Retreat COVID-19 Protocols

Below are our COVID-19 protocols for formal residential retreats (For example: a silent, teacher-led retreat in a group setting over several days). If you are coming to Dhamma Dena for another reason (visitor, individual self-retreatant, individual work-retreatant, or long-term resident), see our General COVID Protocols.

Updated January, 2023

We offer these protocols in the spirit of valuing all life as sacred. We hope these guidelines can keep us all safe and well as we come together to practice and overcome this time of collective challenge together.


Symptoms of COVID-19 commonly appear 2-3 days before a positive test result. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please let us know and stay home until the symptoms are resolved. At this time, COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Fever (greater than 100.4º F or 38º C)

  • Chills or shaking

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Runny nose or sinus congestion

  • Diarrhea

  • Muscle pain or body aches

  • Headache

  • Unusual fatigue

  • Eye redness with or without discharge

  • Nausea or vomiting

Vaccination & Booster Mandate

We require all visitors and retreatants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster, and to show proof upon arrival.

Prior to Arrival at Dhamma Dena

  1. All retreatants are required to take a PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hrs (3 days) of arrival at Dhamma Dena and show proof of a negative result upon arrival. Most PCR test results take 1-3 business days to receive, so please schedule your test accordingly. If you are absolutely unable to find a PCR test where you live or cannot find one for free, there is an option to take a rapid test before you leave.

  2. Between your test and arrival at Dhamma Dena, please practice great care to remain uninfected. Wear a N95/KN95 mask when indoors or in crowded public spaces and practice 6-foot distancing. Please do not use a cloth mask.

  3. Please also bring two at-home rapid COVID-19 tests with you. (If you cannot afford a test kit, we will have tests available for you to use. You can order free tests delivered to your home here.)

  4. If you are sick or experiencing the symptoms of a COVID infection, please wait until your symptoms fully resolve and you are testing negative before coming to Dhamma Dena. We are happy to reschedule your stay after you are fully recovered.

Precautions While Traveling to Dhamma Dena

For the safety of the community, we ask that retreatants keep an N95/KN95 mask on in all indoor, public locations, while traveling to the center. If you are traveling by plane, please keep your mask on during the flight, including refraining from eating. To drink water on the flight, use a straw under your mask.

Arrival at Dhamma Dena

When you arrive at Dhamma Dena, you will be asked to self-administer a COVID-19 rapid test. We will have staff available to support you with how to take your test if needed. Teachers and staff will also participate in testing protocols.

When Indoors at Dhamma Dena During a Residential Retreat

Retreatants are additionally asked to wear an N95/KN95 mask when inside any of the common areas, including the Zendo, the Main House (kitchen & dining room), Samadhi House, Metta House and the Library.

  • Common areas will also be ventilated by cracking a window or door and having a functioning air purifier. 

  • Wearing a mask inside bedrooms is optional.

  • There will be outdoor tables available for eating meals, which retreatants are encouraged to use. Those who wish to eat inside are invited to practice 6-foot distancing.

  • There will also be the option to join the meditations outside the Zendo on the porch if wearing a mask during meditations is prohibitive for you.

  • Masking is not required outside.

In the Event of a COVID-19 Infection

  1. If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival, you will be unable to remain at Dhamma Dena for the retreat. For those of you who would need to be picked up or make travel arrangements, we can accommodate your brief stay in quarantine accommodations separate from the active retreat container while you make plans to depart. Please consider this in advance so you can plan what you would do.

  2. If anyone tests positive for COVID-19 while on retreat, they will need to move to quarantine accommodations and to make arrangements to leave Dhamma Dena - if at all possible, that very same day, or at the latest the next day. We're very sorry that we do not have the capacity to quarantine here at Dhamma Dena. The teachers and other retreat participants would be informed that there was a positive test result. We would not cancel the retreat for the remaining participants but (depending on timing) would implement a fresh round of rapid tests.