Return to Campus Updates and Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan


The COVID-19 Preparedness plan for Academy of Music

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COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for University of Northwestern Academy of Music

The University of Northwestern Academy of Music is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our teachers and students. We have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All participants are responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 for in-person lessons. This plan requires full cooperation among staff and families. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our employees, children, and families. We anticipate that these guidelines will receive updates throughout the year with the changing severity of the pandemic. This document will be emailed to all our participants (teachers, students, and satellite sites) along with important updates.

We are serious about safety and health at the UNW Academy of Music. Our Preparedness Plan follows current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines related to COVID-19 and addresses:

  • Screening and policies for staff and families exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Notification of exposure/positive cases
  • Cleaning/disinfecting the lesson space
  • Social distancing
  • Dropping off/picking up student
  • Cloth masks requirement
  • Hand Sanitizing
  • Respiratory Etiquette
  • Pivoting to virtual instruction
  • COVID sickness/excused absences

Screening and policies for staff and families exhibiting signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Staff and families are encouraged to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The following policies and procedures have been implemented to assess health status prior to entering campus or a satellite site and for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms.

Screening of Teacher and Student before arriving

Staff and families should do a self-check before leaving home.

  • How am I feeling?
  • Do I have any new or unusual symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste or smell, or fever of 100.4 or above)?
  • If not feeling well, stay home and pivot to a virtual lesson instead or reschedule the lesson.

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • UNW Staff need to follow the guidance put out on theRock regarding COVID-19.
  • Stay home!
  • Persons who have a fever of 100.4 or above or other signs of illness should not come to campus for a lesson.
  • Contact your physician or clinic to see about getting a COVID-19 test.
  • Alert others around you if you suspect that you may have contracted COVID-19 and that they may have been exposed. Contact your lesson teacher and the Academy office so we can alert others with whom you came in contact.
  • If not feeling well, stay home and pivot to a virtual lesson instead or reschedule the lesson.

What to do while waiting for results of COVID-19 test?

  • Stay home until you get the results and pivot to a virtual lesson.
  • If someone in your household or family is waiting for a test, all should stay home and watch for signs of COVID-19, pivoting to a virtual lesson.

If your test is negative and you still have symptoms

  • Stay home until your symptoms subside AND until no fever for at least 3 days without medication.

If your test is negative and you have another diagnosis

  • Stay home until your symptoms subside and/or your medical doctor releases you to be around others.
  • Others around you may return to normal activities as long as they don’t have any other symptoms.

If your test is positive

  • Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 3 days without medication AND improvement of other symptoms.
  • Siblings and household members must stay home for 14 days.
  • Please notify the Academy of Music as soon as possible, so we can follow up on steps we need to take to alert others with whom you may have come in contact.
  • Academy of Music Staff also needs to notify Human Resources.

Notification of exposure/positive cases

If a family/household member tests positive, and you have been taking in-person lessons, we ask that you would alert us ASAP so we can notify your teacher and any others who may have been exposed. Families will not be notified of cases that are being tested unless there is an identified risk of exposure and at that time would need to be monitoring for any symptoms. We will email and call the current contact information on file with us, so please make sure to keep that updated for quickest communication.

Cleaning/Disinfecting/Airing out lesson spaces

Piano keys, music stands, and any other shared items will be cleaned between each lesson.

In-person lessons will be offered for 30 minute only, though additional 15-30 minutes can be achieved virtually. After each 30 minute lesson, the windows and doors will be opened, and the space aired out to promote air exchange and maximize fresh air into the space for 15 minutes (unless there are back-to-back sibling lessons). Wind and brass players should avoid draining condensation onto the floor; instead dispose of it in a collection container or on a disposable paper towel. UNW facilities thoroughly cleans the bathrooms and high traffic touch areas throughout the day. In the event of a positive COVID-19 case, we would contact facilities to do a thorough cleaning/disinfecting of the lesson space that evening.

Social distancing during lessons

Every effort will be made to maintain 6 feet of distance between the teacher and the student at all times during the lesson or rehearsal. Some narrow hallways will have one-way passage so to avoid coming closer than 6 feet in passing. For wind players, we will seek a distance of 9 feet or greater maintained between teacher and student. For voice lessons, unless the room is equipped with a high-tech UV-C air sanitization system, we will seek to keep 12 feet of space between the teacher and student.

Dropping off/picking up students

The University of Northwestern – St. Paul is desiring to minimize the number of guests and visitors in the buildings. Only students taking lessons are allowed in the building. Exceptions may be made for one adult attending the lesson with their young child or a sibling group taking lessons in sequence. Contact the Academy director if you have unique extenuating circumstances for consideration. We understand that this change might be challenging and look forward to the day when we can welcome all family members into our buildings once again.

Cloth face coverings

Cloth face coverings (mouth and nose coverings) are an important piece of mitigating the spread of the virus and are required for teacher, student, and anyone entering a building on campus or satellite site. Children age 5 years old and younger are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks. There may be extenuating circumstances, such as certain health issues where masks are not advised by their doctor. During a voice lesson equipped with a high-tech UV-C air sanitization system, face shields may be substituted instead of cloth masks when it is in the best interest of the voice lesson to do so, but only when approved by your teacher.

Hand Sanitizing

Teacher and student are required to use hand sanitizer (that uses at least 60% alcohol) at the beginning and ending of their in-person lessons. Please bring your own hand sanitizer. We will, however, try to also have hand sanitizer available in our teaching spaces.

Respiratory etiquette: Cover your cough or sneeze

Teachers and students are being instructed to cover their mouth and nose with their elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, in particular their mouth, nose, and eyes, with their hands. Dispose of tissues in the trash and wash or sanitize hands immediately afterward.

Pivoting to Virtual Instruction

If for any reason the student or teacher doesn’t feel comfortable teaching/learning face-to-face owing to the small size of the teaching space or the potential for infection, the lessons can pivot to an online/virtual learning environment instead. If the teacher or student doesn’t feel well, has family members who are waiting on a COVID test, or feel they should quarantine for any reason, the lesson can pivot virtually until both teacher and student are comfortable resuming in-person lessons. If UNW or the state mandates that in-person lessons are no longer available, we will pivot to online instruction. You will receive an email from the Academy of Music office with details, and your private instructor will contact you to discuss the best way to move forward with virtual lessons. Changing lessons from in-person to virtual is not a refundable event. We pledge to do our best to provide you with the best instruction possible using every means available to us including virtual learning when needed. We are unable to refund lessons if the need to pivot to virtual is necessary.

COVID-19 Sickness/Excused Absence

If a teacher is sick and unable to teach even virtually, they will contact their student at least 2 hours before the scheduled lesson. Every effort will be made to reschedule those lessons to a later date. If make-up lessons are not able to be scheduled, the student will be credited for lessons that were not taught. For this fall 2020 semester only, we will be allowing the student two excused absences due to COVID-19 illness instead of our normal policy of one per semester. Excused absences allow the scheduling of a make-up lesson. Otherwise, our normal attendance and make-up lesson policy applies.

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