COVID-19 Communicable Disease Policy (CDP)

For Employees and Guests at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center

Updated as of March 2021


  • This document sets forth the policies of the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (“Isabella Freedman”) for complying with the Connecticut State Reopening Rules.  
  • The policies in this document are in effect as of March 19th, 2021 and reflect all the current Connecticut state guidelines and Hazon/Isabella Freedman’s policies for reopening. Hazon will continue to monitor developments surrounding COVID-19 in Connecticut and make adjustments as appropriate, including for any changes in legal guidance.
  • All references to “guests” in this CDP shall include participants in the “Isabella Freedman Getaways” program, participants in the Adamah Fellowship and individuals, families and groups that rent accommodations at Isabella Freedman. All references to “employees” in this CDP shall include all part-time and full-time employees of Hazon, as well as volunteers and independent contractors who are working at Isabella Freedman.

General Polices

Screening for COVID-19

  • All individuals arriving at the retreat center for the first time will undergo COVID-19 screening as part of the check-in/orientation process, which will take place before these individuals are permitted to access their residence.  This screening will be administered by the Retreat Manager on duty.
  • This screening will involve:
    • Temperature Checks
    • Questionnaires regarding recent COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.  The questionnaire will, at a minimum, ask whether, within the preceding 14 days, the individual or any of his or her co-habitants have:
      • exhibited any COVID-19 symptoms; or
      • been exposed to confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19.
    • PLEASE NOTE that individuals who demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19, who were recently exposed to confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19, or who recently traveled to active COVID-19 hot spots will not be permitted to stay at Isabella Freedman until they complete a 14-day quarantine following the instance of symptoms or exposure. Each guest, including children must affirm that they have either a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, a COVID-19 vaccine completed at least two weeks before arrival, or recovered from COVID-19 within three months of arrival. If you have had only 1 shot of a vaccine you are still required to get tested. These guidelines have been recommended by the CDC and our consulting medical professionals. 
    • Throughout their time at Isabella Freedman, employees and guests are expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. 
      • In the event that an employee or guest suspects that he/she/they may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, this individual should report immediately to their supervisor or the Retreat Manager on duty, respectively.

Social Distancing and Hygiene

  • Employees and guests are required to spread out to maintain appropriate social distancing (i.e., a minimum of 6 feet of space between individuals who are not in the same group) at all times while at Isabella Freedman, including while performing tasks or participating in activities. 
    • This requirement should be followed at all times, but is especially important in indoor spaces.
    • For the purposes of social distancing, being in a “group” applies only to guests who are sharing a residence at Isabella Freedman.  Employees are never considered to be in a group, and are required to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of  distance between themselves and all other people, including other employees who perform the same tasks or work in the same designated area, whenever possible. 
  • Employees and guests are required to wear masks at all times when they are indoors and outdoors, less than 6’ of distance in the company of other individuals who are not in their group.
    • This requirement applies regardless of whether social distancing is also being observed.
    • Guests can remove their masks while eating in indoor dining areas, but only when seated at their table and only during the course of eating.
    • No guest or employee is required to wear a mask if doing so would be contrary to his or her safety because of a medical condition.  Such guests and employees are encouraged to discuss alternative arrangements with Isabella Freedman to help ensure their safety while on campus.
  • All used disposable masks should be disposed of immediately following use by employees.  Employees using reusable masks, such as cloth masks, should wash them properly (i.e. based on CDC guidance for washing close face coverings) and daily.
  • Isabella Freedman will supply all of its employees with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”), including masks, required for the performance of their job duties.
  • Guests are required to bring a sufficient amount of PPE, including multiple masks and/or appropriate face coverings, to cover their entire stay at Isabella Freedman.
  • Employees and guests should be conscious to avoid touching their masks and/or faces at all times. 
  • Employees and guests should wash their hands properly (i.e., in accordance with CDC guidelines, which require hand washing to take at least 20 seconds) and frequently.
    • Handwashing and/or hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout the retreat center, including in the following locations:
      • Near and around all dining service areas, eating areas and restrooms;
      • Entrances of any indoor public space that has been approved for guest use; and
      • All offices and staff restrooms. 
  • Employees and guests should refrain from traditional contact-based forms of greeting (e.g., no handshakes) with other individuals.

Training and Orientation

  • Employees and guests will be trained on social distancing guidelines, the proper use of PPE, and proper hygiene and disinfecting techniques for preventing the spread of COVID-19 as part of their orientation.  
    • Employees and guests are required to comply with these trainings at all times.
    • Training will also cover the uncertainties surrounding antibodies, and make clear that Isabella Freedman policies must be followed regardless of the results of antibody testing.
  • Employees who perform specific tasks for which additional training is necessary will be required to receive and comply with those trainings.
    • Housekeeping staff will receive specific training relating to deep cleaning and sanitization to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These trainings will follow applicable guidelines (e.g., from the CDC).
    • Food service staff will receive specific training relating to the PPE and hygiene practices that must be followed in the food service industry to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Isabella Freedman has posted signs throughout the campus to remind employees and guests of best practices and ensure compliance with these practices.
  • As part of their training or orientation, respectively, employees and guests will be provided with a copy of these guidelines.  Guests will also be provided with an electronic version of these guidelines before they travel to the retreat center.
    • PLEASE NOTE that after being given an opportunity to review these guidelines, guests will be required to electronically sign a COVID-19 waiver through which they acknowledge Isabella Freedman’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, agree to comply with all applicable rules, and expressly assume the risk of contracting COVID-19 while participating in a retreat.
    • Guests are required to sign this waiver before travelling to the retreat center.
    • Guests who do not wish to sign the waiver will not be permitted to come to or remain on campus. 

Closures and Activity Limitations

  • The following locations will be closed and/or off-limits to guests and employees (other than those required to visit these locations as part of their job duties) during the COVID-19 pandemic due to safety concerns:
    • Staff offices
    • Arts & Crafts building
    • Main building
      • Except for the Great Hall and Dining Hall, each of which will remain open at a maximum of 75% its normal capacity for dining purposes only.  
    • Library
      • Except that the library will be used for additional dining space, in the event that there is a need for such additional space given the capacity restrictions and layout changes in the Dining Hall.
    • Yurts: 
      • The beige yurt will be open for programming. Guests must be accompanied by a staff member at all times while using the space.
    • Farm locations, including:
      • Greenhouses
      • Barns
      • Produce washing and preparation areas
      • PLEASE NOTE that many of these areas where the farm employees need to work will be off-limits for guests at this time due to concerns over the farm employees’ health and safety.  Isabella Freedman is currently considering ways in which guests can learn about the farm safely and without endangering employees, and will communicate with guests about those opportunities separately should they arise.
    • Any residence other than your assigned residence
    • Any other space that is indicated as off-limits by signs that say “Staff Only.”
  • The following locations will be open, subject to the following limitations:
    • Dining Hall, Library, Synagogue & Great Hall
      • The Dining Hall and Library will remain open at a maximum of 50% its normal capacity.  Seating will be rearranged to facilitate social distancing between members of different groups.
      • Housekeeping staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect the Dining Hall, Library, Beige Yurt, Great Hall, public restrooms, and outdoor dining tent between meals.
      • Social distancing between members of different groups must be followed at all times.
    • Lake
      • If the lake is fully unfrozen, boating will be allowed. 
    • Hiking Trails
      • Guests and employees using the hiking trails are required to maintain the appropriate distance at all times.
      • Masks should be brought on hikes, and must be worn in any instances where social distancing cannot be practiced.

Residential Considerations

  • Guests and employees are not permitted into any residential buildings or residences other than those to which they have been assigned.
  • PLEASE NOTE that housekeeping services may be available during your stay upon request, but that housekeepers will not be permitted to enter your residence during your stay.
    • To ensure guest and employee safety, Isabella Freedman will not place any new guests or employees in a residence until 24 hours have passed since the previous occupant has checked out.  During this time, housekeeping staff will perform a deep cleaning of the residence to prepare the space for the new occupant.

Dining Considerations

  • As stated above, if indoor dining is needed, the Dining Hall will remain open at reduced capacity (not to exceed 50% of maximum capacity). Should additional indoor dining space be required to safely accommodate guests and employees, the Library can be utilized as overflow dining space.
  • The layout of all dining areas will be rearranged to facilitate proper social distancing.   Guests and employees are required to follow social distancing guidelines during all meals, and are not allowed to rearrange the layout of any dining area in contravention of these rules.
  • Isabella Freedman will be placing social distancing markers in the food service area to direct one-way traffic and ensure that employees and guests follow social distancing guidelines. Employees and guests are required to comply with social distancing markers and one-way traffic requirements.
  • Food service employees will be required to wear appropriate PPE, which includes both masks and gloves, at all times during the preparation and serving of meals.
  • To the extent possible, the food provided by Isabella Freedman will be individually packaged, single-serve items.
  • Guests and employees are required to observe the best hygiene practices outlined below for all meals.  In particular, guests and employees are required to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds both before and after meals.
  • Trained housekeeping staff will be responsible for cleaning after meals, which will include sanitizing the dining areas between each meal and between employee and guest dining shifts. 

Plans for Infected Individuals

  • Employees and guests are required to promptly inform their supervisor or the Retreat Manager on duty, respectively, as soon as possible if they begin exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The supervisor or the Retreat Manager on duty should immediately:
    • Inform the appropriate members of Isabella Freedman management of the potentially positive case.
    • Have the symptomatic person list all areas of the Isabella Freedman campus that they visited in the last 14 days.
    • Have the symptomatic person list all individuals with whom he or she was in close contact over the last 14 days.  Inform all listed individuals of their potential exposure without disclosing personally identifiable information of the symptomatic person, and recommend that these individuals take additional precautions (e.g., use of mask and gloves at all times, avoiding participation in unnecessary activities) and self-monitor for symptoms for a period of 14 days.
      • The supervisor or Retreat Manager on duty should also ask the symptomatic person to consider community/family members with whom they were in close contact over the last 14 days and suggest that they inform those people of their potential exposure. 
    • If the symptomatic person is an employee, temporarily close the employee’s work area(s) until a deep cleaning can be performed.
    • Coordinate with housekeeping staff to perform a deep cleaning of the symptomatic person’s residence, work area(s), and any other affected areas which the symptomatic person visited in the last 14 days.  Housekeeping staff should dispose of any PPE used by the symptomatic person.
  • The symptomatic person should be sent home as soon as possible.
    • In the event that the person’s symptoms make it difficult for them to operate their personal vehicle, their supervisor or the Retreat Manager on duty should arrange for the necessary transportation services to get the symptomatic person home.  
      • The symptomatic person should be made aware of this option regardless of the severity of their symptoms.
    • The symptomatic person should self-quarantine at home for a period of 14 days, or until they are able to obtain negative COVID-19 test results.  In any event, the symptomatic person will not be able to return to the Isabella Freedman campus until they are able to obtain negative test results.
    • The supervisor or Retreat Manager on duty should remain in contact with the symptomatic person during their self-quarantine and periodically check on their health.
  • Isabella Freedman should inform all guests and employees staying on campus, as well as those who were on campus in the previous 14 days, of the potential positive case of COVID-19 without disclosing personally identifiable information of the symptomatic person, and should reemphasize the need for all employees and guests to comply with Isabella Freedman’s COVID-19 policies.
    • Isabella Freedman should also inform guests and employees when the cleaning procedures have been completed and areas are reopened.
  • In the event that multiple individuals report symptoms or a COVID-19 outbreak is suspected:
    • All non-essential employees and guests will be sent home immediately.  
      • They will be encouraged to take the additional precautions outlined above for potentially exposed individuals and to self-monitor for symptoms.
      • Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.
      • The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID-19. Check your local health department’s website for information about options in your area to possibly shorten this quarantine period.
      • However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who meets the following criteria does NOT need to stay home.
      • Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19
      • Or: Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and
      • Has recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)”
    • The Isabella Freedman campus will be closed to the public until a thorough deep cleaning of the entire campus can be completed.