COVID-19 Safety Protocols at IMS
After a long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IMS will reopen for on-campus retreats in the Fall. The Retreat Center will open in October, and the Forest Refuge will open in November.
During closure IMS consulted with epidemiologists as well as food and building safety experts to develop and implement new safety guidelines for our residential retreat spaces. These experts will continue to advise as we move through the year ahead.
Here’s what we’re doing for your safety and ease:
- Operating in full compliance with CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines.
- Limiting capacity in meditation spaces and dining rooms.*
- Face coverings are required for all staff and guests, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition or disability.
- Upgraded HVAC systems increase airflow and filtration as recommended by professionals in COVID safety.
- Redesigning the Shanti House bathrooms to support greater privacy and limit shared air flow between yogis.
- Increased safety measures for food service, including expanded outdoor and in-room dining options, more space between individuals in the dining hall, and the ability to serve lunch at the Retreat Center in staggered shifts.
- Installation of plexiglass dividers to enhance social distancing.
- Suspension of some yogi jobs—particularly bathroom cleaning and kitchen work—to reduce safety concerns. Other opportunities for mindful service will be offered.
- All accommodations remain single occupancy.
- Hand sanitizing stations are located in locations across campus.
- Frequent deep cleaning and sanitizing across all campus.
- Payment in full for retreats is required one week prior to arrival to reduce check-in time.
Here is what you’ll need to do:
- Review the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Advisory page for any travel advisories https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-advisory
- Provide proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to arrival.
- Bring and plan to wear face masks at IMS, except when in the actual act of eating and drinking.
- Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible.
- Sanitize hands before entering the dining and meditation halls.
- Follow all COVID safety guidance and signage throughout campus.
* As of March 2021, gatherings at event venues in public settings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are limited to 100 people indoors. At the IMS Retreat Center, we have elected to further reduce our capacity by 25%; each retreat in 2021 will be limited to 72 people. Retreats at the Forest Refuge may fill to 30 people.
Information will be updated as state and federal guidelines evolve.
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IMS remains committed to offering spiritual refuge for all who seek freedom. We will continue to offer transformative online retreats and other community events that connect and heal. Throughout this period, we will work diligently to find new ways to support you in your work and practice. And even as we offer help to all who suffer, we too may need help.
For now, we rest in gratitude for our community. May all find health and healing in the weeks and months to come, and comfort in the strength and resilience of our sangha.