COVID-19 Guidelines and Procedures

Greater Westchester Youth Orchestras Association (GWYOA)

October 5, 2020

Below are guidelines and procedures that the GWYOA has adopted in response to COVID-19. As a condition to each child’s attendance, the child’s parents/guardians must acknowledge that they have carefully reviewed these guidelines and procedures and must agree to follow them in all respects. Likewise, each GWYOA employee, board member, and volunteer must acknowledge that they have carefully reviewed these guidelines and procedures and will follow them in all respects. Please note that these guidelines are subject to change at any time as we learn more about this virus.

Stay home if you are ill. No one (including youth members, conductors, board members, volunteers, parents/guardians, essential visitors) should attend a GWYOA rehearsal or event or bring such a person to attend if they, a household member, or a caregiver (such as live-in/live-out nanny or au pair) is sick. No one is permitted to enter the GWYOA site if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to be vigilant in checking for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and remain home if displaying signs or symptoms or feeling sick.

Share Guidelines. Parents/guardians are responsible for

  • reviewing and signing these Guidelines,

  • providing a copy of these Guidelines to each authorized adult who may provide care, transportation, or emergency pick-up for a youth member (including, but not limited to, grandparents, nannies, au pairs),

  • obtaining the signature of that authorized adult indicating his/her agreement to comply with these Guidelines, and

  • returning the signed document to the GWYOA prior to the youth member, parent/guardians, or other authorized adult entering the GWYOA rehearsal/event site.

Risks Remain. Despite the implementation of these Guidelines, we cannot assure that there will be no spread of COVID-19 through in-person participation in the GWYOA during this pandemic. Any family that is unwilling to take this risk should opt for virtual-only participation.

How to direct your questions. Any questions or concerns about these Guidelines, COVID-19 procedures, or orchestra safety should be addressed to Meg Bond or Grace Baccay The GWYOA is a non-profit volunteer-run organization with a board composed of parent/guardian volunteers and including each orchestra’s conductor. For all involved, the GWYOA remains a labor of love for our children and the community. The GWYOA community is striving to continue this mission in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. For all members’ families, this is our orchestra, and we are guided by a spirit of respect, cooperation, and consideration.

Communications Plan

The GWYOA will use email, phone, and/or text to directly communicate any COVID-19-related updates and any necessary contact tracing. The GWYOA website will also be updated, as appropriate, with relevant COVID-19-related changes/updates. Parents/guardians and conductors should keep the GWYOA updated if there are any changes in their contact information. Essential visitors must provide contact information and be screened if they are permitted, as an exception, to enter the rehearsal space.

Likewise, it is essential that all rehearsal attendees and their families inform the GWYOA immediately if they have exposure or COVID-19 diagnosis (see Section 6). Email may be sent to

Additionally, at our rehearsal space, signs and floor markings will remind our participants how to maintain proper hygiene and social distancing.

Section 1: Health Screenings

Before attending any rehearsal, please review this checklist for risk factors of Covid-19 and follow the instructions for the health and safety of everyone.

On each day of your child's in-person rehearsals, you will be emailed the link to an electronic pre-screening Covid-19 questionnaire. You will be required to fill out and submit it before your child arrives at the rehearsal. Please submit it at least one hour beforehand to allow our parent volunteers to download it on their devices. If you have not submitted it before you arrive at the rehearsal, please remain in the parking area and submit it while in your vehicle before sending your child to their rehearsal. If you are unable to access the questionnaire on your device, signal a parent volunteer and ask for paper copy of the questionnaire, complete it and have your child bring it with them to turn in at their rehearsal entrance.

All attendees, including conductors, parent volunteers and necessary visitors will also be required to submit this pre-screening form beforehand.

  • If you answer YES to ANY of the risk factors, orchestra members should not attend rehearsal. Email us at to let us know she/he will not be attending.

  • Temperatures will be verified with an infrared thermometer and orchestra members will be asked these questions upon check-in before entering the rehearsal space.

1. Do you currently have a temperature greater than 100.0 F (37.8 C) degrees?

2. Did you have a fever in the last 24 hours AND have you taken any fever reducing medications in the last 6 hours? (Advil, Aspirin, Tylenol)

3. Have you had any of the following Covid-19 symptoms in the past 14 days?

· Fever or chills

· Cough

· Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

· Fatigue

· Muscle/body aches

· Headache

· New loss of taste/smell

· Sore throat

· Congestion/runny nose

· Nausea/vomiting

· Diarrhea

4. Have you had a positive COVID-19 test in the past 14 days?

5. Have you had close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in the last 14 days?

6. Is your school currently closed due to recent COVID-19 exposure?

7. Have you traveled to any hot spots within the last 14 days?

Updated September 29, 2020 -

The following states and territories meet the criteria for required quarantine:






















North Carolina

North Dakota


Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota




West Virginia



This is based upon a seven day rolling average, of positive tests in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.

If you answered NO to ALL of these questions, please proceed and follow these instructions:

  • You must wear a mask covering your mouth and nose at all times. You may only remove your mask once you are safely back in your car after dismissal.

  • If you need to cough or sneeze, leave your mask on. You may raise your hand to ask for a replacement mask. Leave the room. Dispose of the soiled mask in a trash bin or store it in a sealed bag. Wash or sanitize your hands.

  • You must adhere to 6’ social distancing rules at all times.

  • No food or drinks may be consumed in the rehearsal space. You may raise your hand and ask for a water or mask break outside the rehearsal space, if necessary.

  • If you start to experience any Covid-19 symptoms, please leave the rehearsal immediately. Raise your hand to alert the conductor or parent volunteer and let them know you need to leave. A parent volunteer will take you to a separate space to wait until you are picked up.

If an orchestra member is not admitted to rehearsal following the temperature check and check-list review, you should contact your healthcare provider for assessment and testing. The participant may either stay home from rehearsals for 14 days or present satisfactory documentation from a healthcare provider demonstrating that it is safe to return.

According to NY requirements, all persons will be screened prior to entry to the rehearsal space, except when making deliveries while wearing appropriate PPE or through contactless means. Orchestra liaisons will keep dated logs of all such screened attendees.

Section 2: Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

All Musicians will bring their own

  • chair (marked with their name)

  • instrument

  • stand

  • music

  • folder

  • pencil

  • Ziplock-type bag in case you need to store a soiled mask.

No Visitors – parents/guardians not admitted

Parents/guardians will not be permitted to enter the rehearsal space. They may leave after check-in and return for pick-up or remain outside or in their cars. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is necessary due to the pandemic.

The GWYOA foresees that there may be some circumstance in which, an essential visitor must be admitted to the rehearsal space, for example, to guarantee the safety of occupants, and may be admitted at the discretion of the GWYOA. Such an essential visitor must provide contact information and complete health screening if they are permitted, as an exception, to enter the rehearsal space.


All persons should put on masks before exiting their vehicle when they arrive, look for the entrance sign for their orchestra, and practice 6-foot social distancing at all times, especially while waiting at check-in. Six-foot distanced spaces will be marked on the ground at check-in.

In order to maintain appropriate distancing, foot traffic will be one way by the rehearsal space. The entrance into the rehearsal space will be marked “Door A: Entrance only”. To exit, rehearsal participants should use the far door marked “Door B: Exit only

Cones mark-off the check-in area. Orchestra members should line up 6 ft. apart within the check-in area to be screened. Temperatures will be taken with a contactless, infrared thermometer. If not already submitted electronically, a list of questions will be asked by our volunteers. Hand sanitizer will be provided to ensure clean hands before participants enter the rehearsal.

Once screening is successfully completed, an adult may accompany a child to the entrance of the rehearsal space if the child cannot carry all her/his belongings in one trip. In this case, please leave the child’s chair against the exterior wall by Door B (exit) and your child will come back for it – exiting through the Exit (Door B) and re-entering through the Entrance (Door A).

A volunteer will direct them to their assigned place where they can set up and wait for the rehearsal to begin.


If your child is in Elementary Strings or Junior Strings, (earlier rehearsal time slot), it is vitally important that you are not late picking your child up, as the Youth Symphony will be arriving beginning at 6:50 pm. When you arrive to pick up your child, please do not block the door to your child's exit. Park your vehicle, then walk over to their exit to meet your child, keeping 6-foot social distanced at all times.

As musicians are packed up and ready to go, they will exit the rehearsal space one-at-a-time and wait outside in the dismissal area.

Again, if they cannot manage to bring all their belongings in one trip, they will be asked to bring out the chair first through the Exit (Door B) and leave it against the wall, then go back into the rehearsal space through the Entrance (Door A) for their instrument and stand.

Additional volunteers will be in the arrival/dismissal area to remind them to maintain social distancing. They are welcome to use the hand sanitizer before they leave.

If for reasons beyond your control you are very late, your child will be brought to the Atrium to wait for your arrival.

Section 3: Face Coverings

Parents/guardians and all adult rehearsal participants should refer to CDC guidance on how to select and maintain face masks:

How to Select, Wear, and Clean Your Mask

How to Wash Masks

Masks must completely cover both the nose and mouth.

All persons (including orchestra members, conductors, volunteers, parents/guardians, and authorized adults) are required to wear masks at all times while indoors, at check-in/pick-up outside, and whenever 6 feet or less from a non-family member. As a rule, masks should be worn from the time persons exit their car to the time they reenter their car. Exceptions will be made for those needing an outdoor mask break separate from others.

If you need to cough or sneeze or blow your nose, leave your mask on. You may raise your hand to ask for a replacement mask. Leave the room. Dispose of or store the soiled mask in a sealed bag. Wash or sanitize your hands.

Reusable masks should be cleaned according to what is appropriate for the type of mask.

Certain mask types will not be permitted. These include: masks with valves, bandanas, and neck gaiters.

Section 4: Rehearsal Space Procedures

Rehearsals will be conducted in two large rooms, the Gymnasium (96' x 55') and the Fellowship Hall (55' x 55'). Both rooms have two separate entrances and access to fresh air and an updated ventilation system that circulates fresh air into the room.

Each orchestra will conduct a separate rehearsal, in a separate room, limited to 50 or fewer total participants (including conductor, youth members, board members, and volunteers) as per New York Phase 4 restrictions. To achieve this, each of the three GWYOA orchestras will be split into subgroups with rotating rehearsal schedules, so that no more than 50 participants (including youth members, conductors, board members, and volunteers) will attend their orchestra’s rehearsal at one time. Orchestra members not scheduled to attend in-person, those who may need to quarantine, or those who prefer remote participation will have an option for distance participation/practice.

Locations for chairs will be plotted on the floor at a minimum of 6-foot separation in all directions for string musicians and 12-foot distancing for brass and wind musicians. Musicians will be oriented to face straight towards the conductor’s wall, rather than a more traditional orchestral semi-circle.

At this time, woodwind and brass musicians will not be included in in-person rehearsals until October 26, as we continue to access feedback from schools that have begun incorporating these musicians into their orchestras. Woodwind and brass musicians will also be required to utilize appropriate instrument masks, bell covers (trumpets, french horns, trombones) or instrument bags (flutes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons). The GWYOA will make a one-time purchase of bell covers and instrument bags for in-person woodwind and brass musicians. Replacement covers or bags must be purchased by the musician.

Use of a sound system will be provided to each conductor so all musicians will be able to hear instruction.

Bathrooms will be available for use one-person-at-a-time to maintain social distancing requirements and sinks will be stocked with soap and paper towels/touchless dryers for handwashing of at least 20 seconds. All rehearsal participants should use the bathroom before arriving at rehearsal to minimize use.

Section 5: Adult Participants - Conductors, Board Members, Volunteers

All adults participating in GWYOA rehearsals (conductors, board members, volunteers, essential visitors):

  • will have a health screening as described above (i.e., taking of temperature and completion of check-list);

  • will immediately notify an orchestra liaison if, after completing the health screening and check-list, the they begins to experience any COVID-19 symptoms and will immediately move to an isolation area until the employee can leave the rehearsal;

  • will wear a mask at all times on rehearsal/event premises, both indoors and outside;

  • will have access to masks, gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer;

  • will wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer upon arrival at work, after breaks, before and after eating or handling food, after using the bathroom, after coming in contact with bodily fluid, and after handling garbage;

  • will practice social distancing (i.e., maintaining a six foot distance) with one another and musician, both indoors and outside, except when necessary to address musician needs and/or safety issues;

  • will not float between different orchestra rehearsals unless necessary to safely supervise the musicians due to unforeseen circumstances.

Section 6: Exposure to and Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Contact tracing, quarantining, and cleaning is essential to limiting COVID-19 spread.

Contact Tracing

Immediately notify the GWYOA at if an orchestra member (youth member, conductor, board member, volunteer) or any member of his/her household (including any caregiver)

  • has tested positive for COVID-19,

  • has had close or proximate contact with any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case, where contact is defined as:

§ close contact - being within 6 feet of the relevant individual for 10 minutes or longer,

§ proximate contact - being in the same enclosed environment with, but more than 6 feet from, the relevant individual.

If the GWYOA is notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 among GWYOA orchestra members (including any youth member, conductor, board member, volunteer) or any household member of such persons, parents/guardians and adult participants will be notified of possible exposure and the local health officials will be notified immediately. Otherwise, all reporting of cases of COVID-19 in the GWYOA will be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law.

Quarantine/No Attendance

An orchestra member (youth, conductor, board member, volunteer) with a confirmed case of COVID-19, will not be permitted to attend GWYOA rehearsals/events for a minimum of 14 days or longer as directed by local health officials if s/he:

  • has tested positive for COVID-19,

  • is awaiting test results for suspected COVID-19,

  • lives in a household with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 (including any caregiver, whether or not “live-in”)

  • has had close or proximate contact (see definitions above) with any confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case;

  • is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, including but not limited to a fever of at least 100 degrees, cough, congestion or runny nose, muscle or body aches, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, fatigue, headache, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, sore throat, loss of taste or smell.

  • has traveled internationally or to a NYS Mandatory Quarantine Destination or who lives with such a traveler.

  • youth members may not attend rehearsal if their school is closed due to COVID exposure, and may only return to in-person rehearsals once their school reopens.


Immediately after the GWYOA becomes aware that an orchestra member is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 and that person was last at the GWYOA within the preceding seven days, the GWYOA will communicate with the rehearsal space landlord, so that all areas used by that person can be cleaned and disinfected, and doors and windows can be opened to increase air circulation in the area, to the extent practicable.

To minimize exposure for cleaners, the landlord may close the space to all use and wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting areas used by the person (for example, gymnasium, hall, bathrooms, common areas), and if not feasible, will wait as long as possible. The length of closure will depend on the time needed for this process and on any recommendation of the Westchester County Department of Health.

Household Member Exposures

If the GWYOA is notified that an orchestra member or rehearsal attendee has reason (other than a positive COVID-19 test) to suspect that a member his/her household(s) may have contracted COVID-19 or have come into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the GWYOA board will determine whether any of the foregoing steps are advisable, in consultation with the Westchester County Department of Health.

Section 7: Cleaning

Regular cleaning will be performed by a professional cleaning service using products registered for use in New York as effective against COVID-19.

The landlord of the GWYOA rental space will maintain a log of the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection in accordance with CDC, NYS Department of Health and any Westchester County Department of Health recommendations.

  • After each rehearsal/event, the space will be professionally cleaned and disinfected adhering to the cleaning and disinfection advice of the CDC, NYS Department of Health, and Westchester County Department of Health. The cleaning company will be required to complete a check-list upon each cleaning confirming the scope of its cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

  • A “deep” cleaning and disinfecting of all areas used by a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 (for example, gymnasium, bathrooms, common areas, shared items) will be conducted if that person was last in the facility within the preceding seven days. This deep cleaning and disinfecting will be performed in accordance with applicable CDC, NYS Department of Health and Westchester County Department of Health procedures.

Below are links to relevant governmental websites: