Covid Safety Protocols for Winter 2023 Permaculture Courses


Last updated September 8, 2022  – These guidelines may change for future courses.


Dear Permaculture Student,


Thank you for your interest in the upcoming Permaculture Design Certification (PDC)! With 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 to four 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. Keep in mind that these protocols may change and evolve as the date of the course approaches.



All participants and instructors will be antigen tested upon arrival (we will provide the tests.) If you test positive, you will not be permitted to do the course and will be responsible for making other arrangements for yourself. You may wish to test yourself with a home antigen test 24 hours before hand to save yourself the potential hassle of traveling here and then not being able to take the course.



We are not requiring proof of vaccination at this time.


Face Masks 

As of February 15, 2022, the Sonoma County Department of Public Health has lifted the mask mandate and does not require the use of face masks for everyone indoors. It is up to the individual participant to decide if they want to mask up during the course. 


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.

The outdoor hot tub and outdoor showers will be available for participants to use at scheduled times. The sauna is closed for the foreseeable future.

We serve meals in our main communal kitchen together with OAEC staff and residents. Again, guests are welcome to wear a mask in these indoor situations if it makes them feel more comfortable.

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.  However, 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 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.


In community care,


The OAEC team


Back to main Permaculture Design Certification page