COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Initial release: January 31, 2022.
Revision date: June 25, 2022.


It is especially important that all 2022 Conference attendees read this entire page carefully so that you understand fully and are attending with a complete awareness of what to expect of us and what we expect of you. The only way we can have an in-person Conference in 2022 is if everyone at the Conference—participants, auditors, faculty, staff, and guests—complies with the precautions that are stated here, regardless of your personal level of concern. These precautions supersede those that were previously published.

How We Developed These Requirements

These precautions were determined after consultation with experts in the fields of infectious disease, airborne viral spread, and occupational health and safety.

Changes to These Precautions

Because the COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving, it is likely that our precautions will change. The precautions that we are indicating now reflect our understanding at this time, and represent the most complete set of precautions that we can anticipate at this time. It is important that everyone who plans to attend the Conference is prepared to adhere to the precautions as indicated here.

If we make any changes to the precautions as specified here, we will notify all attendees prior to the Conference.

June 25, 2022 Update:

We are revising the precautions, after consultation with experts, based on considerations that include case rates, contagiousness of current virus variants, continued confirmation of vaccine and booster effectiveness, and current government and University requirements. The revisions affect items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 11 below.

We understand that COVID-19 cases are now generally expected to be mild for people with up-to-date vaccination status. We are requiring that people be up-to-date, including a second booster for those who are eligible. Also, because we will follow CDC guidelines regarding isolation in the event of positive tests and exposures at the Conference, any cases—even if mild—could have catastrophic effects on the Conference as a whole. Therefore, we are focusing on minimizing the chances that COVID-19 is brought to the Conference (via testing and pre-arrival precautions), and limiting exposures at the Conference by keeping the indoor masking policy.

If conditions change significantly before the Conference starts, the precautions may be revised again.

Experience in 2021

To illustrate possible adjustments as conditions warrant: in 2021, we published precautions similar to the ones indicated here. As the Conference was nearing, the pandemic conditions, including case numbers, were so favorable that we relaxed our indoor and outdoor masking precautions with the exception of situations where large numbers of us were gathered together indoors. While we were at the Conference, the Delta variant began surging and we decided that we could proceed with our final week, but with the original masking precautions reinstated. We also added a rapid testing requirement for that final week, administering the tests as a prerequisite to registration and then again at mid-week. All of these adjustments were made after consultation with experts. No known COVID-19 cases were contracted at the 2021 Conference.

2022 Precautions

  1. Vaccination: We require that all Conference attendees be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and require documentation demonstrating each person’s up-to-date status. The definition of “up-to-date” includes boosters and will follow the latest recommendations by the CDC.

    We anticipate that Colgate University will apply a campus-wide requirement for documented up-to-date vaccination status, including summer program attendees and Colgate students, faculty, and staff. That said, we can’t be sure of the status of each person on campus due to medical or religious exceptions. Currently, the vast majority of Colgate’s current students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated.

    (Revised June 25, 2022) Note that the current CDC definition of up-to-date includes receiving the boosters for which you are eligible. This includes a second booster for adults ages 50 years and older at least 4 months after the 1st booster. Documentation must be provided.

  2. Masking: (Revised June 25, 2022) We require masks (the specific types are defined in the next item) at all times, indoors, with the following exceptions:
    • when consuming food or drink
    • when playing a wind instrument
    • when alone in your own dorm room
    • and when engaging in certain hygiene tasks (such as brushing teeth).
  3. Type of Masks: (Revised June 25, 2022) We require well-fitting N95, KN95, or KF94 masks without valves. These are now readily available, and supplies are such that health care providers no longer need us to avoid buying these masks. Please procure an adequate supply of one of these types of masks that fit you well, and bring them with you to the Conference. For some people, achieving a seal with the mask might require removing facial hair.

  4. Testing: (Revised June 25, 2022) In order to minimize the chances that COVID-19 is brought to the Conference, we are taking the following steps regarding testing:
    • A PCR test is required exactly four days before your planned arrival at the Conference. For Sunday arrival, this means getting tested on Wednesday. Documentation must be provided.
    • We suggest that you take a rapid antigen test at home before leaving for the Conference, in order to avoid traveling, testing positive on arrival, and having to turn around and head home.
    • We will administer a rapid antigen test upon arrival at the Conference, prior to entering registration.
    • We will administer additional rapid antigen tests during each week of the Conference:
      • on Tuesday and Thursday for non-wind instrument players
      • on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for wind instrument players
  5. The Conference will provide the test kits for all rapid antigen tests that we administer on site during the Conference.

  6. Distancing: (Revised June 25, 2022) We are not implementing a distancing requirement, but encourage distancing indoors whenever possible, especially in large gatherings such as meetings and concerts.

  7. Coaching Assignments and Free Playing: We will not assign coached groups that mix winds and non-winds (strings and piano), and we will not assign coached groups that are larger than five players. The only exception to this: The 75th Anniversary commissions include works that mix winds with non-winds in groups of six or more players, and participants may request to be coached on these works. For free play sessions, we are not applying restrictions and are instead leaving it up to individuals to decide for themselves which situations they are comfortable joining.

  8. Playing Spaces: All playing spaces that we officially provide will be selected with quality of ventilation in mind. For coaching, groups that include winds will be assigned playing spaces with the most space and the highest levels of ventilation, to the extent possible.

  9. Large Gatherings and Social Events: (Revised June 25, 2022) We are currently planning to support a limited number of larger gatherings, such as musicales, faculty concerts, commission-related seminars, and the welcome meeting. These gatherings will follow the same requirements stated here (N95/KN95/KF94-masked). Our evening social gatherings will be supported, but in a larger, ventilated space, and with modified food-handling approaches. We will not have the Round Robin events this year. Instead, on Sunday evenings there will be a reading session with your Monday morning coaching group.

  10. Housing: As usual, all rooms will be single occupancy unless a double is requested by a couple. As noted above, we require masks at all times indoors, except when alone in your own dorm room and when engaging in certain hygiene tasks (such as brushing teeth).

  11. Symptom and Exposure Monitoring Before the Conference: If you experience any of the following within ten days prior to your planned arrival at the Conference, we require that you notify us as soon as possible:
    • positive COVID-19 test
    • COVID-19 symptoms
    • close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
    • being directed to isolate or quarantine
  12. Prearrival Precautions: (Revised June 25, 2022) For at least one week before your arrival at the Conference, we ask that you do everything you can to avoid exposure to COVID-19, including:
    • No indoor eating/drinking at restaurants or bars
    • Avoid gatherings with people other than those in your household
    • Remain N95/KN95/KF94 masked indoors at all times when with people other than members of your household, including during travel
  13. Interacting with Non-Conference People: While at the Conference, in order to reduce exposure for those at the Conference with you, we request that you minimize interactions with people not enrolled with the Conference, including off-campus outings. If you do leave campus, we ask that you use an abundance of caution and that you not dine indoors at restaurants, and of course our masking requirements apply.

  14. Symptoms and Exposure While At the Conference: We require that you notify us as soon as possible if, while at the Conference, you experience either of the following:
    • COVID-19 symptoms
    • close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  15. Symptoms and Diagnosis After Departing the Conference: We require that you notify us as soon as possible if, within ten days after departing the Conference, you experience either of the following:
    • COVID-19 symptoms
    • diagnosis with COVID-19

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

617-447-1808 |
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