The latest information about COVID-19 protocols at Manhattan School of Music
MSM Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
MSM Students, Faculty & Staff | Effective August 15, 2022
Individuals claiming religious or medical exemption from the Policy should make a request as outlined below. All exemption requests should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 10, 2022.
To claim a religious exemption, individuals must submit a statement affirming a sincerely held religious belief that precludes being vaccinated. The statement should explain the religious principle(s) that guide the objection to immunization. A letter from the claimant’s clergy or religious leader stating the religion’s belief concerning the COVID-19 vaccine may be required. If required, this letter must be on the clergy or religious leader’s letterhead.
Personal and/or philosophical objections to vaccinations that are not tied to a sincerely held religious belief are not considered sufficient justification for granting an exemption.
To claim a medical exemption, individuals must submit documentation of a medical condition that is a contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine and, if applicable, the expected duration of the qualifying medical condition. The document must be signed by a qualified medical provider. The School reserves the right to contact the medical provider for purposes of authentication or clarification, as may be needed. Any medical information obtained in connection with a request for medical exemption will be maintained as confidential.
All claims for medical exemption will be reviewed carefully, and the School will engage in a good-faith, interactive dialogue with the claimant in order to fully understand the claimant’s specific circumstance. The School will then conduct an individualized assessment of the exemption request, determining the legitimacy of the claim, and if the claim is accepted, determining the feasibility of implementing a reasonable accommodation that will also allow for risk mitigation.
If an exemption is granted to enable an unvaccinated person to be present on campus, the unvaccinated person will be subject to adhering to federal, state, and institutional guidance for unvaccinated individuals. These requirements at MSM currently include submitting to weekly PCR testing. The unvaccinated person may also be required to observe additional safety precautions that are considered in the medical and scientific community to reflect best practices.
Exemptions granted under this section may be revisited at intervals to determine whether exemptions remain warranted. Individuals entering campus pursuant to a medical exemption may be asked to submit updated documentation for periodic reevaluation and confirmation of medically exempt status.
Dear MSM Community,
On Tuesday, June 21, the NYC Department of Health adjusted the COVID-19 alert level from “high” to “medium”. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the number of positive cases in our immediate neighborhood of Morningside Heights is even lower than the NYC average.
As a result of these factors, and because MSM remains a vaccine-required campus, we are shifting our mask policy to “masks optional,” effective immediately. Some community members may still feel most comfortable while wearing a mask or live with a family member who is at elevated risk; as always, please respect the choices your colleagues make to protect their health and the health of their families.
While MSM is making this change concurrently with the adjustment to NYC’s COVID-19 alert level, the Pandemic Response Team will continue to consider a wide range of factors when evaluating strategies to provide the safe educational and creative environment. We are committed to staying up to date with the protocols of our neighboring institutions as well as the overall trends at venues throughout the NYC area to craft policies that are sensible and achievable.
Finally, please remember that you must email email@example.com if you test positive. It is critical to MSM’s pandemic response that we have an accurate understanding of the cases that occur within our own community, and we thank you for your continued help with reporting and monitoring all positive cases.
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