COVID-19 Response

March 2021 Update

Throughout March, April and May we will continue offering our weekend retreats for individuals and household units. We will remain closed to guests during the week as a way to create a vacancy period in all guest rooms between use. As Sonoma County has moved into the Red Tier we are continuing to update our protocols and offerings. While being in the red tier allows us to resume indoor dining at 25% capacity, we are currently only offering outdoor dining while we plan how best to add an indoor dining option for those who choose that prioritizes the health and safety of guests and staff (more details soon). Even when we begin offering an indoor dining option, we will retain our outdoor dining as well.

We’re also thrilled that the CDC has designated camp staff as essential childcare providers. Between that and the prioritization of food service workers, many of our staff have begun to receive vaccines. We are awaiting State and County guidelines for summer camp while planning with the guidance we have from the American Camping Association and other professional organizations.

While small groups of fully vaccinated people are allowed to gather indoors, for now we are continuing to only offer outdoor options for socially distanced small gatherings. For now that seems to be the most equitable and manageable option. We will evaluate that policy in the coming months and adjust.

Previous Updates:

Sonoma County Updates Stay at Home Order: (December 12, 2020)

The new stay at home order closes lodging and outdoor dining among other things through at least January 10th. Right now, we plan to reopen for Individual and Household Weekend Retreats at the end of January.

The Ranch Opens for Individual and Household Retreats (July 1, 2020)

The Ranch is now open for individual, family and household retreats. Currently we’re offering lodging only retreats and are planning to resume food service in mid-to-late August. Normally we are focused almost exclusively on group reservations, but our current county ordinance only allows for individuals and family/household units to book lodging and utilize outdoor amenities. It prohibits the use of indoor meeting space for gatherings of any size. For the foreseeable future we will be booking individuals and household unit retreats with protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A few of our many modifications include:

  • Guest rooms can be occupied only by individuals or people who normally share a household. We have 35 guest rooms, so our total capacity is significantly reduced. 
  • We’re creating a minimum 24 hour vacancy period between guests.
  • Indoor meeting rooms (e.g. Pavilion, Chapel, Meeting House, Arts Center) will not be opened. We’re encouraging use of our vast outdoor spaces for distanced and contactless activities.
  • Masks must be worn whenever guests are outside their guest rooms and can’t maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. 
  • Our kitchen is preparing to begin meal service in mid-to-late August with meals individually boxed, plated or served take-out style since we will not be using our normal buffet for meal service. 
  • We have extended outdoor and socially distanced dining capacity at the Ranch by procuring a large event tent that will be in the parking lot next to the Refectory. This is in addition to our current outdoor tables on the Pavilion and Refectory porches as well as our picnic grove and other picnic tables.  
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the Ranch, and guests are encouraged to bring their own. 
  • Our pool capacity has been reduced to maintain social distancing protocols.
  • Individuals and families are encouraged to bring their own gear for recreation (basketballs, frisbees, etc…) 
  • Our public/shared bathrooms are closed, and guests are instructed to use only the bathroom attached to their guest room. 
  • Most of our staff will continue to work remotely, with limited essential on-site staff conducting daily well-checks before beginning their shift.
  • Full Industry Guidance that is informing Ranch Protocols can be found here

Update (May 22, 2020)

The Bishop’s Ranch remains closed to guests as we await updated guidelines and adjustments to the current shelter-in-place orders from Sonoma County. Our staff is working diligently, primarily from home, to prepare for our reopening. We are carefully reviewing all CDC, State of California and County guidelines as they are released and making sure that we have policies and procedures in place to keep our staff and guests healthy and safe as soon as we’re able to welcome them back on site at the Ranch. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Ranch and will update this page as soon as we have more information about reopening dates and plans.

Update to Closure Statement (March 18, 2020)

Our closure to guests through April 1st was in response to the Governor’s guidelines and the County’s order to cancel gatherings beginning March 12th. Yesterday the county issued order No. C19-03 that mandates our closure as of midnight last night through April 7th.  The Ranch will remain closed through April 7th and update as necessary.

Precautionary Closure Statement (March 12, 2020)

In response to COVID-19 and in alignment with State, County and Diocesan recommendations, The Bishop’s Ranch has decided to be closed to guests starting today and continuing through March 31st. We will be working with groups that have retreats scheduled during this time to find an alternative date or another solution. 

This is a necessary but difficult decision since it is our great joy and primary work to practice hospitality and be a special gathering place for many.

As of today, we are planning to welcome guests again beginning April 1st, but we will continue to stay informed and adjust our reopening date if necessary. We will post updates on our website. If you have specific questions or concerns please let us know.

General Information

The Bishop’s Ranch is closely monitoring the international pandemic known as coronavirus COVID-19. We have increased precautionary measures, training, and communication throughout the Ranch.

We are closely monitoring the situation through updates from the CDC and locally through the Sonoma County Department of Health. Precautionary measures include enhancing onsite communications and signage in public spaces and restrooms regarding preventative actions (outlined below), placing an increased number of hand sanitizer stations throughout the property, increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched objects, and providing ongoing training for staff regarding best practices for providing a safe and healthy environment. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Have there been any cases of COVID-19 at The Bishop’s Ranch?

No, The Ranch has not had any cases of coronavirus.

Where can I learn more about coronavirus? 

What protective or preventative measures are in place at the Bishop’s Ranch?

The Ranch has increased its precautionary measures, including increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched objects such as door handles and placing hand sanitizer stations in high traffic areas. The Ranch has closed all indoor gathering spaces.

We are requiring masks whenever 6 feet of distance outdoors cannot be maintained.

We have created a vacancy period in all guest rooms of 24-72 hours between guests.

We have begun having our staff serve food to guests in individual portions takeout style rather than having self-serve buffets where multiple guests would touch the same serving utensils.

We have placed effective cleaning solutions in public spaces for guest use.

We have also placed additional hand sanitizer in various spaces around the Ranch. 

Full Industry Guidance that is informing Ranch Protocols can be found here

How can you protect yourself?

Practice everyday precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water  are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home  when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough  or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Do you have any suggestions for how to safely worship and celebrate Holy Communion during this time?

The Right Reverend Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, has requested all congregations to consider not holding public worship gatherings. See Bishop Marc’s message from March 12, 2020.   

What other groups will be at the Ranch before or during my stay? Are any guests coming from affected areas?

With respect to the privacy of all guests, the Bishop’s Ranch does not share information about individuals or groups. With the situation evolving rapidly, we encourage traveling guests to follow any guidance offered by the CDC and local and state public health authorities. It is important to remember that while this virus was first identified in China, it is not linked to any ethnic or racial group.

How do I recognize COVID-19?

According to the CDC, symptoms can include  fever, cough and shortness of breath.

What should someone do if they develop flu-like symptoms while at the Ranch?

They should seek medical care at a hospital. Before going to the hospital, they (or a designated contact/staff member) should call ahead to tell the hospital about recent travel history and symptoms. The Bishop’s Ranch staff can provide masks for individuals to wear on the way to the hospital. The severity of the symptoms would determine the appropriate mode of transportation.

If the hospital determines that the individual has the virus, the Sonoma County Health Department will become involved and begin an investigative process in collaboration with the Bishop’s Ranch. They will inform the Ranch staff and help determine appropriate next steps.

Do Ranch employees have access to paid time off if they feel sick?

Yes. Bishop’s Ranch employees, including part-time staff, have access to paid time off.

If COVID-19 becomes a problem at the Bishop’s Ranch, how will staff, retreat organizers and attendees be alerted?

Relevant updates will be posted to our website and social media pages:

The Ranch staff will communicate with retreat organizers, partners and other key contacts to relay updates.