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Health Guidelines

Updated JANUARY 9, 2024

It is our priority to protect the health of everyone who comes to the Whidbey Institute, including guests, program leaders, and staff. The Whidbey Institute respectfully requires that you not attend if: 

Registering for a Program

When registering for any event or program at the Whidbey Institute, please note the Cancellation and Refund Policy included in the program’s Terms and Conditions. Cancellation and Refund Policies are at the discretion of program leaders and/or the Whidbey Institute.

Prior to Arrival

We ask that you come to the Whidbey Institute only if you have no COVID symptoms, no fever, and/or no known exposure to a positive case of COVID-19 within the last 10 days.

We strongly recommend that those traveling by air test before departing home and avoid having to return home in the event of a positive test result upon arrival at the Whidbey Institute.

Upon Arrival

For single and multi-day programs, Covid testing may be required by program leaders or the Whidbey Institute. Tests are provided by the Whidbey Institute, the cost of which may be included in your registration fees.

Whidbey Institute Practices

In light of the continuing and widely varying views on public health concerns regarding Covid viruses and our collective responsibility to care for one another, we strongly recommend masking and physical distancing while indoors. Masks are not required while indoors or during high-density outdoor gatherings.

We coordinate specific needs with each group leader according to the activities of their particular event or program. As a baseline for all groups, the following applies:

These guidelines apply to staff, visitors, program participants, volunteers, and program leaders. Different people have different levels of comfort and needs vary widely. Please care for yourself and respect the boundaries of others. As always, common sense and courtesy are requested—if unwell, please stay home and rest!

For more information, see the Washington State Department of Health page which offers guidance on masking and vaccinations.


What if someone tests positive upon arrival?

1) If the rapid test is positive, we test again (false positives happen more frequently than false negatives). If negative, we test a third time.
If two out of three test results are negative, we assume the likelihood of a false positive and admit the participant to the program. We do not charge for the additional two tests.

2) If the second test is positive, we discern next steps depending on circumstances.

A) If the person travelled regionally via car on their own, we ask them to head home. We do not charge for this participant. Getting someone home is a better option than having them stranded here in the case they fall quite ill.

B) If the person travelled regionally via car with others (carpool), Whidbey Institute staff and program hosts will discern on a case-by-case basis whether the entire carpooling cohort needs to return home.

C) If the person travelled by air, we work with the unique circumstances of each program to see if it is possible for them to spend some time in quarantine onsite during the duration of the program. They may need to move to a hotel or AirBNB to finish their quarantine period, depending on the needs of other programs after their program reservation concludes.This underlines the importance for anyone who is traveling by air to test before leaving home.

What if someone tests positive during a program?

We strongly request that anyone experiencing symptoms of any kind while participating in a program be retested as soon as possible, regardless of any known allergies. If a participant tests positive, following the protocols above, the Whidbey Institute will do its best to quarantine the individual(s) on campus. If no suitable room(s) is available, arrangements may need to be made for an offsite location.

In the event of a positive case, all participants including group leaders and support staff, are retested. Masking is strongly urged along with indoor safety protocols. Additional tests are provided by the Whidbey Institute and masks are made available upon request.