July 15, 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff:
 
Many members of the CIM staff returned to campus this week, reuniting in person (from a distance, wearing masks) after four months of working from home. While it is heartening to see you in person – and we look forward to seeing our faculty colleagues and students in the coming weeks – we are continuing to take this health crisis very seriously.
 
Today’s message focuses on planning for the possibility of another stay-at-home order. We are communicating as early and with as much transparency as possible so that you can make any necessary preparations. Our goal is not to cause additional anxiety, but rather to share the facts (as we know them) to help combat that anxiety.
 
Two weeks ago, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine introduced the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for COVID-19. This system evaluates the conditions in each county using seven metrics identified as “alert indicators” ( PDF ) and outlines the safety precautions that should be taken at each of four levels ( PDF ). Level 1 indicates less prevalence or spread, and Level 4 the highest. These indicators are evaluated weekly, and updates are shared on Thursday afternoons. Any county moved up a level will automatically be there for at least two weeks – counties can’t move down until there are at least two consecutive weeks where indicators trend down.
 
Cuyahoga County, where CIM is located, is one of 12 counties that are currently at Level 3, which includes a public health order requiring masks be worn outside the home, and recommends reducing contact with others and limiting unnecessary travel. For many, if not most of us, this is very similar to how we have been living since official stay-at-home orders have expired here and in most of the country.
 
At Level 4, residents will be required to stay at home (in this case, “at home” means your local residence – here in Cleveland, in the residence hall, etc.). If Cuyahoga County were to move to Level 4, the following steps would be implemented at CIM:
  • Non-essential staff and faculty would work and teach from home
  • Building hours and access would be reduced (to be determined and announced at the time)
  • Students would practice at home (with some exceptions for students who need access to school-owned instruments or who cannot practice at home for other reasons)
  • Practice rooms at 1609 Hazel would be limited to building residents
  • Unless otherwise prohibited, individual lessons would be permitted in person as long as both parties were symptom free and comfortable working together
  • Ensembles of nine or fewer members would be permitted to work together in the building
  • As well as any other measures that are necessary for the safety of the CIM community
 
These steps, and any other modifications, would be communicated as quickly as possible via CIM email and our RAVE emergency alert system .
 
If a Level 4 status is invoked and you are an international student concerned about staying “in status,” CIM will allow some limited accommodations. The Dean’s office will confirm that those adjustments preserve your status. ( July 14 news reports indicate that the SEVP rule requiring in-person classes has been rescinded; we hope to see an official update very soon.)
 
We also ask all members of the CIM community to follow the guidance from the health department to reduce the risk to themselves and to other community members. We must work together to keep the music playing this fall.
 
Paul W. Hogle, President | CEO
Judy Bundra, PhD, Chief Academic Officer & Dean