Return to Marching Band (COVID-19)

Prelude & Implementation


We are providing this as a blueprint to get our season started, since no rehearsals can start on a school campus until the health plan is approved by the school’s governing board. This plan does not cover travel, football games, or showcases. There are still too many unknowns at this point in time to be able to arrive at a consensus on those events, but I do hope that the picture will become clearer later in the summer. 

This document is meant to serve as a starting point for LCHS to be able to start their marching band program in a similar manner to how the school will be restarting its athletic programs. 


  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Guidelines
  • Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Guidelines 
  • American Bandmasters Association COVID-19 Student Safety and Music Program 
  • Continuation Ideas for Consideration
  • National Federation of State High School Associations Guidelines 

Ensemble Protocols & Logistics 

  • Paul Murr, band director, is named as the primary point of contact for the marching band program for all questions related to COVID-19.
  • Prior to the first in-person rehearsal, every member must read this document. This document will address symptoms, sanitation/handwashing procedures, instrument cleaning procedures, and what to do if you’re experiencing any symptoms.
  •  At the beginning of every event scheduled, including small group sectionals, full rehearsals, and performances with the organization, a health screening will take place for all students, staff, and necessary volunteers.
    • This screening will include a temperature check and answers to screening questions as outlined in the NFHS guidelines.
    • Responses to screening questions will be recorded and stored in accordance to HIPAA guidelines and to assist health officials with contact tracing if necessary. An example tracking form is included.
    • Any person with symptoms will not be allowed to take part in rehearsal and should contact a primary-care provider.
    • Vulnerable individuals (as defined by the CDC) should not oversee or participate in any rehearsals that take place during the yellow phase. These individuals must practice physical distancing and limited social interactions during the green phase.
  • Depending on the school’s protocols, this can be performed either by a school personnel member or a parent volunteer, provided all school guidelines in regards to confidentiality are followed. This should not be performed by students. 
  • All staff members and any volunteers must wear face coverings at all times, unless doing so jeopardizes their health.
    • Students are strongly encouraged to wear masks at any point when they are not active in the rehearsal and/or performance process.
    • During both the yellow and green phases, no meals should be served for groups on campus, either by staff or parent volunteers. Mealtimes during rehearsals should be organized so that students can stay outside and within small groups (sections) whenever possible.
    • Any “full ensemble” meetings that deal with logistics should be held in a virtual environment during the yellow phase. 
    • An onhand supply of disinfectants will be on hand and readily available. Ideally, this is provided by LCHS.
    • LCHS Band will delay uniform sizing and distribution until we are in the green phase AND as close to the end of the summer/beginning of the school year as possible.
  • Mr. Murr will consider any performances in late August through late September to be done in a “relaxed” uniform. 

COVID-19 Symptoms, Testing and Management 

Students/Staff who appear to have symptoms or who become sick during the day will be immediately separated from other students/staff and instructed to return home. If a student/staff displays symptoms, the band director or athletic trainer will contact a parent/guardian. A symptomatic student/staff member will be managed as a presumptive COVID-19 positive and all precautions will remain in place until testing confirmation is received. Students/staff who are presumed or confirmed COVID-19 positive cannot report to campus until cleared to do so by a physician by meeting the criteria below: 

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), AND b. Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 test, OR c. The student is symptom-free for 72 hours without the use of Medication, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. 

Positive Test Confirmed When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

  • Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs seek emergency medical care immediately.
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 they are to self-isolate until 10 days from onset of symptoms AND 72 hours of being symptom-free without medications.
    • If a student has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has a family member that lives with them that has tested positive for COVID-19;
      • The student must inform Mr. Murr immediately and quarantine for 14 days. Mr. Murr will notify students who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and provide guidance. Fellow students may be sent home to self-quarantine for at least 14 days or until a confirmed negative test result is received. b. Other suggestions for recovery:
        • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care.
        • Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.
        • Do not visit public areas.
        • Take care of yourself.
        • Get rest and stay hydrated.
        • Stay in touch with your doctor.
        • Call before you get medical care.
        • Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. 

Rehearsal Considerations 

  • Rehearsals held for a group during the yellow and green phases must be limited to the 25 participants (yellow) / 250 participants (green) restrictions. Minimal staffing should be used during the yellow phase to maximize the amount of students that can attend a rehearsal. 
  • During the yellow phase, parent volunteers should not be present on campus unless involved in the direct pickup/dropoff of students. Parents should remain in vehicles during this process. 
    • A marching group could be split into multiple groups of 25 or fewer participants (sectionals) provided that the groups are kept separate for the duration of the rehearsal from drop off to pick up. This includes the separation of all staff, section leaders, and directors.
    • No rehearsals can be considered “mandatory for participation” for any groups that are rehearsing in the yellow or green phases.
    • Rehearsals will be held 100% outside during the yellow phase, and strongly recommended to be held 100% outside during the green phase. This may require last-minute cancellations of rehearsals by ensembles due to weather conditions.
    • The marching band could utilize an "inside” rehearsal plan in the event of inclement weather during a rehearsal in the green phase. This should utilize as many large spaces, overhangs, and other suitable areas as possible.
  • Individual school classrooms (beyond the music area) are not recommended for this purpose as to minimize the re-cleaning for school personnel.
  • A drop-off/pick-up plan is established. This addresses individual sections, estimated time windows, and locations for parents and students and includes multiple points of dropoff and pickup to minimize individual contact.
  • Students and staff that drive to rehearsals should park every other space in parking lots when able to.
  • Students will be dropped off and enter through the band room and exit through the cafeteria. Plan to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to rehearsal.
  • Students must transport their individual instruments to/from every rehearsal. For students that play large instruments (drums, mallet percussion, tubas), We will have the trailer parked at the parking lot and will house all equipment outside of the school building
  • If students must enter a building to retrieve equipment or use the bathroom, doors will be propped open for the duration of the retrieval window.
  • Depending on the outdoor rehearsal facility, students should keep all of their belongings in one 6’ x 6’ contained space. This could be designated by a painted area or specific yard line on a field if applicable.
  • All participants must bring their own water bottles and drinks to all activities. 
    • In the yellow phase, water bottles should be large enough to accommodate the amount of water needed for the entire rehearsal.
    • In the green phase, water refilling stations may be utilized but must be sanitized after every rehearsal.
  • Whenever possible, warmup activities (be it musical or visual) should be done with a minimum of a 3-step distance between performers (6 feet).
  • Activities specifically related to breathing development are not recommended for groups rehearsing in the yellow or green phases at this point in time. NO BREATHING GYM.
  • Physical training activities should be performed with a minimum of a 6-step distance between performers (12 feet).
  • Staff instruction of all students should be done from a distance of 6-feet. If there is a need to move closer to correct a student’s playing position, embouchure, posture, etc., they should do so as quickly as possible and move back away. 

Recommended Sanitization Procedures for Instruments & Equipment 

  • Adequate cleaning schedules have been created and implemented for all facilities used to mitigate any communicable diseases.
    • Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized (chairs, furniture, storage rooms, instrumental equipment, bathrooms, etc.).
    • Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in rehearsals.
    • Hand sanitizers should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
    • Shared musical equipment should be wiped down thoroughly before and after an individual’s use. This includes any time equipment is transported from one location to another.
    • Students must be encouraged to shower and wash their rehearsal clothing immediately upon returning to home. 

Rehearsal Dates/Drop - Off Times 

Wednesdays - JULY 8, 15, 22, 29 

Drop off Time Rehearsal Time Group 

  • 11:45 12:00 - 1:30 Woodwinds 
  • 1:45 2:00 - 3:30 Brass/Front Ensemble 
  • 3:45 4:00 - 5:30 DrumLine/Colorguard 

Reminder to parents who are dropping off. Please stay in your vehicles. If you have questions please email or call. Students, remember to park every other space in the lot.