Updated May 28, 2021
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center exists to nurture the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of all people through creative and caring ministries, quiet reflections, and a reverence for life. For over 40 years, we have welcomed persons, families, churches, non-profit organizations and businesses to learn and grow together while enjoying our many amenities and beautiful grounds.
We are hosting guests for retreats, programs, and events, including but not limited to overnight and day retreats for groups; private retreats for individuals and families; family reunions and other celebrations; weddings, baptisms, and memorial services; and, outdoor recreational programs.
Contributing to the safety, health, and wellbeing of our guests has always been our most basic and highest value. We have established a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, and we have continued to modify our practices in light of MN Department of Health guidelines so that you can visit the retreat center with trust, ease, and peace. Please see below for the latest details.
Group Size and Physical Distancing
On May 28, 2021, the MN Governor’s office removed capacity limits and social distancing requirements, meaning that we are receiving groups based on availability of rooms and room size. Social distancing in meeting rooms or dining rooms is not required. At the same time, we recognize some groups may choose to limit their size, split themselves into multiple meeting rooms, or request room setups that include physical distancing. Retreat center staff will work closely with all groups during the booking process to meet their particular needs as space allows. Additionally, if some group members cannot attend in person, group leaders can request, during the booking process, a custom video conferencing setup.
Following the latest guidance from the CDC and MN State Department of Health, unvaccinated guests and staff are required to wear masks in indoor, public spaces. These guests may remove their masks indoors when they are eating, drinking, or in their own rooms in the overnight accommodations building. Vaccinated guests and staff are not required to wear masks though, of course, they may choose to do so for a variety of safety and health reasons.
Playing music is encouraged and retreat center pianos are available for use. Indoor group singing is allowed. Unvaccinated group members are required to wear masks while singing and participating in public musical performances indoors.
Safe and Healthy Dining
The retreat center offers nutritious meals prepared on-site and serves fruits and vegetables from our own seasonal gardens. Group leaders can schedule meals to be eaten indoors or outdoors, weather permitting.
The beverage bar is open for guests to access throughout the day. A wall-mounted hand sanitizer station can be found next to the beverage bar.
Use of Common Spaces and Amenities
Your group will have access to indoor and outdoor common spaces and amenities. Group members will have access to the main lounge and library lounge in the overnight accommodations building throughout their stay.
The indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna, and the patio fireplace, firepit, and chapel are open for guest usage at reserved times.
The game room is open for unscheduled usage by guests. Guests are asked to disinfect equipment (e.g., pool cues, paddles, foosball handles) after use.
Outdoor amenities, including hiking trails, Marsh Walk, labyrinth, gazebo, swings, picnic tables, and benches are open for unscheduled guest usage.
A number of outdoor yard games are also available, including Cornhole, an extra-large Connect Four, and Giant Jenga. Guests are welcome to bring their own outdoor and indoor games to be used in their meeting rooms, lounges, and overnight rooms. Prior to departure, group leaders will be asked to walk through all meeting rooms and sleeping rooms to ensure that no items are left behind.
Maintaining Proper Hygiene
Retreat Center staff will regularly wash their hands before and after cleaning, going from one building to another, interacting with staff and guests, and after touching their faces. Guests are asked to do the same.
The retreat center has public bathrooms in each building which should be used as handwashing stations. Portable hand-sanitizer stations are located in each building. In addition, wall-mounted hand-sanitizers are located in each dorm room, the dining room, the chapel lobby, and the kitchen. Tissues for proper cough/sneeze etiquette have been placed in all meeting rooms and lobbies along with no-touch trash and recycling bins.
Simplifying Common Spaces
We have removed a number of high-touch items in our buildings and we have moved a number of resources online for your ease and convenience. Please note the following:
- Site maps and other information about retreat center amenities now can be found online on our website.
- Gift shop items can be viewed online on our website in an electronic PDF file and purchased upon request.
- Guests who need computer access should bring their own laptops to the retreat center, and leaders should bring handouts and other printed materials with them.
Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Laundering
Retreat Center staff follow a documented sanitation schedule and check list for all restrooms, meeting rooms, kitchen, and dining room, and common areas.
Disinfectants used to clean the retreat center meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2. If a staff member or guest becomes ill with COVID-19, the retreat center will be disinfected immediately following CDC guidance.
Pillows, towels and bed linens are provided. Extra linens will be delivered to rooms upon request.
Ensuring Sick Guests and Workers Stay Home
Any guests or staff members with COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home. Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Group leaders are required to report to the Director of Guest Engagement if any group members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within two days of their stay at the retreat center. Group leaders will be responsible for informing all group members of potential exposure as a result.
If guests have been exposed to COVID-19 at the retreat center as a result of contact with staff or other guest groups, then the Director of Guest Engagement will inform the group leader via phone within one day of the retreat center receiving notification. Group leaders then will be responsible for informing all group members of potential exposure.
Unvaccinated staff members who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will not be permitted to return to work until their quarantine period is finished. Vaccinated staff members who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 can return to work as long as they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Group leaders will be informed of all protocols related to guests’ safety, health, and wellbeing prior to their arrival at Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center. They are responsible for sharing this information with all group members.
We look forward to welcoming you to Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center. In the meantime, please reach out to us with any questions about scheduling or planning an upcoming retreat.
Rev. Theresa F. Latini, Ph.D.