According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by rigorously cleaning and sanitizing is one of the most important parts of reopening public spaces. CIM has stepped up its already stringent cleaning protocols so students and their families and our faculty and staff can have peace of mind. 

Below you will find the protocols and safety measures currently in place, with more to come. All measures are performed in accordance with mandates and guidance from federal and local authorities. CIM will continue to monitor these sources and consult others. If the guidance on best practices changes, CIM will adjust accordingly, and some of these practices may or may not be in effect by the time campus fully reopens for the semester.  

Many safety protocols in place are made possible by the Elliott & Gail Schlang Health & Well-Being Initiative, which is addressing CIM’s ongoing needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the extraordinary circumstances of this time.  

Building access

  • Building access is limited to keycard holders (students, faculty and staff), preparatory students (who may be accompanied by one adult) and essential vendors. No guests are permitted. 
  • All community members and visitors must complete the Daily Symptoms Check prior to entering the building each day. Temperature screening and access card scanning are also required at the security desk.
  • Floor decals marking appropriate distancing are being placed in areas where lines form. 
  • Specific traffic patterns have been established and marked at points of entry.

Facial Coverings (masks)

  • Masks are mandatory for everyone while inside the building. Staff may remove them while alone in a private office. The term “masks” means fabric masks, surgical masks or N95 masks (no bandanas) worn securely over the nose and mouth.
  • Specific exceptions are made for wind players and singers while they are practicing in a closed room, taking lessons and actively participating in ensemble and opera rehearsals.  

Protective Shields 

  • Beginning May 5, 2020, CIM installed protective, table-top shields for offices and public desks around the building. 
  • Rolling shields have also been placed in studios and classrooms.
  • Learn more about the custom fabrication of these shields.

ClassRooms, studios, concert halls and common spaces

  • As of January 2021, CIM has a total of eight pairs of rooms that have been outfitted with zero-latency technology (screens, cameras, microphones and speakers) to allow a single student who is unable to wear a mask to be in one room with a faculty member and/or collaborative pianist in another – and play together with no delay.
  • Spaces have been measured and evaluated for maximum occupancy. Limits will be clearly posted, and, as practical, floors will be marked to indicate appropriate distancing. 
  • Larger spaces will be used for activities where face masks are not possible.
  • Ventilation breaks in all spaces are scheduled and observed.

cleaning and Disinfection

  • On May 22 and again on November 25, 2020, CIM’s facilities were treated with a proactive disinfectant that prevents the spread of 99.99% of germs and viruses on treated surfaces for up to six months. CIM hired JAN-PRO to apply the EnviroShield system, which offers medical-grade disinfection. Learn more about this process. This treatment will be repeated on the recommended schedule, and, if necessary, will also be used reactively in the case of a positive diagnosis within the CIM community. 
  • CIM performed the city of Cleveland’s recommended water system flush on May 24, 2020 to maintain and improve water quality. CIM continues to regularly check its facilities for supply and plumbing purposes.
  • Beginning July 27, 2020 additional daytime cleaning will begin, focused on high-touch areas such as restrooms, door handles, railings, kitchens and common areas. Regular nighttime cleaning continues as usual. 
  • During the Fall semester, CIM acquired an electrostatic fogger to spot treat smaller areas as needed.
  • Disposable, healthcare-grade hydrogen peroxide wipes are available at every piano (these wipes are safe for keyboards). 
  • Several new permanent hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the building, and extra surface disinfectant and hand sanitizer continue to be available. 


  • CIM has industry-standard HVAC filtration and ventilation systems. The air in all spaces is replaced between 10 and 13 times per hour, and all air in the building is replaced twice in every 24-hour period.
  • During the week of May 18 and the first two weeks of December 2020, CIM changed its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 15 primary HVAC system filters throughout the building—these are the same filters used in hospital settings—as well as its MERV 8 and 10 pre-filters. This protocol has always been in place at CIM. MERV is used to determine how well an air filter can catch potentially harmful particles in the air.