Health & Safety Policies

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September 21, 2021

The North Carolina Music Educators Association is pleased to present our Professional Development Conference as an in-person event on Saturday, November 6th through Tuesday, November 9th at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Ensuring the safety, health, and wellness of all involved in this conference is of significant importance to the NCMEA Board of Directors. Planning a conference that is respectful of multiple COVID-19 mitigation strategies yet enjoyable for all involved has been the center of our work for many months.

With this in mind, all registered attendees, exhibitors, presenters, clinicians, and participants (of more than 2 hours) will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of checking in to the conference. To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received a single-dose vaccination or the second dose of a two-dose vaccination no later than October 22. Guests, observers, and others must comply with the City of Winston-Salem and individual facility COVID-19 policies currently in place during the event. Visiting performing groups who are unable to follow the guidelines of the conference should remain within the designated areas as directed by their teacher/leader. Currently, the city of Winston-Salem requires that face masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn inside all buildings within the city limits.

The conference will include three and a half days of professional development sessions, performances, and networking that will inspire you and refresh your passion for music education. Make plans now to attend – and bring a friend!

Carol Earnhardt, President


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We can’t wait to welcome you to Winston-Salem in November! While some aspects of the conference may look and feel a little different than usual, we are more than ready to bring our community together to reconnect, learn, and support one another! We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and understanding as we work on planning an event in challenging times.

  • What are the health and safety policies for the 2021 NCMEA Professional Development Conference?

    All registered attendees, exhibitors, presenters, clinicians, and participants of more than 2 hours will be required to provide documentation of full vaccination status or a negative result from a COVID-19 diagnostic test taken within 48 hours of checking in to the conference.

    Additionally, the City of Winston-Salem requires that face masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn inside all buildings within the city limits, so masks must be worn at all conference events.

  • Why is NCMEA enacting this policy?

    We are working to ensure that we are operating in the safest way possible based on available evidence. NCMEA is committed to looking out for our community of educators and their students. We believe that doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 will enable us to return to regular music-making and live gatherings sooner than later.

  • Who will be required to provide documentation of full vaccination status or negative test results?

    All registered attendees, exhibitors, presenters, clinicians, participants of more than 2 hours, and conference staff and volunteers.

    Guests, observers, and others visiting for less than 2 hours must comply with the City of Winston-Salem and individual facility COVID-19 policies currently in place during the event.

    Visiting performing groups who are unable to follow the vaccination or testing guidelines of the conference will be asked to adhere to the mask requirement and remain within the designated areas as directed by their teacher/leader.

  • What types of documentation are accepted?

    Acceptable vaccination documentation may be the original vaccination card, a printed copy of the vaccination card, or a digital copy of such card.

    Acceptable test result documentation may be printed or digital and must include your name, the date of the test, the test type, and a Negative or Not Detected result.

  • What is “full vaccination?”

    To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received a single-dose vaccination or the second dose of a two-dose vaccination no later than October 22.

  • What kind of COVID-19 test is considered a diagnostic test?

    A molecular (also known as NAAT or PCR) test or an antigen (also known as rapid) test will be accepted. All test results must be dated and time-stamped.

  • Will at-home COVID-19 test results be accepted?

    At-home tests are not accepted.

  • How will you check vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test results?

    We will have clearly marked stations near conference registration where event staff will request to see your vaccination or test status. We will not keep or record your medical information. Once your status is verified, you will be issued a wristband that must be worn at all conference events, and then you can proceed to the registration area to pick up your conference credentials.

  • What if I lose my wristband?

    If you lose, misplace, or remove your wristband, you will have to go through the process outlined again to provide proper documentation and receive another wristband. Wristbands are non-transferable. Attendees must have a registration badge AND a wristband to enter any conference event.

  • Where can I get a COVID-19 test?

    You can use the NCDHHS Test Site Finder to help identify a location most convenient for you. Testing is free, easy, and fast at hundreds of locations throughout North Carolina.

  • Will I still have to wear a face cover?

    At this time, the City of Winston-Salem requires that face masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn inside all buildings within the city limits. Masks will be required during all conference activities.

  • What are your policies for exhibitors?

    All exhibit booth personnel will be required to provide documentation of full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result within 48 hours of checking in to the conference. The City of Winston-Salem requires that face masks that cover the nose and mouth be worn inside all buildings within the city limits, so masks must be worn at all conference events.

    For exhibitors displaying instruments: NCMEA strongly discourages play-testing of any instruments that are played with the mouth. We also encourage exhibitors to maintain safe distances and sanitize all instruments, devices, and products handled by attendees between uses.

  • What are the policies for performers who are singing or playing instruments at the conference?

    NCMEA strongly encourages all performing ensembles to follow the guidelines recommended by the International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study. Performing groups should check with their NCMEA Section Chair contacts for specific guidelines and information.

  • I am ineligible to be vaccinated or have made a choice not to be vaccinated; am I still able to attend the conference?

    Of course! Unvaccinated participants are asked to provide documentation of a negative result from a COVID-19 diagnostic test taken within 48 hours of arriving at the conference.

  • What else are you doing to ensure the safety of conference participants?

    In addition to tackling the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STARTM accreditation process, the Benton Convention Center has implemented a dynamic Trust & Preparedness Plan to keep all attendees and visitors safe. Click here for more information: https://visitwinstonsalem.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Benton-Safety-Guidelines.pdf

    We also recommend downloading the SlowCOVIDNC app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. Once you enable your Bluetooth and Exposure Notification settings, the app will notify you if you have been in close contact with someone who has shared a positive COVID-19 test result in the app. SlowCOVIDNC protects your identity and privacy while empowering you to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/slow-spread/slowcovidnc-app.

  • What if I prefer not to participate in the conference with these updated health protocols?

    Anyone who has already registered for the conference but prefers not to participate can email a written refund request to the Executive Director.