stairwell, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Obey all foot traffic patterns as marked.
  • Stairwell doors may be propped open for enhanced air flow and to eliminate the necessity to touch door handles.

Elevator Use

  • Priority use of the Glidden Hall elevator will be granted to those with physical disabilities or who have mobility challenges.
  • The elevator may also be used to transport large instruments or other equipment.
  • Only one passenger should be present in the cab at a time.
  • Avoid pressing elevator controls with your fingers if you are able. If not, immediately wash your hands afterward.
  • Elevator doors will be set to remain open on landing floors when not in use to promote greater air circulation.

Common Areas

  • Congregating in common/public spaces such as outside classrooms, faculty studios, the Recital Hall, or the 6th floor practice rooms, is prohibited.
  • Always maintain appropriate physical distancing.
  • Furniture on the 4th and 6th floor will be removed or covered to discourage congregation.

Recitals and Concerts

  • Recitals and concerts will be live-streamed in an effort to reduce audience density.
  • In-person access to events that take place in the Recital Hall will be limited to the performers, their faculty mentor(s), and their immediate family members, not to exceed a maximum of 10 people in the hall at one time.
  • Outdoor performance venues will be utilized.

Practice Rooms

  • Always wash your hands according to the above mentioned guidelines before or after using the pianos, touching music stands or doors handles. Alternatively, you may use hand sanitizer. Disinfecting wipes will be provided for use on the piano keys.
  • Students with managed access will be assigned a practice room or studio/office in which they will practice/work. This will promote contact tracing should someone become ill. Do not use a room unless you have been granted permission and have been scheduled to do so!
  • A minimum of 30-minutes between use of practice room must be observed in order to facilitate adequate ventilation between use. Be sure the door to the practice room is fully opened upon exiting.
  • If it is possible to practice in your residence hall room or apartment, you are encouraged to do so to reduce building density.
  • Whenever possible, doors to the 6th floor balconies should be left open to facilitate additional fresh airflow.

Music and Dance Library

  • The Music and Dance Library will be open by appointment only during the fall 2020 semester. Circulation will be by request with materials picked up just outside the library.
  • Face coverings are required of all staff and patrons when within the library.
  • Staff and patrons will be required to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds immediately prior to entering the library.
  • Users will be required to sanitize their reserved equipment and workstations before and after use.
  • Distancing guidelines: 6 feet

Classroom and Ensemble Seating Assignments

  • Faculty will develop a seating plan for all classes and ensembles, and students will be expected to sit in the same seat each time they attend a class or ensemble rehearsal. This will facilitate contact tracing should a student or instructor become ill.

Private Lessons for Piano and Organ

  • Masks are required of faculty and students throughout the duration of the lesson.
  • Lessons of no more than 60-minutes; less if deemed necessary due to space and ventilation.
  • Whenever possible, the room should be vacated for 30-minutes in between each lesson to allow for air exchange.
  • Students will be required to thoroughly wash their hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds immediately prior to their lesson. Students will also use hand sanitizer.
  • Students will be required to sanitize their piano keyboard both before and after their lesson.
  • Distancing guidelines: 6 feet (7.5 feet on-center markings)

Private Lessons for Strings, Guitar, Percussion, and Composition

  • Masks are required of faculty and students throughout the duration of the lesson.
  • Lessons of no more than 60-minutes; less if deemed necessary due to space and ventilation.
  • Whenever possible, the room should be vacated for 30-minutes in between each lesson to allow for air exchange.
  • Distancing guidelines: 6 feet (7.5 feet on-center markings)

Private Lessons for Winds and Brass

  • Masks are required by faculty and students when not playing. Wind and brass players are strongly encouraged to use a slit mask through which the instrument can be played while wearing. Flutes can wear masks and place head joint between mouth and mask.
  • A maximum of 40 minutes of consecutive playing time.
  • Whenever possible, the room should be vacated for one hour in between each lesson to allow for air exchange.
  • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in a towel or WindSorb.
  • Instrument bell should not be directed towards others.
  • Distancing guidelines: 15 feet is required between players; 20 feet required for flute.

Private Lessons for Singers

  • We will utilize two rooms linked via low-latency collaborative rehearsal systems for all applied lessons. Accompanists (and possibly the teacher) will be in one room, masked at all times, with appropriate physical distance. The student singer will be in the second room, unmasked or with a special singing mask.
  • Additionally, face-to-face lessons with collaborative pianists will occur in a large classroom (room 494) using advanced mitigation strategies, including face masks and face shields, plexiglass barriers, and HEPA filtration systems. Singers will sing toward the optimal air return.
  • Lessons and rehearsals in these spaces should last no more than 30 minutes per student.
  • Whenever possible, the room should be vacated for one hour in between each lesson to allow for air exchange. A minimum gap of 30 minutes between use is required.

Instrumental Ensembles, Repertoire, and Studio Classes

  • Masking is required for all individuals prior to entering the instructional space. Masking will be removed by brass and wind players only when playing their instrument. Consider a slit mask through which the instrument can be played while wearing.
  • Distancing guidelines: 6 feet (7.5 feet on-center markings) for brass, strings, piano, percussion; 15 feet for brass and winds
  • Wind and brass instrument bells should not be directed towards others.
  • Practice water key etiquette. Drape water valve and collect condensate in towel or WindSorb. Disinfect towel/WindSorb after use.
  • Cleaning of surfaces by disinfectant wipes (including music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces) by faculty/students before and after each class.
  • Daily disinfection of instructional space should take place per OHIO recommendations.
  • A maximum of 30 minutes of consecutive playing before vacating instructional space is required.
  • A 30-minute room vacancy after fully masked ensemble rehearsals is required; a 60-minute room vacancy after a rehearsal that includes brass and/or woodwinds is required.
  • Outdoor rehearsal spaces will be utilized when possible.

Choral Ensembles, Opera Theater, and Voice Studio Classes

  • Masking is required for all individuals prior to entering the instructional space and throughout the duration of the class.
  • Singers should sing separated by 12 feet (minimum) and not direct their singing toward others.
  • Cleaning of surfaces by disinfectant wipes (including music stands, piano keyboards, and other surfaces) by faculty/students before and after each class is required.
  • Outdoor venue is required.
  • Daily disinfection of instructional space per OHIO recommendations is required.
  • A maximum of 30 minutes of consecutive singing before vacating instructional space is required.
  • A 30-minute space vacancy is required after fully masked ensemble rehearsals.

Questions or Concerns

Should you have questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Christopher Fisher (fisherc@ohio.edu) or your faculty mentor.