Quick Facts:

  • All TMA Students are highly encouraged to be vaccinated
  • Masks are to be worn in all classrooms, labs, and buildings regardless of vaccination status
  • Student are expected to attend class in person.  Zoom classes are only provided in the case of COVID quarantine
  • Students who refuse to wear a mask in class will not be allowed to attend class and will be reported the Dean of Students
  • Some exceptions for masks have been made for acting and makeup (read below for specifics)
  • All students involved in BYU Theatre Productions, TMA 436, TMA 536 projects, Mask Club Production, Advanced Film Projects (Fiction and Non-fiction), Emerging Media Projects, and other Non-Fiction Projects are required to be vaccinated to participate

University COVID Policy: 

BYU strongly urges students, employees and campus guests to follow recent counsel from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get vaccinated and wear masks in public meetings with limited distancing. 

To begin the fall semester, Brigham Young University will require masks in classrooms, in any indoor space when physical distancing isn’t maintained, and in other areas when directed.  

Additional University Guidelines (from Vice President Shane Reese 08/27/21): 

  • All students must wear masks when attending in-person classes regardless of vaccination status. Because classrooms will operate at normal capacity, students will be unable to maintain physical distance in a way that is consistent and enforceable. Therefore, even vaccinated students must wear masks.   
  • Instructors must wear masks upon entering the classroom, during any pre-class conversations with students, and upon completion of their lesson. They should replace the mask when visiting with students as they exit the classroom. 
  • Only those instructors who have been fully vaccinated may remove masks when they are teaching and while maintaining physical distance (6 feet) from students. Not all classrooms permit physical distancing between the teacher and the students; in those cases, even fully vaccinated instructors must always wear a mask.  
  • Teaching assistants must follow the same mask protocols as other students. If TAs are assigned to instruct the class directly, are fully vaccinated and maintain physical distance, they may remove the mask while in the act of teaching. 
  • Supervision in laboratories and similar settings will generally require faculty and teaching assistants to wear masks since the nature of such supervision typically does not allow for physical distancing.  

University Guidelines for an in-person semester: 

It is the expectation of the university that all classes will be held live and in-person.  Enrolled students should be in the classroom each period.  If a student has a non-COVID health concern or plans to miss class for any other reason, arrangements should be made to make up that work in ways that do not require the professor to provide a Zoom class.  (For COVID breakout management see below.) 

 The university has asked faculty to keep regular office hours.  TMA faculty will be available two hours each week.  At least one of these hours will be on campus.  We encourage all students to meet with their instructors for mentorship, curriculum help, important conversations, and more!  

Some students can’t mask.  They need to get an accessibility waiver: 

“An individual with a medical condition, mental health condition, or intellectual or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face mask. Qualifying conditions may include extreme claustrophobia, difficulty breathing, or deaf or hard of hearing. Students are required to provide documentation of the condition to the University Accessibility Center.”  

For students who refuse to mask: 

“All students must wear masks when attending in-person classes regardless of vaccination status. . . Students who refuse to wear masks when asked to do so should be referred to the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@byu.edu).” 

  1. Teachers will have some extra medical masks for class for the first week, in case a student forgets a mask.  (After the first week, we expect students to remember their masks.) 
  2. If a student come to class unmasked, they will be asked to mask. 
  3. If a student refuses to mask, they will be asked to please leave the class. 
  4. If a student refuses to mask and refuses to leave class, class will be dismissed and the student will be reported to the Dean of Students for the disruption.   

In Theatre and Media Arts: 

  1. We will follow the university policy on masking.  There are some exceptions for curricular imperatives. 
    • Acting classes will mask during exercises.  Instructors will decide if students area allowed to remove masks for in-class performances that will be assessed for grades only.  However, even if removing a mask for graded performances is an option, students who would prefer to stay masked may make that request for themselves and their acting partner with no penalties.   
    • Lower-level directing classes will require actors to mask in rehearsals and in performances as the work being assessed is not the actors and their skills, but the directors and their skills.  
    • Upper-level directing classes (TMA 426 and TMA 536) will require actors to mask in rehearsals.  Masks may be removed in limited rehearsals for run throughs of entire acts or the entire performance.  Performances can be unmasked.   
    • Makeup classes will wear masks except when faces will need to be revealed for the purposes of putting on makeup.
  2. TMA will provide air purifying systems in classrooms where there is significant aerosol spread or students must be very close to each other without masks for curricular reasons.  

Additional Safety Measures for Production (approved by Dean Adams, Vice Presidents Keith Vorkink and Shane Reese.  08/23/21) 

We have received permission to require vaccinations for elective activities in the department where social distancing is not possible and aerosol spray is more likely.  We identified these activities as being ALL PRODUCTION IN THE DEPARTMENT: 

    • BYU Theatre Productions, including Opera 
    • TMA 436
    • TMA 536 Projects
    • Mask Club Productions 
    • Emerging Media Projects 
    • Advanced Film Projects—Fiction and Non-Fiction 
    • Other Non-Fiction film projects 
  1. All students involved on the projects (cast and crew) must be vaccinated. 
    1. Production Manager or program administrators will contact the students involved with ongoing projects immediately to assess vaccination status.   
    2. Students who are not yet vaccinated, but have already been assigned to a production role will be contacted individually and asked to vaccinate as part of the prerequisites for involvement in the production. 
    3. Vaccination status will be checked by showing a completed vaccination card to the production Health and Safety/COVID Compliance Officer.   
    4. Production that is still gathering crews and auditioning casts will advertise that vaccination is a prerequisite of participation.  Vaccination cards will need to be shown at auditions or on signing agreement contracts for AFPs. 
    5. Students cannot work on any production unless they have their first shot.  They will not be able to continue with the production unless they get their second shot in the CDC recommended time (3-4 weeks).    
    6. Students who are not willing to be vaccinated will be replaced. 
  2. Cast and crews will also mask during all pre-production and rehearsal work that occurs indoors.  They will mask in production whenever offstage or offset. 
  3. Cast and crew are not required to mask in the following, limited, cases: 
    • Actors may remove masks in limited rehearsals for run throughs of entire acts or the entire performance.   
    • Actors will not mask during performances either live on stage in front of an audience, or on set in front of the camera.  
    • Crews working on an outdoor set may remove masks when socially distanced (at least 6 feet away from others.)  
  4. Each production will have a Health and Safety Officer (HSO)/ COVID Compliance Officer (CCO) who will follow professional standards of conduct for a safe working environment.  Measures enacted by the HSO/CCO may include, but are not limited to: 
      • Checking vaccination cards at the start of production. 
      • Daily temperature checks 
      • Wiping down surfaces 
      • Calling for 15-minute breaks for air purification 
      • Reminding participants to wear masks over mouth and nose 
      • Encouraging social distancing 
      • Contact tracing 

In the Case of Breakouts  

The university has not yet given direction on how we will handle breakouts of COVID in our classrooms or on our production sets.  The following text in italics, are the CDC recommendations, which we will follow until we hear differently from the university. 

I’VE BEEN AROUND SOMEONE WHO TESTED POSITIVE. 

Anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) should stay home for 14 daysafter their last exposure to that person. 

However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home. 

Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. Or 

  • Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and 
  • Has recovered and 
  • Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath) 

I THINK OR KNOW I HAD COVID-19, AND I HAD SYMPTOMS 

You can be around others after: 

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and 
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and 
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*
    *Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation 

I TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 BUT HAD NO SYMPTOMS 

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19. 

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.” (see above) 

If you test Positive for COVID 

  1. If you test positive for COVID, you must:  
    1. Fill out the university report here:  https://www.byu.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-screening (button says COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form) 
    2. Notify your professor and the HSO/CCO for your production. 
    3. Follow the CDC recommendations for quarantine. 
  2. Students that are required to quarantine will be provided access to the class via Zoom.  You will need to work with your professor if you need an adjustment of deadlines depending on the severity of your symptoms.   
  3. A student’s status will be quickly assessed to determine if the CDC recommended quarantine time will allow the student to miss production work and return in time for performance/shoot days.  If not, the student will be immediately replaced. 
  4. If more students than can be replaced test positive, or if students test positive too close to performances/shoot days to be replaced, production may be cancelled. 

How to make sure this is a safe and healthy semester where we are able to have face-to-face classes, live performance, and film shoots:  

VACCINATE!!!!