Pundarika Foundation Covid-19 Safety Protocols
for Crestone In-person Retreats
Please check this page periodically for updates.
Pundarika welcomes people from around the world and the U.S. to participate in retreats. Our most important priority is to protect the health and safety of everyone who comes to the Yeshe Rangsal retreat land, including Rinpoche, staff, and students. Like most U.S. dharma centers, we have chosen to require COVID-19 vaccination(s) plus one booster (or more) for in-person retreats in 2022. This is not a decision we have made easily or lightly. At this stage in the pandemic, reasonable people may differ regarding what constitutes wise action, but Pundarika is obliged to implement practices that protect the most vulnerable amongst us. If you do not wish to comply with Pundarika’s guidelines, you may stream the retreats and view them remotely.
Although Pundarika is taking all reasonable precautions, each person must assess what level of risk they deem appropriate.
Before You Travel
- Please do not register for an in-person retreat unless you will be fully vaccinated in addition to one booster shot. Currently, the CDC strongly encourages people over 50 to get a second booster.
- Review current information at the Colorado Department of Health https://cdphe.colorado.gov/
- Review CDC Travel Advisories https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
- You must complete your vaccinations two full weeks before the retreats begin. For the first retreat, the vaccination must be by August 22; for the second retreat, it is August 29.
- Registration requires all students, staff, and volunteers to sign a Waiver and Release and submit proof of vaccination and one booster or more per the timeline above. No one will be admitted to the retreat if they are not fully vaccinated.
- Take special care to reduce your potential exposure to COVID-19 in the two weeks before you travel to Crestone.
- Pack an ample number of masks and at least four Binax antigen tests per retreat. Mask requirements are set forth under “Notes.”
- If you feel unwell before traveling, please stay home and notify the registrar (Susan) at [email protected]. and your tuition fees will be refunded.
- We will require all staff and retreatants to self-test 24 to 48 hours before arriving and affirm at registration that the result was “negative.” If the result is positive, whether you have symptoms or not, then we will issue a full refund. If you have traveled by air, or have had other kinds of exposure, we ask you to self-test upon arrival before registration.
- If you have questions about these COVID-related safety measures, please contact Esteban at [email protected]
When You Arrive
- Masks are always required in the tent, support building, carpools, or shared rides.
- Masks are strongly recommended in the local stores if you are shopping in town. They are not currently required in Crestone (as of 6/8/22).
- Avoid congregating in the teaching tent foyers when entering or exiting the tent.
- Sign a form at registration affirming that you have self-tested in the last 24 to 72 hours for each retreat.
Pundarika Safety Precautions
- Rinpoche is fully vaccinated and boosted and will test before teaching.
- Rinpoche and our translator/interpreter, who sit apart from the general seating areas, will not wear masks while speaking.
- Extra temporary toilets (portalettes) will be provided.
- The retreats will be limited in size to 80% of capacity (130).
- Masks are not required in outside spaces.
- All windows will be open in the teaching tent to maximize airflow. Please bring warm clothing for cold days.
- All high-touch areas in the tent, bathrooms, and support building will be sanitized daily.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be placed at each of the entry points to the tent.
- If a student, staff, or Rinpoche becomes sick, they will be asked to remain at their lodgings and seek medical attention if needed. If they test positive for COVID-19, they must immediately contact the Retreat Managers.
- Given the spread of aerosols with speech, we will consider limiting student chanting (Rinpoche and Adam would do these), and oral questions (due to passing the microphone). We will decide on these issues closer to the actual retreat in consultation with Rinpoche.
- Vaccines must be WHO or CDC approved. For a list, please go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html
- N95, KN95, or KF94 masks are required for safety reasons. Although Saguache County has lifted the mandatory mask mandate, it is strongly recommended by the CDC and the Colorado Department of Public Health that we continue to wear masks indoors, including in the teaching tent, bathrooms, and support building. Please bring as many masks as you may need for the retreats.