Your Health. Our Hospitality.

Updated March 12, 2022

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.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

All staff and volunteers at Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center are required to be fully vaccinated by October 1, 2021. Any staff or volunteers who receives a religious or medical exemption from vaccination will be required to submit a weekly negative COVID test to the HR department at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church.

Physical Distancing

While physical distancing in meeting rooms or the dining room is not required, we will work to accommodate guest groups who want to physical distance while on retreat. Requests should be made during the booking process. Options include the following: physical distancing (6’ space between tables and chairs) in meeting rooms; use of multiple meeting spaces (as available); reservation of outdoor meeting spaces; physical distancing through assigned seating in the dining room; outdoor dining (as weather permits); and, meal service in meeting rooms. Additionally, if some group members cannot attend in person, group leaders can request, during the booking process, a custom video conferencing setup. Additional fees may apply.

Masks

All unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks in indoor, public spaces. These guests may remove their masks indoors when they are eating, drinking, or in their meeting rooms and overnight rooms.  Vaccinated guests are not required to wear masks in public spaces but they are encouraged to do so whenever community spread of COVID is high. Staff and volunteers are not required to wear masks though anyone can choose to do so.

Use of Common Spaces and Amenities

Your group will have access to multiple common spaces and amenities inside and outside. We ask that you wear masks and practice physical distancing when encountering other guest groups in indoor common spaces such as the prayer/meditation room, chapel, lounges, and indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna. The indoor pool, whirlpool, and sauna should be reserved ahead of time during the booking process.

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 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. For our hiking trails map, go to https://mtolivetretreat.org/faqs/.
  • 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. Group leaders then will be responsible for informing all group members of potential exposure.

Vaccinated staff members who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 will follow these guidelines . . .

  • If you do not have symptoms, you do not have to quarantine but should wear a mask whenever you are with others for the next 10 days.
  • If you do not have symptoms, you must take a COVID test 5 days after exposure.
  • If symptoms appear, you will test immediately. If that test is negative, you still will take another test 5 days after exposure.

If a staff member contracts COVID, they will follow these guidelines . . .

  • Stay home and isolate for at least 7 days after developing symptoms or receiving your positive test (whichever came first), and plan to wear a mask when around others for an additional 5 days or until you test negative.
  • Do not return to work until you have a negative rapid antigen test.
  • You can begin testing seven days after onset of symptoms or testing positive, though it may take 10 days or more to receive a negative rapid antigen test.

Communication

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.

With gratitude,

Rev. Theresa F. Latini, Ph.D.
Executive Director