NEMC Covid 19 Safety & Protocols
- Please check this page for updates to NEMC's Covid 19 response. Each update will be dated.
4/1/21 - Update on Protocols
As New England Music Camp prepares for our 2021 season, we continue to closely follow the Global Covid-19 Pandemic. In order to ensure everyone’s safety during our program we are working with the Maine CDC guidelines, the American Camp Association, the Maine Summer Camps organization, as well as infectious disease experts, to put together a series of protocols that will be followed during our time at camp. The following protocols have been set based on Maine's most recent camp guidelines announced at the end of March. These will continue to be modified as more guidelines are announced. Our goal is to create as “normal” an experience as we can for the campers to thrive and grow both socially and artistically. To gain a better understanding of some of the protocols NEMC implemented this past summer for our successful in-person Chamber Music Intensive, please read Dr. Rebecca Weintraub’s article on her time advising and overseeing our camp HERE.
- All campers and staff will be asked to provide a negative Covid-19 PCR or Rapid test within 72 hours of arrival at camp. Students that have been vaccinated are still required to meet at testing protocols per the Maine CDC.
- We ask that all campers 16 and over try to be vaccinated before coming to campus.
- Currently, International students must follow the Keep Maine Safe protocols, which requires a negative covid test to come into the state and a mandatory 7-day quarantine. NEMC will have housing available to any international student that wants to take advantage of this. We are working with the state of Maine to come up with alternative plans that would not include the quarantine.
- All campers must fill out a 14-day symptom tracking form that will be sent in the Spring Camper/Parent packet. This will be completed for the 14 days prior to camp. We will send the exact start date for tracking for each program at a later date. If at any time a student has any symptoms, they will need to wait 10 days from that last symptom before arriving on campus.
Camp Arrival and Check-In
- All campers and staff will go through a health screening with our on-campus medical staff. Upon check-in all campers will have a rapid test done and will not be able to check into the cabins until the test has come back negative.
- Check-in to camp will be held on the grassy section off of the camp parking lot. During check-in, staff will collect any outstanding forms and campers will receive their welcome packet and cabin assignments.
- Temperatures will be recorded upon check-in at the office, infirmary, and first entrance into the dormitories.
- NEMC will be using a “closed campus,” so parents will not be permitted beyond the camp parking lot and canteen porch. Upon receipt of a negative rapid test, counselors will help transport camper belongings from the parking lot to the cabins. Parents will not be allowed into the dormitories during the course of the program. This will ensure that the “bubble” we are creating remains intact.
- We ask that each camper arrive at camp with only ONE parent or guardian whenever possible to reduce the number of people on campus.
- NEW this year - NEMC will ask you to sign up for a check-in time frame. Each check-in period will be limited to a certain number of campers. These slots will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Please sign up for your preferred check-in time via the Camper transportation form that will be sent out this Spring. Check-in times will be every hour on the hour beginning at 1p.
Covid Testing Strategy
- NEMC has acquired Covid-19 rapid tests that we will be using on campus throughout the summer. These will be used at check-in for any NEMC program and throughout the sessions if symptoms should arise.
- For the NEMC core camp, we will also run a PCR test 4-5 days into the first week of camp. Should all tests come back negative, the entire camp will move into one “cohort” group. More details about the PCR testing process and results reporting will be provided closer to camp.
- The rapid tests come with a small $5 charge for each test administered. These will be added directly to you cart in the registration system.
The “Bubble” or “Closed Campus”
NEMC will be running camp in a modified “bubble” this summer per recommendation of the Maine CDC for overnight camps. Please take note that at this point, that means there will be NO Parent Visitation and/or signing campers out for meals/visits.
- Our goal is to create a safety “bubble” for all campers and staff. By doing so, everyone in the program will become a cohort group. If the bubble is maintained, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced. For the first week of camp, we will be working in smaller pods, and working up to the full community by the end of week one. Please see “pods” section below for more information on week one pods.
- Once all participants clear the first week of testing, having the closed campus will enable us to run camp with fewer restrictions, allowing the campers to have as “normal” an experience as possible.
- While in the bubble, all participants must have a mask with them should they come into contact with someone from outside the cohort group (IE- delivery personnel, cleaning teams, etc.)
- Mask wearing will not come with a stigma here at NEMC! The amount of mask-wearing will be contingent on level of risk, but in certain scenarios like being in smaller indoor spaces NEMC may mandate masks, especially during the first week of each session.
- Obviously masks cannot be worn by wind players while playing and/or by singers while performing. The following protocols have been established is needed:
- Wind and vocal groups will rehearse in our covered outdoor spaces as much as possible, especially during the first week of each session. When not available, the largest indoor spaces have been reserved for these groups.
- Social and physical distancing will be in place, if needed.
- Plexiglass shields between wind players will be available, if needed, especially for flute players.
- Vocalists should plan to obtain a face shield prior to arrival at camp. Shields can be used in place of masks if-needed. We will have a limited supply in the Music Library.
- Again, if all results within the cohort group are negative, these precautions will be eased as necessary and through clearance of our medical staff.
- Throughout the first week of camp, NEMC will be working in smaller groups and gradually working up to one complete cohort group. NEMC will not become one “group” until all three rounds of testing have been cleared by everyone on campus.
- The Pods will be assigned based on cabin assignment and will be no larger than 14 persons. This will enable NEMC to contact trace easily should any positive results arise.
- During morning rehearsals, because the pods will not be intact, masks must be worn when within six feet of other students from outside their pod. In other words, classes and lessons will be taught with social distancing and rehearsals will be held in more outdoor spaces where distancing between wind players will be at a maximum.
- Throughout the first week, we will gradually combine pods until we have cleared the final round of covid tests at the end of week. At this point all NEMC faculty, staff, and campers will become one cohort group within the Bubble.
- The NEMC Health Center will be staffed by practicing medical professionals should any health needs arise. They will continue to monitor the Maine CDC guidelines throughout the summer season.
- Masks must be worn at ALL times in the Health Center.
- All medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, MUST go through the camp health center. Campers may not keep any medications in their dorm room or bunk.
- All campers will go through a daily screening process in their cabins each morning. All temperatures and symptom checks will be logged and shared with our medical staff daily.
- Should any symptoms of Covid-19 arise, the participant will be tested immediately and will self-quarantine in the infirmary until results return. Parents will be notified immediately. All other participants will proceed with the program, but with masks and social distancing if needed, based on contact tracing.
- All campers will have their own assigned space in one of the Cabins or Dorms. Students will be divided by age on each end of campus. Students will not be allowed in rooms or bunks rooms other than their own. NEMC will be utilizing common spaces and outdoor covered porches as designated “hang-out” areas. Indoor common spaces will have a mask-on policy, at least until all rounds of testing have been cleared.
- Each morning, all campers are expected to complete a basic cabin clean up to make sure the cabin is tidy and sanitized. NEMC will provide gloves and cleaning supplies. On Sunday, campers and counselors will do a more thorough cleaning.
- Hand sanitizer and disinfectants will be available in the common spaces in the Dorms, but students are encouraged to bring their own for their room and while traveling about campus.
- Students will need to bring their own twin sheets and bedding from home. A more detailed list of required items will be sent to all registered campers in the spring, but we encourage all students to bring at least two sets of sheets and towels so that they can be washed weekly when laundry is sent out. All rooms will be cleaned and sanitized before arrival.
Family style dining at NEMC’s Core camp is one of the longest traditions we still follow at camp. That said, during the first week of camp, and maybe beyond, we will be holding meals a little differently.
- We have made arrangements to install a large outside dining area adjacent to the Lodge, which will allow for adequate social distancing and capacity limits to be met.
- Meals will be served in two different locations this summer: Inside the Lodge as usual, and under the tent. During week one the younger pods will be eating inside socially distanced from other pods and the older pods will be eating under the tent or on the dorm porch.
- Once we clear week one, participants will have several eating locations to choose from - inside and outside including the spaces listed above, as well as a variety of outdoor picnic areas, the lodge porch, and the lodge patio. These spaces will be cleaned thoroughly between meals.
- Food may be individually wrapped and/or served by a member of the kitchen staff so that students are not sharing buffet utensils, etc.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided, as well as places for the students to wash their hands before/after meals.
- Masks will be required while inside the Lodge buffet line and can be removed when seated for eating.
Group and Facility Protocols
- Once the camp “bubble” has been formed all participants will only be in contact with the others in that bubble. This bubble would include only NEMC faculty, staff, counselors, and campers.
- All participants should plan to bring at least 2 masks with them to camp to have around campus. They will not need to be worn at all times, but should be readily available should participants come into contact with anyone outside the bubble and social distancing cannot be maintained. We do not foresee this scenario, but would like to plan ahead should it happen.
- Participants will adhere to the comfort of each of their peers. Our hope is that we can create a bubble where these measures will not always be needed. We want to offer as many safety measures as possible, so that no student or staff member should feel uncomfortable.
- All buildings and residences used for NEMC will be marked and off limits to other visitors. The academic quad, both Dorms, the Canteen, Health Center, and the Bowl will be in the bubble. These buildings will also undergo daily cleaning and will be equipped with sanitizing stations.
Parents Weekend and Visitation
- As of today, 4/1/21, all overnight camps are not allowed to have any large gatherings of persons from outside of the camp bubble and this includes our usual Parent’s Weekend. If this policy is not changed, we will not be having a Parent’s Weekend this summer. If it does change and assuming we are able to hold it safely, Parent’s Weekend would be held July 9-11 for Core Camp and August 6-8 for the Intensives.
- NEMC will limit the number of visitors allowed on campus during the sessions. Any visitor MUST pass all screening requirements, including a test before arrival and upon entry onto campus.
- There will be NO signing out campers for visits, meals, or trips during this summer. Should a camper need to leave campus for any reason, they will need to test back into the camp program and will have heightened safety precautions until that testing has been completed.
- If a Parent or Visitor would like to attend one of NEMC’s outdoor concerts, they may do so, but will need to adhere to all safety precautions set forth.
- Any guests at the weekend concerts must sit in the designated guests area in the back of the Bowl field.
- Guests must use the designated restrooms and concessions.
- Guests will not be allowed beyond the partition that separates the camp bubble from the non-bubble community.
- We ask that if you come onto campus for a concert, that you please keep your distance to at least 6 feet, even when interacting with your own camper and that masks be worn at all times when not eating or drinking.
- At this time, we will not be able to accommodate guests for the recitals, except for the family of the Concerto winner at the end of Core Camp. That family will be notified of all attending protocols so that they may join for the performance.
- More specific information for camper pick-up will be sent out at a later date
- NEMC is asking that all teaching faculty and staff be fully vaccinated prior to arrival at camp. We are making arrangements for any non-vaccinated staff to have the opportunity to quarantine on campus for 10 -14 days prior to camp opening.
- We are in the process of ordering and obtaining all of the necessary safety equipment and cleaning supplies to ensure a safe environment throughout the summer. The Maine CDC and American Camp Association continue to provide guidelines and protocols in these areas on a regular basis.