For the fall semester, we have implemented robust safety protocols to effectively protect the safety of community members and keep our infection rate low. We are following a phased approach as we progress to being fully back on campus.
Phase 3: Health and Safety Protocols (August 20–September 17, 2021)
Please note that this information is subject to change, and the community will be notified of any changes accordingly. We continue to develop our plans in partnership with Dr. Karen Thornton’s office, along with guidance from state and local authorities.
COVID-19 Testing Before the Fall 2021 Semester
Students, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before they attend orientation or start the fall semester. Communications will be sent to the student's Berklee email specifying the times and location of COVID-19 testing. Students will not be able to send in proof of a negative test to attend orientation, but must be tested at Berklee NYC's partner clinic. Testing will be offered between August 30 and September 1.
Students will need proof of insurance and/or a government-issued ID or social security number when they arrive at the clinic to be tested. Please do not drop by campus until you’ve received your negative test results. More information will be coming soon.
Fall 2021 COVID-19 Policy
Berklee NYC will require all students enrolled this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the fall 2021 semester. This section outlines the important safety protocols that our New York campus will have in place to protect our community.
All faculty, staff, and students are required to be fully vaccinated before arriving on campus, unless an exemption has been granted for medical or religious reasons. While we expect that our domestic students will have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one of the Johnson & Johnson, we will accept a complete course of any vaccine, whether it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO), or not.
However, if you have received a vaccine that is not authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO (e.g., Sputnik), we strongly encourage you to consider getting a vaccine that is authorized for emergency use by the FDA after arriving on campus.
At this time, 100 percent of faculty and staff on the New York campus are vaccinated, and we expect to be very close to full vaccination compliance for students by the start of the semester.
In an effort to establish a “Berklee bubble,” we will require everyone on campus to wear a mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This means you must wear a mask indoors during check-in, orientation, and during the first few weeks of classes. Note that everyone is responsible for supplying their own masks.
In accordance with current guidance from the New York Department of Health, we intend to return to optional masking indoors for fully vaccinated members of our community and will revisit this plan as we get closer to September 17.
Please note that during this phase, community members who are fully vaccinated may unmask in private spaces, including offices, and common areas when eating meals. Masks will continue to be optional outdoors during this phase, per state and local guidance.
Upon arrival to campus, all members of the Berklee community will be required to take two initial (i.e., baseline) tests. The use of the rapid test allows us to avoid quarantining everyone as we await results from the PCR test.
Berklee NYC is partnering with the office of Dr. Karen Thornton to provide testing and vaccination services. This clinic is located just minutes away, at 344 W 51st Street, New York, NY 10019.
- Students, faculty, staff, and vendors who are on campus at least two days per week will participate in weekly testing at Berklee NYC’s partner clinic.
- Individuals who are on campus one day a week will be required to take a PCR test weekly at Berklee NYC’s partner clinic.
- Individuals who are only on campus periodically (less than one day per week) must have a negative baseline test no more than 72 hours prior to their return to campus, or complete the two-part baseline test process at Berklee NYC’s partner clinic.
- Individuals who have received an exemption due to medical or religious reasons will be required to take a PCR test twice a week.
- International students who arrive in New York partially vaccinated will be required to test twice a week until they have reached full compliance.
Students will be notified of test results directly by Berklee NYC’s partner clinic.
All community members should monitor symptoms and contact a medical professional with any symptom concerns. If you do not feel well, please stay home.
On-campus spaces, including performance venues, will be limited to seating capacity; there will be no standing room.
We have protective barriers, HEPA filters, and sanitation stations in place, and a consistent cleaning schedule. While we encourage you to clean the spaces you use, cleaning is not required.
Until further notice, only essential business travel approved by the respective area’s senior vice president will be allowed for faculty and staff. Students are encouraged to limit nonessential travel and follow CDC guidelines should they need to leave New York City during this time.
Quarantine and Isolation Process
Our quarantine and isolation processes will vary based on vaccination status.
Vaccinated students will be notified of potential exposure by the contact tracing team, but they will not be required to quarantine. Instead, they’ll be asked to closely monitor their symptoms for 14 days and participate in additional testing at the Berklee NYC partner clinic (one test on day one, and one on day four or five after exposure).
Unvaccinated students who have an approved religious or medical exemption will be required to quarantine off campus if they are identified as having potential exposure to COVID-19.
Students who test positive will be required to isolate at home for 10 days.