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NCBA COVID-19 Protocols
and Exposure Response Plan

The National Concert Band of America’s Board of Directors, in our sincere desire to hold safe in-person rehearsals and performances of the National Concert Band of America (NCBA), is implementing new COVID-19 protocols for our 2021-2022 season.  The goal of these protocols is to reduce our members and audience levels of COVID-19 risk due to NCBA activities.  After researching current best practices for COVID-19 mitigation in instrumental music making, and in agreement with public health guidance and mandatory orders, we announce the following protocols for the band.



  • All participants in NCBA activities in the 2021-2022 season must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present their vaccination card to the NCBA Board President upon arrival at the first rehearsal attended;

  • No person who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 may participate in band activities. All participants must complete the NCBA Health Screening Questionnaire at home before attending any NCBA activity. The health screening questionnaire will be completed on an honor basis and will not be required to be submitted;

  • Any person who has been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case may not participate in band activities for a period of 14 days from the last exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case;

  • No person who has tested positive for COVID-19 may participate in band activities until 10 days have passed since the first day of symptoms (or test date if asymptomatic), he/she has had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

  • Participants should bring hand sanitizer to each rehearsal and performance. Please use hand sanitizer when you enter the rehearsal space and upon return following breaks;

  • No sharing of equipment or supplies (except with members from the same household); 

  • Mask use is mandatory at our rehearsals but masks may be removed while playing woodwind and brass instruments. Participants can also utilize specialized instrument face masks with a slit for the mouthpiece for indoor rehearsals, concerts, or other performances (FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Document);

  • Participants must maintain a minimum of 3 feet of space around themselves to the greatest extent possible (FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Document);

  • Water keys (spit valves) should not be emptied on the floor but into an absorbent material that can be discarded (FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Document);

  • Bell covers should be attached to woodwind and brass instruments (FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Document);

  • Participants must sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure (FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Document);

  • Participants will vacate the rehearsal space after 50 minutes of rehearsal to allow the air to freshen within the room. Rehearsal will resume after 20 minutes;

  • To the extent possible, entrance doors of the rehearsal venue will be opened for more ventilation and air circulation;

  • Audience members must wear a mask and maintain physical distancing except within family groups.


The protocols will continue to adapt to accommodate:

  • Changes to the number of COVID-19 infections in the region and/or the rate of increase of infections;

  • Changes to public health guidance or mandates issued by relevant governmental entities regarding COVID-19;

  • Presence of COVID-19 exposure within the band;

  • Changes to risk tolerance of members and/or board members;

  • New information on best practices for COVID-19 mitigation in instrumental music making; 

  • Changes to Fairfax County Public Schools guidance or mandates regarding COVID-19.



  • Any participant who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 must notify the NCBA Board President ( and his/her local health department. The NCBA Board President will notify the band via email of a possible anonymous exposure and contact the local health department. Depending on timing, we might cancel the next rehearsal.  If so, we will resume rehearsals once exposed members have had time to get tested and provide written confirmation that they have negative results;

  • Any participant who is unknowingly exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and attends rehearsal must notify the NCBA Board President ( as soon as the exposure is known. The NCBA Board President will notify the band via email of an anonymous exposure and recommend testing. The participant must provide written confirmation of a negative test result or wait 14 days without displaying COVID-19 symptoms before returning to rehearsals.

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