SFCM students wearing masks
  1. About Us

COVID-19 Information

During these challenging times, SFCM has continued to provide students with a first-class education, consistently adapting with a creative, Bay Area spirit.

Learn how we are providing our students with safe instruction, health and tuition support, free testing, and continued performance opportunities.

Recent Updates -- COVID-19 Protocols -- 10.12.22

As we continue to adapt to the presence of COVID-19, SFCM is updating its safety protocols for Fall 2022.  We will continue to look to the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health for guidance and will update our policies as needed.

Proof of Vaccination

Students, Faculty and Staff

SFCM will continue to require all collegiate students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated as a condition of studying or working on campus. SFCM will consider exemption requests for medical and/or religious reasons.  

We highly recommend that members of our community follow public health guidelines and obtain updated booster shots if recommended by federal and local public health agencies and/or your healthcare providers, and SFCM reserves the right to require booster shots if new variants that emerge pose a significant risk to the community.  

Overnight Guests at the Bowes Center

Overnight guests at the Bowes Center will be required to show proof of vaccination.  

Audience Members attending SFCM Performances and/or Special Events
SFCM will continue to require proof of vaccination for all visitors and patrons attending performances at SFCM.  Members of the SFCM community should be prepared to show proof of vaccination when entering SFCM buildings to attend performances to minimize confusion at the Security Desks.  

Visitors and Vendors during Normal Business Hours
As of Wednesday, October 12, 2022 at 8:00 am, SFCM will no longer require visitors and vendors to show proof of vaccination during normal business hours unless they are on campus to attend public performances or other events open to non-SFCM ID holders.

Masks

SFCM strongly recommends masking indoors and in crowded outdoor settings. 

Masking is required:

  • For public performances and events open to individuals who do not possess an SFCM ID, except for musicians while performing. 

  • In any classroom setting where the faculty member requests people to wear masks.

  • When a person has been exposed to COVID-19 but tests negative for the virus and does not have symptoms.  In such cases, masks should be worn for 10 days from the date of exposure.  

  • By individuals who, after having been infected with COVID-19, test negative for the virus and do not have any symptoms between days 6 and 10 after testing positive or showing symptoms.  

Effective Wednesday, October 12, 2022, SFCM will shift to a mask-optional policy except where required above.   

SFCM will monitor the situation regarding COVID and may reinstate mandatory masking on campus if needed.  

Exposure to COVID-19 and Testing Positive for COVID-19

Based on current SFDPH guidelines, individuals who have tested positive for COVID should wear face coverings between the 5th and 10th day of the positive test, provided they have negative test results that allow them to exit isolation.  individuals who have been exposed to another person with COVID-19 are required to monitor their symptoms and wear face coverings for 10 days.

Please note:  Students who test positive for COVID-19 must notify Student Affairs immediately, and employees who test positive for COVID-19 must notify Human Resources.  Please see more instructions below for more information. 

If you become aware that members of our community have tested positive for COVID-19, please ensure that such members notify the appropriate parties on campus (Office of Student Affairs for Students and Human Resources for faculty and staff).

We continue to urge people to wear face coverings in any large and/or sustained indoor gathering on campus.  Any effort to discourage individuals from wearing face coverings will not be tolerated.  

COVID-19 PCR  Surveillance Testing

SFCM no longer conducts general surveillance testing for students, faculty and staff.  However, PCR testing will be required:

  • When collegiate students arrive on campus at the beginning of the Fall and Spring Semesters.

  • For participants in large ensembles as needed.

Testing will be provided by representatives from Carbon Health on campus.  Individuals who cannot be on campus for testing days may drop in at a Carbon Health facility for testing.   

Rapid Antigen Tests

Rapid Antigen tests will be available as needed: 

  • For students, tests can be obtained at the Student Affairs offices at Bowes Center.  

  • For faculty and staff, tests can be obtained in the Human Resources office at the Ann Getty Center.

Testing Positive for COVID-19

Members of the community who test positive must isolate themselves in accordance with CDC and local health ordinances.  Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to notify their healthcare providers and, if advised to do so, avail themselves of treatment options that may ease symptoms.  

Currently, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must:

  • Isolate themselves for a minimum of 5 days from the time symptoms first appear or they receive a positive test result, whichever is first.  This will be day zero.  Day one of the isolation period begins the day after the appearance of symptoms or a positive test result. 

  • Students who test positive must notify the Office of Student Affairs (osa@sfcm.edu).  Faculty and staff who test positive must notify human resources (mpatterson@sfcm.edu).  Individuals who test positive will be asked to provide a list of names of people they were with on campus starting three days before the appearance of symptoms and/or receiving positive results.  We will notify employees and/or students of possible exposure but will not disclose the source of exposure. 

  • On the fifth day following a positive test result or the appearance of symptoms, individuals whose symptoms have improved and who have not had a fever for 24 hours may take a rapid take-home antigen test.  If results are negative, they may end their isolation but should wear a well-fitted face mask for five more days.  If the results are positive, they must continue to isolate themselves until they have negative test results or after the tenth day. 

  • After 10 days, individuals may stop isolating themselves provided their symptoms have improved and they have not had a fever for at least 24 hours.  Testing is not required after the 10th day.  

Exposure to COVID-19

Based on CDC guidelines and local health ordinances, individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to isolate themselves if they do not have symptoms.  However, such individuals:

  • Must wear a well-fitted mask for ten days from the time of exposure, which is Day Zero.

  • Take a rapid antigen test on Day 5 or Later

Individuals with negative test results should continue to monitor themselves and wear well-fitted masks until the tenth day following their exposure.  

Closing Comments

The steps above are based on public health guidance and optimistic assumptions about our ability to adapt to living with COVID-19 in current circumstances. These guidelines will be adjusted as needed.

Covid-19 Protocols & Monkeypox Resources -- 8.17.22

As students return to campus and the CDC-maintained Covid-19 community level in San Francisco and its surrounding counties fluctuates near medium and high, SFCM continues to take steps to maintain the health and wellbeing of its community and visitors.

The Conservatory will begin its fall semester by maintaining current coronavirus protocols. They include the following requirements:

  • Well-fitting masks must be worn by non-SFCM ID holders at all times and in all areas, except when dining or performing/practicing as part of a school-sanctioned performance in which masking is not viable (e.g. by vocalists and wind instrumentalists)
  • Well-fitting masks must be worn by SFCM students (including those enrolled in the pre-college and continuing education programs), faculty and staff in public and community common areas (including performance spaces and elevators) and in classrooms, except when dining or performing/practicing as part of a school-sanctioned performance in which masking is not viable  (e.g. by vocalists and wind instrumentalists)
  • All students, faculty and staff members must show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to work, study or perform on campus
  • All guests must show proof of Covid-19 vaccination to participate in campus activities; alternatively, a negative Covid-19 test dated within 24-hours of an event's start time is acceptable in lieu of proof of vaccination

These policies will be regularly re-evaluated in accordance with public health guidance and may change.

In addition to the above precautions, we urge the SFCM community to take steps to protect themselves and one another from illness in all cases. As the outbreak of Monkeypox continues in our area, please review signs of the disease and reach out to student affairs or to your healthcare provider if you have symptoms. You can also access resources related to Monkeypox here.

Thank you for your patience and participation as we work together to mitigate the spread of virus.

2.16.22

The State of California is easing the indoor mask mandate starting on February 16, and San Francisco will follow the state's guidance. SFCM will adhere to the following policies until further notice.

  • SFCM will continue to require faculty, students, staff, visitors and patrons to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with a booster shot if eligible.
  • All students, faculty, staff and visitors will continue to wear masks in common areas; in classes, and during performances.
  • Vaccinated and boosted employees in offices and cubicles may remove their masks but should put them on when engaged with a student.
  • Vaccinated students and faculty with boosters will have the option to conduct one-on-one lessons without masks, provided that both parties agree.
  • All musicians during ensemble rehearsals and performances will continue to wear masks except for vocalists and wind players.
  • Pre-College will continue to enforce indoor masking in all spaces because the state's full mask mandate remains in effect for K-12 schools and after-school programs.

The rules adopted by SFCM starting today will resemble the rules we followed last Fall, before the surge of the Omicron variant. We will continue to re-evaluate our protocols every few weeks and make adjustments as needed.

 

1.25.22

Indoor Dining

  • Indoor dining is permitted ONLY in designated areas of both buildings.
  • Face masks can only be removed in these areas when actively eating or drinking. Otherwise, face masks should be worn properly in these areas at all times.
  • Avoid staying in these areas longer than necessary for dining, and avoid large group gatherings. In particular, the Cafe area of the Ann Getty Center should only be used for active dining, and not for meeting with other people.

Concert Audiences

  • SFCM plans to open up its concerts to general audiences starting February 7, both in the Ann Getty Center and the Bowes Center. This is contingent on Covid-19 cases both in our community and the city greatly decreasing between now and February 7.
  • All concert audiences, who are not SFCM community members, will be required to show proof of vaccination and booster shot to enter either building. Face masks must also be worn at all times.
  • SFCM community members can continue to use their SFCM badges as proof of vaccination and booster.
  • Tickets will be required for most concerts and in both buildings. More information regarding SFCM's new ticketing system will be announced soon.
  • All concerts before February 7 will be live-streamed. SFCM community members can still attend concerts as audience members before February 7.
  • Before February 7, small numbers of invited guests are only permitted for student and faculty recitals.

Musicians and Face Masks

  • Woodwind and brass players and vocalists can remove face masks ONLY when performing.
  • All other musicians must wear face masks at all times.

Guests

  • Starting January 31, any guests of SFCM community members must show proof of both vaccination and booster shot to enter either building.

 

1.4.22

  1. All students, faculty, and staff who are currently eligible for COVID-19 booster shots must submit evidence that they have received booster shots, before a deadline of January 31, 2022. Please contact your health care provider or check out the SFDPH website for information on where you may obtain a booster shot. If you have already received a COVID-19 booster shot, please complete this form. Contact osa@sfcm.edu with any concerns.
  2. All students who have traveled outside of the Bay Area for the Winter Break should monitor their health for any COVID-19 symptoms upon return. Consider “upgrading” your mask to a N95 or KN95 or similar mask or better protection while traveling with others that are outside your household.
  3. Students who live at Bowes Center and in other congregate housing will be tested 3 to 5 days after their return to campus. During the 3 to 5 days that you are waiting for testing, it is important that you monitor your health and not visit other living units. We have a limited number of home test kits for those that need results in 10-minutes before moving in with their roommate--email osa@sfcm.edu for more information on this; in this case, the student would still do a PCR lab test 3 to 5 days after arrival.

    In general, testing will be every weekday morning from 9:15AM to 11:45AM through January 28, 2022. An appointment won’t be necessary, but it will definitely help manage timing and demand. Testing is a PCR nasal self-swab that will be sent to a lab for results in about 24 to 36 hours.

    Steps to arrange your testing:
    • Please use this link to sign-up for the lab testing website; you should select the option that you do not have a personal QR Code (if you have not been tested by SFCM this academic year).
    • If asked, and if you do not have a state-issued driver’s license please put “N/A” in that field as well as the “state of issuance” field.
    • Save your personal QR code that you receive after signing up. You can save it to your device photos or phone wallet.
    • If you need help, please come to your testing appointment and we will help you. Please give yourself extra time during testing in this case.
    • You can schedule a specific testing time with the Office of Student Affairs by using this Calendly link.
  4. All students returning to the Bowes Center must refrain from visiting other living units through the month of January.
  5. Overnight guests are not permitted for residents of the Bowes Center through the month of January.
  6. Any student who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms should refrain from coming to campus or obtain negative test results before returning. Please refer to the SFDPH website for guidance and contact osa@sfcm.edu with any questions.
  7. In general, if you have symptoms and test positive for COVID 19, you should isolate until:
    • At least five (5) days have passed since your symptom(s) started AND
    • You no longer have fevers, AND
    • Your other symptoms are getting better, AND
    • You have a negative test collected on day 5 or later
  8. Masks must be worn in all shared spaces on campus, even if individuals are fully vaccinated and have had booster shots. This means that masks must be worn by 1) students and faculty in academic classes; 2) students and faculty during lessons and in ensembles; 3) and staff and faculty working in shared office spaces.

    Masks may be removed only during lessons and/or ensemble rehearsals and performances to accommodate singing and the playing of wind instruments; however, accommodations will be made for students or faculty who have reservations about engaging lessons or performances without masks.
  9. SFCM performances will be closed to the general public until further notice.

 

10.18.21

In response to SFDPH's updated guidelines concerning masks, SFCM's policy will be as follows:

Masks will be worn

  • In all common spaces at SFCM. This includes entrances, hallways, performance spaces, and classrooms.
  • By faculty and students during classes and some ensemble settings.
  • By staff when engaging one-on-one with students.

It is important to keep in mind that some members of the SFCM community may not be vaccinated due to medical or other approved reasons; therefore, masks will continue to be worn in spaces where people gather.

Masks may be removed

  • By vaccinated students and faculty during one-on-one lessons
  • By members of an ensemble, provided that all participants are vaccinated and the ensemble has received prior approval to remove masks.

Please keep in mind that students, faculty and staff have the right to wear their masks even in situations where they may be removed.

 

8.24.21

We're excited to welcome back all students and faculty on campus for this academic year, and we want to provide everyone with the safest setting possible, while fulfilling performance activities and classes. Please read below regarding the masking and distancing policies for the various groups of musicians and categories of performance activities. These policies may change throughout the school year.

Woodwinds and Brass

  • Private Lessons: If both student and faculty are fully vaccinated, both can participate in a lesson unmasked and without distancing restrictions. However, it is highly recommended that faculty wear face masks when possible and only remove face masks when having to demonstrate or play an instrument. If a pianist is involved in a lesson, the pianist must wear a face mask. Faculty are recommended to schedule 10 minutes of ventilation time between each lesson.
  • Studio Class: A student can only remove his/her face mask when playing in the class, AND if the student is fully vaccinated. All other students must wear their face masks when not playing. Faculty can remove face masks when demonstrating or playing in the class. Distancing is not required as long as both faculty and the student participants are fully vaccinated. Sectionals and Rep Classes: All students can participate without face masks ONLY if all people in the room (students and faculty) are fully vaccinated. 4 feet of distancing between people is recommended. These classes are typically booked in larger spaces that allow for distancing and improved ventilation.
  • Student and Departmental Recitals: Woodwind and brass players performing can remove their face masks once they step onto the stage, and only if all people on stage are fully vaccinated. Pianists and any other musicians who can wear face masks while performing must wear face masks at all times. Woodwind and brass players must put face masks back on as soon as the performance is done. Distancing restrictions are not required if all people on stage are fully vaccinated.
  • Water Valves: Instruments that need to empty water valves must do so on a towel. Water valves should not be emptied directly onto the floor of any space on campus facilities.

Voice

  • Private Lessons: If both student and faculty are fully vaccinated, both can participate in a lesson unmasked and without distancing restrictions. However, it is highly recommended that faculty wear face masks when possible and only remove face masks when having to demonstrate or sing. If a pianist is involved in a lesson, the pianist must wear a face mask. Faculty are recommended to schedule 10 minutes of ventilation time between each lesson.
  • Studio Class: A student can only remove his/her face mask when singing in the class, AND if the student is fully vaccinated. All other students must wear their face masks when not singing. Faculty can remove face masks when demonstrating or singing in the studio class. Distancing is not required as long as both faculty and the student participant are fully vaccinated.
  • Opera and Musical Theatre Classes and Rehearsals: All students can participate without face masks ONLY if all people in the room (students and faculty) are fully vaccinated. 4 feet of distancing between people is recommended. These classes are typically booked in larger spaces that allow for distancing and improved ventilation.
  • Student and Departmental Recitals: Vocalists performing can remove their face masks once they step onto the stage, and only if all people on stage are fully vaccinated. Pianists and any other musicians who can wear face masks while performing must wear face masks at all times. Vocalists must put face masks back on as soon as the performance is done. Distancing restrictions are not required if all people on stage are fully vaccinated.

Strings, Piano, Percussion, Harp, Guitar, Composition

  • Private Lessons: Faculty and students of these departments and instruments are not required to wear face masks in private lessons, and distancing is not required, if everyone in the room is fully vaccinated. However, it is highly recommended that faculty and students do wear face masks at all times. Collaborative pianists must wear face masks at all times. Faculty are also recommended to schedule 10 minutes of ventilation time between each lesson.
  • Studio Class: All people in the class must wear face masks at all times. Distancing is not required as long as both faculty and the student participant are fully vaccinated.
  • Sectionals and Rep Classes: All people in the class must wear face masks at all times. Distancing is not required as long as everyone in the room is fully vaccinated.
  • Student and Departmental Recitals: Only woodwind players, brass players and singers can remove masks on stage for performance. All other musicians must wear face masks at all times while performing. Distancing restrictions are not required if all people on stage are fully vaccinated.

Large Ensembles

  • Wind players and vocalists will be rehearsing and performing with masked musicians in various ensembles, with all musicians on stage, or in the pit, fully vaccinated. Wind players and vocalists can remove face masks when entering the stage. All other musicians must have face masks on at all times. Wind players and vocalists must put face masks back on once they exit the stage.
  • Chorus rehearsals and performances will be taking place this academic year. All singers in a chorus must be fully vaccinated. Masks are optional only during rehearsal and performance.

Faculty should feel comfortable applying additional masking and distancing requirements to their lessons and classes as they feel is necessary.

 

8.2.21

In response to orders issued by eight Bay Area health officers, including those representing San Francisco County, face coverings are required for all individuals -- regardless of vaccination status -- when indoors starting 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3. These orders include all SFCM students, employees and visitors on campus.

Please note that the orders allow for limited exceptions, including those listed for performances: "Performers at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as concerts, live music, film, television, recording studios, theater, opera, symphony, and professional sports may remove their Well-Fitted Masks while actively performing or practicing. If they remove their Well-Fitted Mask, performers must maintain at least six feet of distance from attendees and employees and are encouraged to maintain as much distance from other performers as possible. Performers are strongly urged to be Fully Vaccinated or regularly tested, and to wear their Well-Fitted Masks to the greatest extent possible. Attendees and employees must remain masked while attending or working at the performance except when another exception applies.”

For more information, please visit https://sf.gov/information/masks-and-face-coverings-added-protection-coronavirus. As always, thank you for your cooperation in ensuring a safe and healthy environment for performing, learning and teaching at SFCM.

6.15.21

With the issuance of new state and city guidelines as California continues its reopening process, SFCM is updating its protocols related to COVID-19 safety. Accordingly, starting on June 15, 2021:

  • The SFCM community is no longer required to complete the Daily Symptom Check before entering the SFCM campus, nor will security request proof that the check is complete. Faculty, students and staff must still show an SFCM-issued ID badge for entry.
  • SCFM will discontinue use of the Everbridge Contact Tracer phone application.

Once the state advises that vaccinated employees are no longer required to wear masks in the office, which is expected as of June 17, 2021, the following policies will apply:

  • Employees working in their own offices in suites 408, 414, PDEC, and the library will no longer be required to wear masks so long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Masks will be required in the atrium, classrooms, and performance spaces at SFCM's 50 Oak Street building through the summer to protect our community and visiting students, instructors, artists, and others.

While we anticipate welcoming in-person attendance for live performances at our 50 Oak Street halls this fall and at the new Bowes Center in the spring of 2022, we will continue to review guidance as it relates to concert venues and will make additional adjustments as needed.

We are thankful for your help in keeping our community healthy!

 

5.10.21

SFCM COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

SFCM is committed to restoring our immersive, in-person educational experience in fall 2021 to the extent permitted by federal, state, and local health directives. To achieve this goal and ensure the health and safety of our community, full vaccination against COVID-19 by all who are eligible to receive the vaccine will be required as a condition of studying, working, and/or living on campus beginning in the 2021 fall semester. This requirement will apply to all students and employees of SFCM.

COVID-19 vaccination should be completed no later than two weeks prior to arrival at SFCM for fall semester. SFCM will look to guidance by federal health authorities to determine which COVID-19 vaccines, other than the three that are currently authorized for use in the United States, will be accepted to meet SFCM's vaccination requirement. Accommodations will be made and assistance provided for individuals who are unable to access an authorized vaccine prior to their arrival at SFCM.

Medical and non-medical requests for exemptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

SFCM is committed to maintaining the privacy of student and employee information related to COVID-19 vaccination. Collegiate students should direct their questions to Susannah White (swhite@sfcm.edu), Director of Residential Life and International Student Services; Pre-College students and their families and Continuing Education students should direct their questions to Michael Roest, Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Pre-College and Continuing Education Division; and all faculty and staff should direct their questions to Michael Patterson, Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Administration.