Whilst the impact of COVID remains very real for us all, we are grateful for the resilience, creativity, and optimism so evident in our NEC community. Even with extensive health and safety protocols, we were able to keep in-person music-making happening at NEC last year because of the consistent commitment each person demonstrated to keeping our community—and, indeed, the broader communities in which we live—safe.
As we welcome you to campus, we know that ensuring public health will require ongoing vigilance, as certainly we will be living with COVID-19 and its variants for the foreseeable future.
NEC continues to offer an experience firmly centered in profound teaching, learning, and artistry. With limited exceptions, the vast majority of our activities this fall will take place in person. Enabled by broad availability of vaccines and the continued commitment of every member of the community to following our COVID-19 policies and protocol, we will continue to balance health and safety with making music together in person.
FAQ's for Faculty & Staff can be found here.
- What if I can’t make it back to campus because of travel difficulties or COVID-related travel restrictions imposed by my home country?
If you encounter difficulty traveling to Boston, please get in touch with the Office of Student Services as soon as possible to talk through your options.
- How can I sign out a practice room?
You can find information about practice room policies on our Practice Room Reservations webpage.
- Where can I find room use policies and protocols?
Please find NEC's room use protocols here.
- Are masks required?
Masks are required in all public spaces and shared offices. Please see room use protocols for further details regarding masking in this area.
- May I come to campus if I am not yet fully vaccinated?
a.) If you are not fully vaccinated (defined by NEC as 2 weeks past the final dose of an approved vaccine), you must quarantine off-campus for 7 days.
b.) You may then come to campus if you upload proof of a negative COVID test no more than 72 hours before your arrival to campus.
c.) You must schedule an appointment for vaccination as soon as possible at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
d.) If you have traveled, you must follow NEC’s Fall Testing Policy after travel.
- Should I show my vaccine card to security?
No. Vaccine documentation must be uploaded to the confidential Student Health Portal (students) or ADP (employees).
- Can I bring a guest on campus?
To limit building density, guests will not be allowed on campus except to attend public events such as performances.
- Will the cafeteria be open?
The cafeteria will be fully open, and will also offer a grab-and-go option through the Transact program.
- Will guests be allowed in the residence hall?
Access to the dorm will be limited to current resident students and staff only.
- What happens if someone in the community tests positive for COVID-19?
Anyone in our testing protocol who tests positive is informed by a member of the HCC and contact tracing is initiated in conjunction with local board(s) of health. The positive community member will be instructed to isolate for a period of 10 days (or for 48 hrs after resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer), follow COVID-19 protocols, and to follow-up with their primary care provider. Appropriate cleaning and disinfection measures are instituted within NEC when necessary.
- Is NEC offering a fully remote option this year?
No. With limited exceptions for select classes, NEC is planning on a fully in-person academic year.
- What are the air quality measures in place in teaching spaces?
In preparation for the return to campus, our Facilities Services department has installed high-performance HEPA filtration devices and/or UV light systems for germicidal sanitization. Routine consultation with independent air safety specialists determine our best practices to enhance air quality and safety.
- How may I report a suspected infraction of NEC COVID protocols?
If you see or suspect a member of the community not following our guidelines, please notify Human Resources (for faculty and staff) or the Office of Student Services (for students) as soon as possible.
- Will I need to have regular COVID-19 tests this semester?
- Unvaccinated members of the community (those granted medical or religious exemptions and those who are not fully vaccinated), students living in residence halls, and voice students are required to have a COVID-19 PCR test once weekly.
- At this time, fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from weekly COVID-19 screening tests as long as they do not have symptoms.
Routine COVID-19 testing of community members is one strategy that will help to identify infections on campus early and prevent the spread of infection. Please see our COVID-19 Fall Testing Protocols page for more information.
- What are the hours of the testing center?
The NEC COVID-19 testing center has moved to its new location in Jordan Hall 146-147 as of September 7, 2021, and operates Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please schedule your appointments in the CoVerified App.
- What should I do if I can’t make it to the testing center when it is open?
Please visit this website to find a testing location near you, and then upload a copy of your results to CoVerified. Please keep in mind that you must get a PCR test. Antigen tests are not accepted. Off-campus tests will not be reimbursed by NEC.
- Will I be required to quarantine if I am not fully vaccinated and determined to have been exposed to a community member with a positive test result?
People who are not fully vaccinated should quarantineand be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine.
- If I am vaccinated and determined to have been exposed to a community member with a positive test result, will I be required to self-quarantine?
People who have been fully vaccinated, or who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last three months, do NOT need to self quarantine after exposure to an infected community member.
People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. They should also follow NEC masking protocols and monitor for symptoms for 14 days after exposure. A COVID-19 test should be repeated if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.
- What is the definition of a close contact?
The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation.
- Who is making institutional decisions and policies regarding COVID-19?
The Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been meeting at least twice weekly throughout the pandemic to develop policies and protocols, and make recommendations to the school’s senior leadership based on governmental and industry guidance.
Current members of the ERT are: Katrina Chapman (Counsel and Director of Compliance); Rebecca Bogers (Director/Dean of Prep School); Christina Davis (Dean of Students); Chris Hayden (Director of Facilities and Campus Safety Operations); Leah McKinnon-Howe (Director of Health Services); Nick Macke (Director of HR); Kristina Martin (AVP Finance); Lauren Puia (COVID-19 Test Center Coordinator and Nurse Practitioner) Benjamin Sosland (Provost and Dean of the Faculty); Valerie Szepiwdycz (Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy).
Members of the ERT are also in close contact with Boston Public Health authorities for the most up-to-date policy guidance and requirements.