March 17, 2020:
MAC Closed; April 4 JSAC Cancellation

Dear NJSYO families,
The Middletown Arts Center has announced cancellations of all their programs, rehearsals and events through March 31. That includes all NJSYO rehearsals.
In accordance with the Governor’s order regarding limiting the size of gatherings to less than 50 people, the scheduled April 4 performances of the Wind Ensemble and the Chamber Ensemble at the Jersey Shore Arts Center have also been cancelled. 
As we navigate this unprecedented time, we are doing our best to keep everyone informed of any changes or updates. We welcome you to reach out to any Board member if you have questions or concerns. 
-The NJSYO Board of Trustees

March 11, 2020:
Cancellation of Rehearsals

The executive board has decided to cancel all rehearsals through March 23rd. The safety of our students, families, and volunteers is of utmost importance to the NJSYO. 
We learned that a student at RBR is presumably positive, and the school is going to virtual instruction beginning tomorrow. We feel that we must take this seriously. We have also decided to cancel the performance set for March 21st. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help with set up and clean up and hospitality. It is greatly appreciated.
We will reassess the situation on Monday March 23 and decide when it is safe to return to rehearsals.
The conductors will be reaching out to their groups via email with what music to rehearse while we are unable to hold rehearsals.
Gayle Topper, President

March 10, 2020:
Operations and Procedures for the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra
In Response to the COVID-19 Virus

Opening Statement

The NJSYO’s volunteer Board is monitoring current news regarding the spread of the COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus). The health, safety, and well-being of our students, conductors, coaches, and volunteers is our top priority. We intend to follow guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the New Jersey Department of Health, and county and local health departments as they pertain to these developments. Please see https://www.middletownnj.org/608/Coronavirus-Information for more information.

Operations

Although we do not currently plan to suspend rehearsals or cancel performances, if the Middletown Health Department orders suspensions or cancellations, we will follow their instructions. The Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is currently following their instructions regarding sanitation measures and resources within its facility for students and participants in all its programs. We will continue to work with the MAC as it strives to maintain a healthy environment.

If the Middletown School District orders a closure, the NJSYO will suspend rehearsals as well. Decisions by other neighboring school districts, venues, or government agencies at the municipal, district, county, or state level may also prompt the Board to suspend rehearsals or cancel performances. Finally, the Board may decide to suspend rehearsals or cancel performances independent of these considerations. These decisions will be made if the Board determines that suspension or cancellation is in the best interests of our students, employees, volunteers, and families.

Procedures

Please note that the NJSYO attendance policy is hereby suspended for all groups until further notice. We request that you notify the Conductor when your student will be absent.

If a rehearsal or concert has been canceled, you will be notified by email. Please make sure that the contact information for all parents and guardians is up to date.

·         If your child’s school district is closed, please notify the NJSYO and do not bring the child to attend rehearsals during the closure.

·         If your child is ill, or has been ill within the previous 24 hours, do not send your child to rehearsal. Students who are actively coughing for other reasons should also not attend rehearsal.

·         If your child is diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, notify the NJSYO immediately and do not have the child attend rehearsals for the length of time recommended by the CDC (14 days is currently recommended)

·         If your child or anyone within your immediate household travels to a country which is at CDC-Level 2 or higher, notify the NJSYO and do not let your child attend rehearsal for 14 days afterwards. A list of affected countries may be consulted at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel .

Please ensure that your child understands that the following rules must be followed.

·         Students are not permitted to share musical instruments or allow others to borrow them.

·         Brass musicians must bring a towel or pad and ensure that condensate is cleaned up properly and immediately.

·         Students are not permitted to share food or drink at rehearsals. Adults should also refrain from doing so.

·         Students, conductors, coaches and volunteers should wash hands before and after rehearsals. Bring and use personal hand sanitizer as needed.

·         Do not cough or sneeze without first covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve.

·         Limit physical contact with other people.