As of July 2020, we are re-opening our facility on a limited basis to in-person retreats. The health of our guests and our colleagues is our highest priority and we are taking extensive measures to ensure your safety. We continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set forth by our local officials, NYS and the CDC.
More information for groups planning to hold retreats at the Institute is detailed in the Reopening Guidelines document below:
We have also received a number of questions over the last few weeks from our teachers and guests regarding these efforts. Our current FAQ is below, and we will add to this list as needed in the coming weeks:
Is there a pre-arrival health screening for guests?
Yes, all guests will be required to complete a short health assessment along with our general liability waiver form with e-signature 24 hours before arriving on site.
Is your staff required to conduct daily health screenings ?
Yes, all of our staff are required to do a self-assessment daily with specific health questions and temperature taking before coming into work. Staff will also participate in well-being screenings onsite and are following strict hygiene protocols.
Will there be a registration, check-in desk when I arrive ?
No, our pre-registration process handles most information for your arrival including completing our waivers, bedroom & bathroom assignments for overnight guests, any special items to bring (or not to bring) onsite. Registered guests will receive information via email and are asked to Text upon arrival.
Is the no-cost Garrison Institute shuttle van available ?
Yes, our van shuttle service is operating on opening days during registration and on closing days after the closing session. However, we ask that guests respond to the pre-registration question: Will you need a shuttle service from the Metro North Garrison Station to our facility ? This will allow pre-reserved van shuttle needs to accommodate guests safe transport to the Institute.
Is there still a Guest Services Desk and is the Garrison Store available on site?
Yes, our Guest Services Dept. will be available on opening days and many times throughout the retreat. This is located in the Main Lobby area. No, our Gift Store is closed at this time. However, we can provide basic personal care items as needed for guests.
When are guests required to wear face coverings (masks) while at Garrison?
Guests are required to wear face coverings indoors when they arrive onsite to our Front Lobby entrance, and while in our dining room in line for meals (our staff and caterer will be wearing as well). They are also recommended when in our larger public restrooms when keeping 6 feet of distance between others is not fully possible (masks would not be required when showering). Our vast building, large meeting spaces and outdoor programming options coincide with physical distancing recommendations. Guests should plan to bring their own personal face covering when arriving.
Are guests being housed in adjacent rooms?
Generally, no as we are currently limiting the number of guests staying on- site which allows more spacing of guests utilizing our three levels of bedroom floors. All bedrooms will be SINGLE occupancy, unless coming to Garrison with a member of your household or traveling with someone you know and are looking to share a room.
How will the group bathrooms be shared ?
We are working closely with each group organizer on bathroom assignments and shower schedules for guests to promote physical distancing in our larger, public bathrooms. Guests are encouraged to use a Tote or sealed bag for their personal care items.
What are our cleaning protocols ?
We have vamped up our cleaning efforts following CDC recommendations and are using EPA approved, but non-toxic cleaning products for our building including common spaces, meeting and guest rooms, dining hall, and bathrooms. We are paying special attention to high-touch areas and communal areas such as bathrooms.
Do bedrooms and meeting spaces have fresh air options ?
Yes, all of our guest bedrooms, bathrooms, meeting spaces, dining room have many windows to be opened and fresh air will be circulating.
How are laundry and linens being handled?
Upon arrival, each guest bedroom is outfitted with a sanitized sheet packet and bed coverlet. Our laundry service is commercial and compliant with industry standards set by OSHA for cleaning protocols. Upon departure, each guest is asked to bundle sheets and their towel into their pillowcase and leave in their rooms. Towel baskets in bathrooms and small bedroom rugs have been removed at this time.
How is Food and Beverages being offered to guests?
We are not currently having buffet meals but our exceptional mostly vegetarian and organic food is very similar to what guests are used to, now being served in bagged or boxed meals as well as individual servings. Our coffee and tea service is being served individually as well during meal times. The dining room offers socially distanced seating and our outdoor tent is ideal for enjoying meals and snacks. Our long-time, amazing caterer is fully trained as a ServSafe certified food provider. Guests can still bring their own food but we ask for fully zippered, labeled bags for storage and recommend using disposable gloves for retrieval if using our common space to store.
What should I do if I suddenly do not feel well while at Garrison?
Guests are asked to inform the emergency contact for your group if not feeling well while onsite at Garrison. They can advise our key staff and advise on where to seek immediate medical care.
What are your protocols if someone is experiencing COVID-like symptoms?
Should a guest begin to exhibit symptoms they are asked to notify the emergency contact for the group or to alert a Garrison Staff person. The guest will be supported to leave our site to seek more immediate, local medical care or to return home to do so.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
We are available for your questions by email email@example.com. For specific registration questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 24 hours for a reply back.
For guests traveling from other states, we ask that you refer to the following Travel Guidelines from Governor Cuomo when planning your trip, as a number of states are still subject to restrictions: