As of April, 2021

Our safety plan is being developed in consultation with panel of medical experts and industry experts, peer organizations, and our health and facilities colleagues at Chautauqua Institution. These procedures and safety protocols provided for safe use of our facilities will be enforced during the summer of 2021.

For as long as health guidelines require, each person entering the building will be required to follow all safety protocols, including physical distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings, cleaning protocols, following new traffic patterns in the building, and other requirements.

Rules regarding physical distancing and mask wearing are not optional, and they are not a personal choice. They are mandatory.

Chautauqua’s Facilities Department has assessed and significantly improved building conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Lenna, Fletcher and McKnight Halls we have improved ventilation/air quality and building controls. In Carnahan-Jackson Dance Studios we have added HEPA air purifiers in the studios to improve air quality. In Bellinger Hall and Lincoln Dorm, we have repaired inoperable windows, increased professional cleanings and disinfections, and created additional single sleeping spaces for residential students for regular and isolation/quarantine periods.

Compliance with Safety and Health Rules

For your own health and the health of those around you, including students, faculty, and staff, it is extremely important for everyone to follow these safety and health rules. Tremendous progress has been made in New York to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including a great effort on the part of the general public to follow safety protocols such as wearing masks, physical distancing, frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, getting tested when needed, and providing the necessary information for contact tracing.

We plan to enforce our health and safety rules, and we will not tolerate repeated or serious lapses. Violating the safety rules can result in sanctions according to our code of conduct. We are taking a zero-tolerance approach on any violation of safety rules.

This is a moment of challenge and change for everyone. It will take all of us working together to keep each other safe.

Masking and Social Distancing

Masking requirements: Fabric masking, specifically a cloth or standard surgical mask, is required of all individuals, faculty and students, when in class or rehearsal. Performing outdoors does not change the masking requirement. Bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with vents or valves will not be allowed. Masks should fit tightly, and cover both the nose and mouth at all times. Disposable face coverings will be available at the main office in Bellinger Hall for anyone who arrives without one. Residence Hall students will be required to wear a face covering in the Residence Hall unless they are alone in their own rooms.

Dancers will be required to wear masks while dancing (class, rehearsal and performance) regardless of vaccination status.

Chautauqua is committed to ensuring its protocols meet and in many cases exceed guidance provided by public health authorities. Our in-house COVID-19 Safety Committee and its expert advisers are helping us stay on top of evolving regulations and laws. Currently, in compliance with state law, gatherings at private residences are limited to no more than 10 people, and face coverings and social distancing are required inside all Institution buildings and in any public space where distancing is not possible.

Physical Distancing For Dance

Students will enter and exit the studios by using a one-way system. Social distancing markers will be placed on the floor for students to follow throughout the building.

Each barre will be marked with a distance of at least 10 feet between students.

Each dancer’s center work area will be delineated at least 10 feet apart.

At the front of the classroom, there is a 10-foot buffer alley for the teacher. Students are not allowed to dance into that space and the teacher must stay in that space while students are dancing on the floor. Between exercises, if a teacher wants to get closer to a student to demonstrate something or give a personalized correction, we allow them to move into the room, but they must maintain 6-foot distance from the student.

There will be spaces marked off in front of the mirror for students to leave belongings (e.g. water bottle, small dance bag), to remove outerwear and to change into their shoes. No activities will be allowed that require direct or indirect contact including partnering, tactile cueing, direct floor work, or touching the same equipment.

Dancers should maintain at least six feet distance apart standing side by side in one line and allow each group to complete the combination to the end of the room before the next group starts.

**Our physical distancing requirements are taken from the AGMA Return to Stage and Performing Arts Playbook.

Class/Rehearsal Time

The primary issue with determining class and rehearsal time is the need for air exchange within the space. Although this might occur naturally between groups as rehearsal ends and a new group begins, the overall time must also be considered when planning the rehearsal period. Rehearsals will need to be presented in shorter segments with 30 minutes of down time to allow for air exchange. All individuals, including faculty, should leave the studio during the down time. Doors should be left open during this break.

Ensemble size: The maximum group size shall be determined by the COVID-19 occupancy limit of the space determined by the physical distancing guidelines. The floor will be clearly marked to ensure a safe and required distance.

Studio logistics: Chautauqua will be creating the plans for traffic patterns and wayfinding, faculty are responsible for enforcing these plans and should reinforce the importance of maintaining a physical distance of 6’ between individuals as they enter and leave a space while masked. Signs will be posted in all facilities and plans sent to students prior to arrival.

Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to class, unless otherwise specified. Students will not be allowed into the studios prior to this time. They will be required to arrive for each class wearing proper dancewear and will not be permitted to change in the dressing rooms. Only one small bag per dancer will be permitted. Students will need to bring and wear one mask and pack an extra mask in a plastic bag. Water fountains will not be available for use; students should arrive with full water bottles. Water bottles MUST be marked with student name.

Students have the option to put their street shoes in the designated bag they can bring into the studio or shoes can be left outside of the studio. Street shoes are not permitted inside the studio unless in a bag. We recommend wearing easily removed shoes to aid with this process.

Cleaning of Facilities by Faculty & Students

Cleaning: All meeting amenities will be disinfected before and after each use including barres and stereo equipment. Upon entering a studio and setting up the room attention should be given to the cleaning protocols posted there, using the equipment and materials provided. Departing users are also expected to use this same procedure before they leave, so there will be two cleanings in the empty 30 minutes between scheduled times.

The teacher/choreographer is responsible for overseeing the dance students and ensuring that they follow all posted cleaning protocols. It is expected that all faculty and students will take the proper precautions when cleaning a space.

  Cleaning and COVID-19 Protocols/Policies

  1. Cleaning Protocols: Halls, studios, and restrooms will be cleaned daily by CHQ production crews. Cleaning protocols will be posted throughout the school, and supplies will be available for use by individuals between official cleanings by facilities.

Performance Protocols

Length of performances: All performances may not exceed 90 minutes. There will also be no intermission.

Dress rehearsals: Dress rehearsals prior to a performance will be allowed and scheduled by the Dance Office and reflected in Arts Vision. Dress rehearsals, however, are to be closed events, with only the participating students and appropriate Chautauqua faculty (e.g., choreographers) able to attend. They are subject to the time limits stated above.

Livestreaming: Chautauqua will provide livestreaming of most performances in the Amphitheater.

Special considerations for outdoor performance: Performing outdoors does not change any masking or physical distance rules outlined in this document.

Visitors & Guests

Visitor Policy: In general, guests and visitors will be severely limited on campus this summer. There are limited exceptions, but only for visitors and guests who are deemed essential to the academic missions of Chautauqua. Faculty who would like to bring a visitor or guest to campus should contact Sarah Malinoski-Umberger for information about the approval process. Students may not host visitors or guests on campus this summer for any reason.

Dance Office Protocols

The dance office will be closed to the public; only students and faculty will be permitted inside. We will be encouraging contact via email and text to limit the amount of traffic in the office.

Screening, Testing & Tracing (still being developed)

Students will be asked to upload proof of a negative test within 72 hours to their CampDoc account. All students must arrive by July 23 (date is tentative and TBD) for the required PCR test that same day. From that point each student will receive a rapid test every four days. There will be an isolation wing in the residence halls in case a student tests positive.

Students and faculty will be asked to submit a health screening questionnaire digitally each day prior to arriving on campus. They will only need to submit this once each day in order to gain access to all School of Music facilities.

For rapid testing we will use Abbott Biomax Now.

For PCR testing we will use Hologic Panther Fusion (PCR)

Explain how students will receive their test results? Students will be given access to a patient portal through our onsite medical clinic, staffed by Westfield Hospital staff or Chautauqua Medical Practice staff. Students will receive the results through the portal. Students will be asked to sign releases allowing clinic staff to also release results to Chautauqua Institution, via the same secure portal.

Will the tests take place on site? The tests will be taken at the medical clinic on the Chautauqua Institution grounds, which is near the campus and does not require vehicle transfer.


Operations of the dining hall and other on-campus food services will be in accordance with New York State guidance. In the dining hall, there will be no customer-facing serving stations. Chautauqua’s food service provider is working to ensure students have appropriate dietary options with two grab-and-go hot boxed meals per day (breakfast and lunch) that will be chosen in advance from a digital menu. For dinner each day we plan to give a meal plan card that can be used to eat at any CHQ owned food establishment (Brick Walk Café, Afterwords Café, Heirloom Restaurant) When safe, the dining facility will have limited serving stations open for meal periods. All beverages will be bottled, and coffee will be served by a CHQ café employee. We will reopen seating in the dining area when it is deemed safe, with tables and chairs positioned for socially distanced eating. Regular cleaning and disinfecting practices throughout the dining facility will be enhanced according to guidelines.