COVID-19 Safety Precautions
It is especially important that all 2021 Conference attendees read this entire page carefully so that you understand fully and are applying 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 2021 is if all attendees comply with the precautions that are stated here, regardless of your personal level of concern. These are the same precautions that were listed in the Online Application Form.
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
It is possible that additional precautions or cancellation of the Conference may become necessary if conditions worsen between now and the start of the Conference. We do not anticipate relaxing these requirements. If we make any changes to the precautions as specified here we will notify all attendees prior to the Conference.
- Vaccination: We require that all Conference attendees be fully vaccinated, and require documentation demonstrating each person’s vaccination status. If there are any other outside groups on campus while we are in-residence, Bennington College will require that their eligible attendees are fully vaccinated. We are aware that a youth tennis day camp will overlap with our residency, but they will not use the dining hall or Commons, and will be restricted to buildings that we do not use. Bennington College cannot at this time require that their employees are vaccinated, but the vast majority are already.
- Masking: We require masks (the specific type is defined in the next item) at all times, indoors and outdoors, with the following exceptions:
- when consuming food/drink
- when playing wind instruments
- when more than 6 feet apart outdoors
- when alone in your own dorm room
- and when engaging in certain hygiene tasks (e.g. brushing teeth).
- Type of Masks: We require well-fitting, cup-shaped N95 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. Foldable masks are not acceptable, and KN95 masks are not acceptable. For some people, achieving a seal with the mask might require removing facial hair.
- Distancing: We require 6 feet of distancing when indoors. We require 6 feet of distancing when outdoors and unmasked. When outdoors and masked as specified above, we are not implementing a distancing requirement.
- Coaching Assignments: We will not mix winds and non-winds (strings and piano) in coaching assignments, and because of the distancing requirement we will not assign any coached groups larger than five players.
- Playing Spaces: All playing spaces that we officially provide will be selected with quality of ventilation in mind. For coaching, wind groups will be assigned playing spaces with the most space and the highest levels of ventilation. Note that we are likely to use the Jennings music building to a rather limited extent, instead primarily using newly-constructed, air-conditioned, mechanically-ventilated spaces in Commons.
- Larger Gatherings and Social Events: We are currently planning to support a limited number of larger gatherings, such as musicales, faculty concerts, and the general meeting. These gatherings will follow the same requirements stated here (N95-masked and distanced). Our informal 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.
- Housing: We will be limiting the occupation density of all dorms. 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 (e.g. brushing teeth).
- Symptom and Exposure Monitoring Before the Conference: If you experience any of the following within the two weeks prior to your planned arrival at the Conference, we require that you notify us as soon as possible and that you not come:
- positive COVID-19 test
- COVID-19 symptoms
- close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
- being directed to isolate or quarantine