Statement Regarding COVID-19 (March 12, 2020)
We are reaching out as the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation causes disruption to people’s health and well-being, as well as to their sense of security and grounding.
We at Woolman Hill are taking the situation seriously and are taking pro-active steps to minimize spread of the virus. In addition to doing our own extensive research, we have been in close consultation with staff, the Board of Directors clerk, local and regional health officials, other retreat centers in this region and other Quaker centers in the United States.
We are also mindful that because of how rapidly the situation is evolving, it can lead to a strong temptation to panic. There is an overwhelming and often confusing array of information (and sometimes mis-information). We see this as an opportunity to act out of love, rather than fear; to remember the strength of our connection to the Spirit, to one another, and to our wider communities. We invite you to join us in that effort.
Below is an update on how Woolman Hill is currently responding, suggestions for what you can do, and links to additional resources.
What Woolman Hill is doing:
- considering and implementing best responses and practical steps, holding it in care, staying grounded in Spirit
- increased cleaning and sanitization of commonly touched surfaces like door handles, light switches, kitchen and bathroom fixtures, banisters, dining room tables, etc.
- replacing cloth towels with paper in public bathrooms, replacing cloth napkins with paper
- strongly encouraging hand washing, providing hand sanitizer when supplies are available
- observing social distancing, minimizing physical contact
- using posted signs and verbal announcements to inform and remind guests about appropriate hygiene and procedures
- asking all staff and guests to stay home if sick, at high risk, or with recent possible exposure
- making arrangements to lovingly isolate anyone who shows signs of sickness on site
- putting in place procedures (including modified financial policies) for event and retreat cancellations or postponements related to COVID-19
- continuing to monitor the situation and remain in contact with local health officials
What you can do:
- stay home if you are showing any signs of sickness, are at higher risk, are coming from or have recently been in or had close contact with anyone in any area experiencing widespread or ongoing community spread
- be diligent about practicing good hygiene, including washing hands often, avoiding touching your face, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and minimizing contact
- educate yourself about best practices for protecting yourself and for minimizing spread of the virus (see resources below)
- maintain good practices for your own health, including plenty of rest, nutritious food, plenty of liquids, regular exercise, engagement in spiritual practices and stress management
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
If you have questions about Woolman Hill’s response to COVID-19 or about specific events planned at Woolman Hill, you are welcome to contact our office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-774-3431) and we will do our best to respond promptly.
We will continue to monitor the situation in terms of Woolman Hill’s operations and will update you all as needed.
Whatever transpires, we know that there will be significant health and economic impacts on many individuals, communities, organizations and businesses around the world – because of the spread of the virus, and because of the associated stress (including on government and health care officials and workers, and on those with extremely limited resources).
Let us hold everyone in the Light as the situation continues to unfold. Let us take this opportunity to express care and love, and consider ways to support individuals and communities dear to us. May we stay grounded in a strong sense of connectedness, and a deep awareness of the Spirit underneath and around us all.