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2024 Writers Retreat – COVID-19 Policy

We are excited to welcome our community back to The Retreat for another year of in-person community building and care. We have a strict policy that works within state and federal guidelines to prioritize protection against Covid-19 for our Retreat Attendees and communities at large.

In the time leading up to The Retreat, we will monitor the progression of the virus and look at infection rates, health care system capacity, variants, and state and local regulations. If any changes, spikes, or other information deems necessary to switch to a Virtual Retreat, we will make the call to do so.

Considering the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDPH), and Chestnut Hill’s Covid-19 Policy, we will put in place a number of safety measures. Before the start of the Retreat, we will require proof of a negative Covid-19 test to be sent in to Lambda staff. If the test is a PCR, it can be taken within 3 days (72 hrs) of the start of the Retreat. If the test is an at-home rapid test, it must be taken within one day (24 hours) of the start of the Retreat. Those who do not have a negative test will not be admitted to campus.

We prioritize community care and acknowledge that there may be many among us who are in some way immunocompromised. Local regulations prohibit us from making indoor masking mandatory, but we encourage masking indoors in public spaces, and will have reminders and signs hung to encourage mask wearing. Additionally, we will have a “Commitment to Mask” statement in our community guidelines which everyone signs before the Retreat. 

Chestnut Hill has a vast and beautiful outdoor campus, which we will take full advantage of. There are ample spaces to hold group meetings outdoors, which we do encourage folks to use. It is possible for daily workshops to be held outside, though this is dependent on the Faculty member’s workshop plan regarding technology usage and the cohort’s needs. Attendees are encouraged to eat outside on the patio, which has a number of tables and chairs, or to dine at any number of the benches, nooks, and greenery the campus offers. We will work to hold some programming, like social events, outside as well. We will also encourage 6-feet distancing practices, and work with Chestnut Hill University to make sure all common spaces are well ventilated. 

If anyone exhibits symptoms of Covid-19 during the Retreat, we will ask them to test, and if positive, the individual can recover in a single dorm residence or at their home while attending the rest of the Retreat virtually. We will contact trace and provide tests for individuals who have come into close contact with any person who tests positive. Additionally, we have KN95 masks available on site as well as have a backstock of tests for anyone who’s feeling sick to use.

Should a fellow test positive for Covid-19 and be unable to attend The Retreat before it begins, Lambda Literary will refund all tuition paid after the non-refundable deposit.

We want to note that most campus housing is shared. Most Retreat attendees will share a room with one other person and will use the communal bathrooms shared with 2-4 other attendees in the dorms. We do have a limited number of single room options available which we can offer based on need. If you are interested in attending The Retreat and have a condition which may require single housing, contact to find out more about what we can provide.

With care,

Chloe Feffer (they/she/he)

Program Manager

Lambda Literary

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