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SMTD COVID-19 Information

Updated October 12, 2021
The School of Music, Theatre & Dance has outlined School-specific plans for the 2021-2022 academic year on this site, and information will be updated regularly as needed. For questions about SMTD’s COVID-19 information, please contact SMTDCOVID-19@umich.edu.

SMTD Fall 2021 Safety Guidelines

August 20, 2021

U-M Mask Mandate
University of Michigan Facilities & Operations Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) has issued a mask mandate effective as of August 25, 2021.

“Except as otherwise allowed by this policy, U-M requires all students, staff, faculty and visitors to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose when indoors on U-M property”

COVID Protocol for Rehearsals and Performances

All guidelines listed below are subject to change, based on recommendations from university public health officials.

Classroom Activities (Academic classes)

  • Masks must be worn by all participants at all times
  • There are no distancing or room rest requirements

Rehearsals and Studio Classes:

  • Fully vaccinated and masked individuals (singers, dancers, actors, strings, piano, percussion, etc):
    • No distancing requirements
  • Fully vaccinated wind and brass players:
    • Distance at least 3 feet
    • Mask must be worn except when actively playing
  • Unvaccinated and masked individuals (singers, dancers, actors, strings, piano, percussion, etc):
    • Distance at least 6 feet
    • Unvaccinated dancers may remove distancing by participating in the daily rapid testing program.
  • Unvaccinated wind and brass players:
    • Distance at least 9 feet
    • There are no room rest requirements

One-On-One Lessons
These guidelines refer to individual lessons taking place in faculty studios. All faculty must remain masked during lessons whenever possible. Wind and brass faculty may remove their mask only while actively playing.

  • Fully vaccinated and masked, both student and faculty member (strings, piano, percussion, dance, acting, etc):
    • No distancing requirements
  • Fully vaccinated and unmasked wind and brass players:
    • Distance at least 3 feet
    • Mask should be worn when not actively playing
  • Unvaccinated and masked:
    • Distance at least 6 feet
  • Unvaccinated wind and brass players:
    • Distance at least 9 feet
  • Vocal lessons:
    • If both the student and instructor are vaccinated, the student may remove their mask in individual lessons, but must maintain at least 9 feet of distancing
    • The faculty member must remain masked
    • If either the student or faculty member are unvaccinated, masks are required. Distance at least 6 feet.
  • There are no room rest requirements for one-on-one lessons

Recitals:

  • Vaccinated instrumentalists may unmask if playing alone or with a masked accompanist.
  • Vaccinated vocalists may unmask if singing alone or with a masked accompanist, however must complete a CSTP test and email the results to smtd-covid-test@umich.edu before the performance. Turnaround times for tests are 24-48 hours, so plan accordingly.
  • Unvaccinated performers must mask and keep 6 feet of distance with the exception of those playing wind and brass instruments who must keep 9 feet of distance from anyone on stage or in the audience.

Small ensemble performances:

  • Singers, string, and piano ensemble players must remain masked.
  • Vaccinated wind and brass players must keep three feet of distance.
  • One vaccinated soloist may unmask, however singers must complete a CSTP test and email the results to smtd-covid-test@umich.edu before the performance. Turnaround times for tests are 24-48 hours, so plan accordingly.
  • Unvaccinated wind and brass players must keep nine feet of distance. All other unvaccinated performers must remain masked and keep 6 feet of distance.

Musical Theatre, Theatre & Drama, and Opera dress rehearsals and productions:

  • Vaccinated students may unmask if tested before the performance following protocols outlined here.
  • Unvaccinated students must stay masked but may remove the distancing requirement if up to date on their CSTP testing (able to show a green check in Responsiblue).

Large ensembles (band and orchestra) dress rehearsals and performances:

  • Unvaccinated wind and brass players may remove the distancing requirement if up to date on their CSTP testing (able to show a green check in Responsiblue).
  • All other rehearsal guidelines above should be followed.

Practice rooms

  • Masks are not required in single occupancy practice rooms. In chamber rooms or rooms large enough to accommodate two or more people, the rehearsal guidelines above must be followed.
    There are no room rest requirements.

Protocol for Close Contact with COVID
If a student is informed by EHS that they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID, the rules communicated by EHS supersede the SMTD protocols. Unvaccinated students must quarantine following EHS guidelines.

Vaccinated students may continue to attend class but may not remove their masks for any reason (including playing their instrument). The only exception is when practicing alone in a practice room, which is allowed during this time. Vaccinated students may begin playing their instruments in classes and ensembles again after one of the following conditions is met:

  • Fourteen days pass without developing symptoms
  • After five days pass a PCR test is taken and shows negative results
  • After five days pass a rapid antigen test is taken and shows negative results (with negative results from a rapid tests students may return to ensemble activity but must follow up with a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm)

What responsibilities do students have to attend to public health requirements, such as distancing and masking?

In 2020, the University implemented an COVID-related Addendum to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. This addendum recognizes the responsibility of students to attend to public health guidelines, and specifies areas that would indicate violations of this statement:

Supplementary Student Responsibilities
In addition to the responsibilities set forth in Section IV of the Statement , the following violations would apply:

  1. Members of the Student community are expected to comply with health and safety laws, orders, ordinances, regulations or health and safety guidance adopted by the University as it relates to public health crises, including COVID-19, where failure to do so may result in public health risk. This guidance will evolve as the public health crisis evolves and may include, but is not limited to, social distancing, mandatory COVID-19 testing, de-densifying efforts, limitations on mass gatherings, wearing a face covering, contact tracing, and quarantine / isolation requirements.
  2. Failure to comply with the public health guidance adopted by the U-M as it relates to face coverings, which is subject to change and which is currently located at: http://ehs.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/U-M-Face-Covering-Policy-for-COVID-19.pdf
  3. Failure to participate in and maintain isolation and/or quarantine, as instructed by a health care provider or public health officials, which may include U-M Environmental health and safety
  4. Hosting or attending a social gathering larger than the allowable limits set by any state or local law or University policy. This provision does not preclude constitutionally protected activity, such as protesting, or individuals who may be residing together in a single household.

What should a faculty member do if a student does not comply with required public health measures, such as masking or distancing?

  1. The instructor responsible for the class or experience should ask the person to put on a mask, observe the proper distancing, or attend to other required public health measures.
  2. If the person refuses, ask the person to leave the class or experience.
  3. If the person refuses to leave the class/experience, the instructor may cancel the class/experience or move the class online, and refer the individual to the appropriate Associate Dean, who will initiate a complaint with the Office for Student Conflict Resolution. The instructor may make an announcement to the class such as the following: “Anyone, including me, who does not feel comfortable in this situation may leave the classroom.” 

What further consequences might be applicable to students who refuse to comply with public health measures?

Faculty and/or staff who are concerned about repeated violations of public health measures should report the student and situation to the appropriate Associate Dean, who will file a complaint with the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

The Addendum to the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities outlines additional measures that may apply for students who refuse to comply with required public health measures as follows:

Enforcement/Compliance
Interim Measures. Section VII, Procedures, of the Statement are here clarified to include interim measures as follows: if a student’s actions pose an immediate health or safety risk to any member of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor community, the Vice President for Student Life or designee may institute interim measures, including removal from in-person activities related to the University, effective immediately. The process described in the Emergency Suspension section of the Statement would follow the issuance of any interim measure.

Student Resources

Mental Health Resources

Counseling and Psychological Services Center (CAPS): 734-764-8312 or email the CAPS virtual front desk.

Embedded SMTD CAPS Counselor: Emily Laura Hyssong, LMSW, email

For mental health information and online resources, please consult MiTalk or the U-M CAPS Stressbusters App.

CAPS COVID-19 Specific Support:
Mental Health Care Package: Coping with COVID 19 | UM Counseling and Psychological Services
If you are in crisis, please call 911, CAPS at 734-764-8312, or email the CAPS virtual front desk or U-M Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) at 734-936-5900. Directions to PES.

Wellness Resources

Housing Resources

Maize & Blue Cupboard
College students and staff are experiencing food insecurity at alarming rates. The Maize and Blue Cupboard is here to provide an immediate and comprehensive response for the U-M community.

For a list of U-M student resources and information, visit Campus Maize and Blueprint.

Do you have a question about an SMTD student resource? Contact:
Deedee Ulintz, Director of Student Affairs and Program Evaluation
Kate Fitzpatrick-Harnish, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Jason Corey, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Student Emergency Funding Resources

SMTD Emergency Fund
The SMTD Student Emergency Fund, funded by SMTD donors, Dean David Gier, and UM’s Center for the Education of Women (CEW+), provides support to SMTD students to address emergency financial and remote learning needs.

U-M’s Dean of Students Office
Dean of Students Office Emergency Funds are available to students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses due to temporary hardship related to an unforeseen or emergency situation.

Center for the Education of Women
CEW+ offers emergency funding to current U-M Ann Arbor graduate students and undergraduate students. These grants, called Emergency Funds (EF), are for unexpected financial emergencies that threaten to derail degree progress. Students must speak to a CEW+ counselor to determine eligibility.

Rackham Graduate School
The Rackham Graduate Student Emergency Fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of Rackham graduate students who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual, or unforeseen expenses during their degree program.

U-M’s Office of Financial Aid Emergency Loans
OFA provides emergency loans of up to $500 as a short-term (90 day), interest-free loan.

Campus Maize & Blueprint

Learn more about the University of Michigan’s comprehensive COVID-19 policies and information at Campus Maize and Blueprint.