CCM-specific updates regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and safety measures outlined on UC's Public Health website provide the operational framework that CCM will follow. As we move forward together as a community, let’s also remember our campus practices may need to change as conditions develop based on guidance from the CDC and UC’s physician-led COVID response team.

COVID-19 Updates

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors remains our top priority. We will continue to keep our community informed through UC's Public Health website, which is updated regularly.

Major updates are also included in CCM's email newsletter. Subscribe to get the latest CCM news – along with event details, performance videos and other campus updates – delivered directly to your inbox.

Recent CCM-Specific Updates

Update From Dean Stanley E. Romanstein on March 25, 2022

I hope you enjoyed a restful spring break and are ready to bring the school year to a grand finale in the coming weeks. We’re now a little more than a month away from the end of the spring semester on April 28. I want to thank all of you for the hard work you’ve accomplished this school year, and for your patience and understanding as our CCM community navigates the challenges of the pandemic.

As you know, UC updated its indoor masking policy on March 12 to align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for masking. All masking restrictions are eliminated in CCM spaces, so long as rates of hospitalization and transmissibility remain in the low-to-medium zones.

Beginning on Thursday, March 31, 2022, CCM will also lift the 50% capacity limit in performance venues. This means that performers and audience members are no longer required to wear masks during events, and there is no longer an audience capacity limit for events. For more information on UC’s current health and safety measures, please visit UC’s Public Health website and CCM’s COVID-19 website.

Keep in mind there may be CCM community members who prefer to continue to wear a mask when indoors or in close proximity with others. Please continue to be sensitive and respectful to the needs of others as we adapt to the changes in our health and safety protocols.

With all best wishes,

Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD
Dean | Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Update From Dean Stanley E. Romanstein on March 4, 2022

Dear CCM students, faculty and staff:

As announced earlier this week, UC has updated its indoor masking guidance to align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations for masking. As a result, except in classrooms and labs, masking is now optional for UC campuses.

Within the context of CCM, “classrooms and labs” includes our performance and rehearsal spaces, as well as our production and design workshops. This means masks will continue to be required in those spaces through next Friday, March 11. As a result, the new mask waiver protocols that we announced on Feb. 25 will also remain in effect through March 11. If you have questions about those mask waiver protocols, please consult with our academic division heads.

Beginning on Saturday, March 12, all masking restrictions will be eliminated in all CCM spaces, so long as rates of hospitalization and transmissibility remain in the low-to-medium zones.

Members of our community who prefer to continue to wear a mask when indoors or in close proximity with others for personal safety should continue to do so. For those members of our community who are managing risk factors related to COVID-19 and its transmissibility, we will support flexibility whenever possible.

Masks will continue to be required on UC transportation, in clinical settings and for at least ten days after an exposure to COVID-19 or a COVID-19 diagnosis, regardless of vaccination status.

I remain immensely proud of our college’s ability to work together to keep our community healthier and safer. Please continue to be sensitive to the needs of others as we work through this transition, and thank you for your continued commitment to excellence.

With all best wishes,

Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD
Dean | Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Update From Dean Stanley E. Romanstein on Feb. 25, 2022

Dear CCM students, faculty and staff:

I want to update you on an additional set of facial covering protocols that CCM’s academic division heads will have the option of utilizing for certain public performances beginning next Thursday, March 3, 2022. These new protocols were developed in consultation with UC’s Chief Medical Preparedness Officer and Chair of UC’s COVID Response Team, Dustin Calhoun, MD FAEMS.

By following these new protocols, which I will explain in detail below, CCM performers can be permitted to briefly remove their facial coverings during select live on-stage performances. In compliance with UC’s COVID Response Team, CCM will require COVID testing and additional safety measures for all artists who choose to perform without facial coverings.

Since these new mask waiver protocols require a very significant amount of planning and support, each of CCM’s division heads will determine when it is appropriate to use this waiver within their division. These protocols are NOT intended to replace UC COVID health and safety policies, but rather serve as a policy variance to permit performers at CCM to remove masks for brief periods of time during select performances. Facial coverings are still required for audience members and for performers when they are not on stage. CCM performance venues will continue to operate at 50% capacity.

The full policy is available below and on the college’s COVID-19 website.

Mask Waiver Protocols for Select CCM Performances

  1. Artists, stage managers, faculty, staff — anyone in rehearsal or studio — in preparation for live performance will be masked 100% of the time. N95 or KN95 masks are recommended, if practical to the art form.

  2. Each CCM performance that makes use of this mask waiver will have a COVID Safety Officer (hereafter referred to as a “CSO”) who will begin in the days immediately prior to artists going maskless. The timing of this may vary from art form to art form and should be discussed by faculty with the appropriate division head in advance. The CSO understands the rules, regulations and protocols, as laid out in this document, and is authorized to uphold them. The CSO will be assigned by the appropriate division head to each performance event.

  3. There shall be a faculty member in charge of each event, (director, music director, supervising faculty member, etc.) as determined by the appropriate division head. In advance of the performance, the faculty member in charge will advise the assigned CSO the names of the artists who choose to remove their masks for performance — including students, faculty and/or visiting guest artists.

  4. Approximately 72 hours before moving into the performance venue, artists who choose to remove their masks must take a PCR COVID test. Once a result is received by the artist, it should be immediately emailed to the CSO. A negative result must be received and documented before the artist can remove their mask in rehearsals, tech, dress and performance.

  5. After moving into the venue, all artists will continue to perform with masks until the CSO, (in consultation with the faculty member in charge,) authorizes the switch to maskless for the specifically designated performers. Artists approved to go maskless, will remove their masks in the wings prior to entering the stage to perform. Upon leaving the stage, the artists will replace their masks or put on a new one, whichever is most practical. Artists will wear their masks at all times — offstage, backstage and/or in the dressing rooms — except when waiting in the wings for an entrance.

  6. Artists at CCM may decline to remove their mask while performing, at their choice and discretion. However, the artist’s choice should be consistent throughout a single rehearsal or performance. Their decision should be communicated to the CSO and the faculty member in charge of the event, in advance.

  7. As long as artists are UC COVID Compliant, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, there shall be no difference in how they are treated by the production team.

  8. Anyone involved in the event who is exposed to COVID must follow UC COVID quarantine policies, if applicable. If quarantined, they may not return to rehearsal or performance until the quarantine period has passed.

  9. Anyone who is symptomatic should follow current UC COVID policies and take a PCR test. If a positive test results, please notify COVID Check and the CSO.

  10. Artists will take a second COVID test, an Antigen test, on the day of first public performance. Test results, available in 15 minutes, will immediately be communicated to the CSO. A negative test result is required. A confirmed positive test result will require the performer to notify COVID Check, leave the performance venue and be replaced, (or the event cancelled). The CSO will immediately notify the faculty member in charge of the news.

  11. Backstage personnel are required to wear N95 or KN95 masks in the performance venue, during rehearsals or performances at all time. Consequently, backstage personnel are not required to take COVID tests.

  12. Audiences will be advised in advance by email, as well as by updates to CCM’s website and CCMONSTAGE ticket reservation site, that some artists may be performing without masks, and about the protocols that have been put into place to accommodate this.

Each of CCM’s academic division heads will inform the students, staff and faculty members in their areas if they plan to utilize this facial covering waiver for an upcoming live performance. Due to the need for COVID Safety Officers and COVID testing, this waiver will not be available for student recitals at this time.

I am grateful to Dr. Calhoun and the rest of UC’s COVID Response Team for their guidance on these protocols. Please consult with our academic division heads if you have additional questions, and please continue to follow UC’s health and safety policies so that we can maintain our momentum in combating COVID-19.

With all best wishes,

Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD
Dean | Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Update From Dean Stanley E. Romanstein on Jan. 6, 2022

Dear CCM students, faculty and staff:

Welcome back! I hope you were able to enjoy some time away from your daily routines, and that you are looking forward to the Spring 2022 Semester at CCM.

During the last two years, the members of our college community have consistently worked together to keep CCM healthier and safer. I know that this has not always been easy, but your willingness to follow our COVID Careful mitigation strategies has allowed us to provide the best CCM experience possible throughout this pandemic.

With COVID-19 cases again on the rise, we need to renew our resolve to combat this virus. It is in this spirit that the University of Cincinnati shared its plan to briefly transition to online operations from Jan. 5-23. This transition will briefly impact CCM operations, as I will detail below, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that this transition is occurring to ensure that the CCM experience will be safer, healthier and more vibrant when we resume full in-person activities on Monday, Jan. 24.

I, like many of you, am disappointed that we won’t begin the semester in a fully face-to-face environment. At the same time, I’m fully confident that we know how to do this, and that we know how to do it well. We have proven to ourselves – in Spring 2020, throughout the 2020-21 academic year, and again in Fall 2021 –that we have the strength, commitment and vision to persevere, despite the challenges created by a global pandemic. Let’s continue to pursue the new excellent as we begin this semester.

Classes, Lessons and Labs

In accordance with UC’s brief transition to safer learning, all CCM classes, lessons and performance activities that can be conducted remotely will be moved online until our return to in-person operations on Jan. 24.

Large ensemble rehearsals and performances will be suspended during this brief transition, and students will be sent practice parts to prepare for our eventual return to in-person rehearsals. Assigned parts will be posted to each ensemble’s Canvas page.

Select lab activities that cannot be accommodated online – such as Dance or Theatre Design and Production activities – can continue to be offered in-person provided that best practices for social distancing and heightened health measures are followed. To help promote these best practices, CCM’s largest spaces will follow a 50-person capacity limit for activities scheduled through Jan. 24. In-person activities occurring during this same period will be voluntary and online alternatives will also be available for students. If you are a student, faculty member or staff member participating in in-person activities, then we encourage you to take regular advantage of UC’s COVID-19 screening testing options.

Students should monitor their email closely for information about their specific courses, as CCM faculty will follow up with students about class modality.

Please note that UC’s deadlines for registration remain unchanged.

Student Recitals and Other Public Performances

Student recitals scheduled before Jan. 24 will be rescheduled. Students affected by this change should consult with their faculty, and we will provide flexible alternatives including the option to submit a recorded recital in place of an in-person recital.

CCM’s other public performances scheduled before Jan. 24 are cancelled or postponed. Moveable Feast, scheduled for Jan. 21, will be presented virtually in place of an in-person event. The following performances will also be impacted:

  • CCM Percussion Ensemble on Jan. 25: Postponed to a later TBA date
  • CCM Philharmonia on Jan. 28: Cancelled
  • CCM Wind Symphony on Jan. 29: Cancelled
  • CCM Jazz Orchestra on Jan. 30: Cancelled

Ticket holders affected by event cancellations will be contacted by CCM’s Box Office staff with additional information.

Building Access

To promote social distancing, the majority of CCM Village will remain closed to students from Jan. 5-23 unless they are participating in approved lab work. However, students can regain access to CCM practice rooms beginning Monday, Jan. 10. If you have questions regarding building access, please contact Ray Dobson, CCM’s Senior Director of Performance and Operations, at 513-556-9461.

Other Resources

Faculty and staff should consult with their department and division heads to determine the most appropriate working format during this brief transition.

I encourage everyone to refer to the university’s updated Return to Campus FAQ here, and to continue referring to UC’s Public Health website and CCM’s COVID-19 website for additional information.

I will also stress the benefits of a booster dose. According to the CDC, two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine along with a booster dose are 75 percent effective against Omicron infection, while two doses alone provide only 35 percent protection against infection with the Omicron variant. Following updated CDC guidance, booster shots also influence quarantine requirements after COVID-19 exposure. If you have not done so already, we strongly encourage you to get a COVID-19 booster shot; it is free, simple, and safe. Please continue to visit UC’s Public Health website for information and resources.

Thank you so much for your continued commitment to excellence. I remain in awe of the sheer amount of persistence and ingenuity that the CCM community has exhibited since the beginning of this pandemic. You have continued to teach, learn, create, collaborate, adapt and strive during truly challenging times, and that is nothing short of remarkable. I’m grateful for your firm resolve to move forward, despite the challenges of the moment.

With all best wishes,

Stanley E. Romanstein, PhD
Dean | Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Recent Campus-Wide Updates

Update on July 25, 2022: UC provides an update on facial masking requirements for all buildings of the College of Medicine. Read the update

Update on April 21, 2022: UC announces an update to its COVID-19 vaccine practices. Read the update

Update on March 2, 2022: UC's Office of the Provost provides updated masking guidance to align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recommendations for masking. Read the update

Update on Jan. 4, 2022: UC provides a Return to Campus update for Spring 2022. Learn more about our brief transition to safer learning

The University of Cincinnati has more information available about its response to COVID-19. In addition, you may send queries to