Covid Safety Protocols for Fall 2021 Permaculture Courses

 

 

Last updated August 23, 2021

 

Dear Permaculture Student,

 

Thank you for your interest in the upcoming Permaculture Design Certification (PDC)! With the recent rise of the highly contagious Delta variant and the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, we wanted to share OAEC’s current Covid safety guidelines to keep you — as well as our OAEC staff and community residents — healthy and safe during the in-person portion of the PDC. 

While much of our class time together will be spent outdoors in the fresh air where social distancing is possible, participants stay in shared sleeping accommodations (two people per room), eat together indoors (when it’s raining or cold), and share common bathrooms and meeting spaces. Given the nature of our facilities, we’ve arrived at the following safety guidelines through a thoughtful collective process, which reflect our commitment to transparency, an ethic of community care, and guidance from both the state of California and the County of Sonoma.

Please read through the entirety of this page to ensure that you are comfortable and willing to meet these safety requirements before registering.

 

Vaccinations

All OAEC staff and residents are fully vaccinated, and at this time, we require that all course participants be vaccinated as well, with the exception of those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons.

Upon registration, we are requiring that ALL course participants provide:

OR

 

Please send us your proof of vaccination or medical exemption to as soon as possible after registering. 

 

Testing

In addition to these measures, we are requiring ALL course participants, regardless of vaccination status, to provide proof of a negative Covid test* dated within 48 hours of the start of the course. *The Covid test can be PCR or antigen, but must be administered by a third-party provider (an at-home test kit does not qualify).  

Course facilitators sharing indoor spaces as part of this cohort will also participate in testing before the course.

Since you will be traveling to OAEC within the 48 hour period of your Covid test, we ask that you take every precaution to avoid potential exposure during your journey (mask up, avoid public indoor dining, etc).

 

Negative Covid test results should be sent to . Please make your testing appointment as soon as possible and put a reminder to do this on your calendar. You will not be able to participate without this.

 

Face Masks 

Sonoma County’s Aug. 4, 2021 official order requires that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks when indoors in communal spaces. As such, we require that all guests and OAEC staff wear masks while indoors. Masks may be removed while sleeping, showering, eating or drinking.

 

Off-site Activities

The course will be taking several outdoor field trips off-site to visit other permaculture systems in action and to complete the site assessment and design practicum. Other than these outdoor field trips, we encourage (not require) folks to enjoy remaining on-site for the duration of the course – we will be relaxing, learning and having FUN, and we want, as best as possible, to maintain the integrity of our “bubble”.

 

Changes regarding our facilities

We have significantly reduced the overall number of students to allow for more social distancing and to limit room occupancy to two people per room.

The outdoor hot tub and outdoor showers will be available for participants to use at scheduled times, however the sauna is closed for the duration of the pandemic. 

Normally, we serve meals in our main communal kitchen together with OAEC staff and residents. For this course, we will offer a separate meal service in our Meeting Hall, with the option of eating outside on the covered deck, for course participants and teachers only. 

For more information on our facilities and guest housing, please visit our website.

 

Cancellation Policy

Under normal circumstances, our cancellation policy dictates No Refunds if a student cancels within 30 days of the start of the in-person portion of the course, but we have decided to waive this in light of Covid. If you test positive, are exposed to, or come down with symptoms of Covid at the last minute, we will happily transfer your enrollment to another session, space permitting, at no cost. If you are unable to transfer, we will give you a full refund, minus the small credit card processing fee.  Likewise, if you’ve already registered, but after reading through these protocols, you don’t agree or decide that this situation isn’t right for you at this time, we will give you a full refund, minus the small credit card processing fee.

 

If you have any clarifying questions about our Covid protocols, please reach out to We hope that taking these precautionary measures will make it easier to relax and enjoy our time together. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. See you this fall! 

 

In community care,

 

The OAEC team

 

Back to main Permaculture Design Certification page

 

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