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NCCO & Morehouse College

In-Person Conference Policies for Health and Safety

The National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and Morehouse College are committed to creating a safe in-person conference environment for all attendees and the members of the Morehouse College and greater Atlanta communities. The following policies have been adopted to center the health and safety of you and your colleagues at the forefront of our work, as we prepare to gather in-person for our Ninth Biennial Conference (NCCO9) from January 20-22, 2022.

These policies have been adopted by NCCO in conjunction with administrators and health personnel from Morehouse College, and they are subject to change as the health and safety conditions of our environment and the pandemic evolve.

  • NCCO requires that all persons attending the NCCO9 conference be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means at least 14 days have passed since having received the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For international attendees, full vaccination is defined by the attendee’s country of origin.

  • NCCO will collect proof of vaccination at the time of conference registration. At the conclusion of the conference and before February 1, 2022, all health documentation submitted by attendees will be destroyed, and NCCO will not keep proof of vaccination documentation (including but not limited to photos of vaccine cards, etc.) on file after that date.

  • NCCO’s international guests must follow current CDC testing guidelines when traveling to the United States. Before arriving, you are currently required to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you are cleared to travel).

  • NCCO requires all attendees and staff to comply with all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety laws and directives, as well as any guidelines set forth by NCCO and Morehouse College, including with respect to face coverings and physical distancing. Specific guidelines for masking and physical distancing will be articulated in advance of the conference start on January 20, 2022.

  • NCCO requires masks to be worn over the mouth and nose while inside any building on the Morehouse College campus and in any other conference venues that may be utilized (performance venues, hotels, etc.), regardless of vaccination status, except as necessary when eating or drinking, or when giving a presentation.

  • Any NCCO attendees, conference organizers, or board members shall not attend the NCCO conference on any day when experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, or vomiting. Attendees with these symptoms should isolate and test by contacting a local healthcare provider.

  • Attendees may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons by submitting a letter and supporting documentation to NCCO via email at [email protected]. Review of exemption requests will take approximately ten business days with oversight by a panel to potentially include members of the NCCO Executive Board, Morehouse College health personnel, and anyone else as is necessary. Due to the needed processing time, exemption requests must be received no later than 5pm Eastern Time on Monday, January 3, 2022. Exemption requests will not be considered for on-site registrants. Those whose exemption requests are approved must provide proof of a negative PCR test or Rapid-Antigen test within 72 hours of conference check-in on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

    • Medical exemptions:

      1. May be granted if a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife (caring for a pregnant attendee) certifies in writing that such vaccination may be detrimental to the attendee’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated.
      2. Must include a statement indicating which vaccine may be detrimental, including a detailed explanation of the valid medical basis for such determination, and the length of time for which it may be detrimental.
      3. Should be based on the most recent guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
      4. Must be submitted separately for each vaccine from which they request a medical exemption.
      5. Will be granted on a temporary basis up to the point when the condition supporting an exemption is expected to resolve or expire.
      6. May include a request for the attendee to abide by additional, or alternative, safety measures to mitigate potential risk for others.
    • Religious exemptions:

      1. May be granted if an attendee certifies in writing that they hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to the practice of immunization.
      2. Must describe with specificity the religious principles that guide the objection to immunization.
      3. Will not be granted when opposition to the immunization is medical, scientific, political, philosophical, ethical, or otherwise secular rather than religious in nature.
      4. May require additional supporting documentation, to be determined.
      5. May include a request for the attendee to abide by additional, or alternative, safety measures to mitigate potential risk for others.
  • All attendees are required to attest their willingness to comply with these policies and sign a waiver of liability at the time of conference registration and prior to being granted access to the conference. Attendees in violation of these policies will be asked to leave the event with no refund issued.

*Note: These policies were initially crafted using the College Music Society’s conference guidelines as a model, and we express our kind gratitude to the CMS and its leadership. *

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