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COVID-19 Policies, Procedures and Protocols

Posted July 01, 2020 in Articles

COVID-19 Policies, Procedures and Protocols as of July 1, 2020

As a Place of Peace, Jesuit Retreat Center seeks to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees, volunteers, visitors, and guests. This document outlines many of the specific policies, procedures, and protocols that are currently in place to diminish the likelihood of transmitting the Covid-19 virus. This document reflects recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio State Department of Health, Diocese of Cleveland and the Ohio Catholic Conference, as well as conversations with health care professionals and staff members of other retreat centers. While adherence to what is stated below will help prevent the spread of Covid-19, each individual has responsibility for his/her own health and safety while at JRC, and thus promotes the well-being of others.

Jesuit Retreat Center is at a unique intersection, as it is not only a religious organization, but also has elements of a church, restaurant, and hotel. Thus, various aspects of the current “Responsible Restart Ohio” initiative apply in different ways to the center.

All overnight retreatants and hosted groups will review the policies, procedures, and protocols during orientation at the beginning of their stay. Those wanting to arrange a hosted program at JRC will discuss, with the JRC Associate Director, current policies, practices, and procedures, as well as potential limitations on the size of groups, prior to the issuance of a facility reservation agreement.

Current information points to likelihood that spread of the Covid-19 virus occurs primarily by the exchange of respiratory droplets produced by an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk in proximity to another person. Thus, the practices that we ask all employees, volunteers, visitors, and guests to take include: a) do not come to JRC if you feel unwell or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, b) wear a mask when in common areas and the presence of others to help protect others from the virus, and c) practice appropriate social distancing within the building and on the grounds.


Per current Ohio State directives, employees and volunteers wear masks when in common areas and in the presence of guests or visitors.

Jesuit Retreat Center asks visitors and guests to wear masks when in common areas (such as dining rooms, chapels, meeting rooms, and the library) when they are in the presence of others. Visitors and guests do not need to wear masks when they are alone, or for overnight guests, in their bedrooms.


Employees and volunteers have their temperature taken when entering the building each day.

Visitors and guests who are attending day programs may be asked to have their temperature taken when they enter the building.

Overnight retreatants and guests will have their temperature taken and recorded on a daily basis for the duration of their stay by the JRC staff. Hosted groups, such as parishes or schools, should designate a point person to take and record temperatures on a daily basis for the duration of their group’s stay.

Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or above is not permitted in the building.

Social Distancing:

Employees, volunteers, visitors, and guests are asked to maintain appropriate social distancing (approximately 6 feet) when in sustained contact with others (meals, meetings, and liturgies, etc.).

For hosted groups, the JRC staff will work with program organizers to ensure a physical set-up in meetings rooms, chapels, and other common spaces that are in line with current Ohio State Health Department directives.

Jesuit Retreat Center has a limited number of bedrooms with private bathrooms. These rooms will be assigned to those who have extended stays at the retreat center and/or are a member of a population vulnerable to COVID-19.

Symptoms and COVID-19 Exposure:

Any employee, volunteer, visitor, or guest or has been exposed to, or lived with someone who has COVID-19 during the previous 14 days should not attend a program or retreat at JRC.

Any employee, volunteer, visitor, or guest who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend a program or retreat at JRC. Anyone exhibiting symptoms while at JRC should notify a staff member who will contact health officials.

Hand Sanitizer and Hand Washing:

Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed throughout the building, primarily on the main level. Employees, volunteers, visitors, and guests are encouraged to use hand-sanitizer on a frequent basis, as well as wash their hands with warm water and the anti-bacterial soap provided in all bathrooms and rooms. In order to maintain the limited stock of available sanitizer, we encourage those who are staying at JRC over multiple nights to bring a personal supply of hand-sanitizer with them as well.


The maintenance and housekeeping staff at JRC take great pride in maintaining a safe and healthy environment. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have enhanced our cleaning practices. The building is cleaned regularly with commercial concentrated cleaning products from EnviroChem, Inc.

Common areas such as the dining room and meeting rooms are cleaned and sanitized daily and immediately after group use. Bedrooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between guests.

Per recent information from the CDC, contact surfaces are a low vector for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, however, we continue to clean and sanitize on a frequent and regular basis to ensure the health and safety of all. As JRC staff cannot be in all places at all times, we count on the guests and visitors to notify a staff member should a particular area require attention.

Kitchen and Dining Room:

With the completion of renovations to the kitchen and dining area, JRC was inspected by the City of Parma and Cuyahoga County. On May 29th, the County Health Inspector approved the sanitary standards and practices of our kitchen and dining services.

In the dining room, kitchen staff will serve meals to limit the number of utensils touched by guests. Please utilize as many tables as possible during meals. Do not move chairs from tables where they have been placed by JRC staff.

Guests should wait for a member of the JRC staff to call them to be served. Please adhere to social distancing when being served food or obtaining beverages.

Liturgical Practices:

As a Jesuit retreat center, liturgy and prayer life are at the center of our work and mission. In line with directives from the Ohio Catholic Conference and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, certain changes and adaptations have been made to liturgical life and the celebration of Mass at JRC.

In addition to masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing practices already noted, the following are in effect: there is no congregational singing during liturgy or prayer service, no sign of peace, and no common chalice at any Mass at JRC at the current time.

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Any questions or concerns with regard to the issue of COVID-19 at JRC should be directed to Bill Hobbs, Associate Director at Overnight guests and retreatants will be given the contact information for our Guestmaster, who resides at the facility and can handle any after-hours issues.

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