group of people on rocks

COVID-19: What you need to know

Hollyhock is working to implement a safe, proactive, and appropriately scaled response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Keeping our guests, presenters, island community, and team members safe is our top priority. Our team is monitoring the outbreak and will be providing regular updates on this page.

Updated on March 31st at 10:45 am

The World Health Organization formally declared a pandemic on March 11th as the impact of COVID-19 was felt significantly around the world. We are heartbroken for the families who have lost loved ones to this virus. We are also deeply concerned for those who are at high risk for complications, those who are feeling anxious or fearful, and those whose livelihoods and social support systems have been negatively impacted.

As we all navigate the complexity of this time, we offer friendship, open hearts, and clean hands towards collective resiliency. We are in this together. 


From our blog

“Relax, everything is out of control” – Dr. Gabor Mate shared these words, quoting a Buddhist teacher, in a recent interview. As the world reacts to the novel coronavirus outbreak, it is becoming clear that the social and economic aftershocks will be vast. The road ahead will not be easy. But perhaps we are being called to something deeper. Read more.

Season Launch Dates

We will be postponing the launch of our season from April 14th to June 7th. 

If you were registered for a program during this time, a member of our Guest Services team will be in touch with you this week. Programs during this time may be held as virtual gatherings, rescheduled to another date in 2020, or postponed until 2021. Thank you for your patience while we work out the details with each program presenter. You will have the option of keeping your credit with us or requesting a full refund.

We will be making decisions about our season and programs on a rolling, one month forecast, based on the best available data with guidance of the WHO, BC Centre for Disease Control, and Health Canada. Our goal is to make decisions at least 30 days in advance. On April 15th, we will have another update about our season. 

Safety on Campus 

We are enhancing our safety measures weekly based on the latest available on the virus. Here are some of the measures we are taking:

  • Daily sanitation of doorknobs, light switches, and other commonly-touched surfaces, and moving from green cleaners to more powerful anti-viral cleaners, including alcohol and bleach, for the immediate future.
  • Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at the front of the buffet line and is encouraging all people to sanitize before serving food. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also offered at the welcome table and in the staff office.
  • Posting BCCDC hygiene tips in all bathrooms, offering advice on hand washing and other ways to stay safe. 
  • Each person coming to Hollyhock is navigating unique concerns. We are working with our program presenters to make sure that if folks are at high risk or are concerned that they may be sick, they feel supported in staying home.  
  • For our Vancouver programs, we will work with our venue partners to provide safe & clean spaces to gather, including providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer to all participants.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

We understand that many people are concerned about their physical, emotional, and financial well-being during this time, and that every person’s situation will be unique. We have made some changes to our cancellation policy and will review it every 2 weeks or as needed, making adjustments as the situation evolves.

  • If you are registered for a program that is postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 (currently all registrations before June 6th), we are happy to provide you with a full refund. Your business is really important to us, especially in this moment of uncertainty. If you are willing and able to turn your reservation into a credit that can be used for any of our services anytime in the next two years, we would be very grateful for your support. Deciding to hold a credit now does not preclude you from asking for a full refund later on.
  • If you have a booking before June 30th, and any of the following applies to you, we will provide a full refund:
    • Currently feeling ill
    • Are an at-risk population (older adult; have a medical condition such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, a chronic respiratory disease, cancer; or have a compromised immune system from a medical treatment such as chemotherapy)
    • Have had your travel or accommodations plans cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak

For all other bookings: The COVID-19 crisis is unfolding day-by-day and thus it is challenging to make accurate predictions of what will happen in future months. If you are willing and financially able to stick through this with us, we hope that you will keep your registration until we have more information for programs after June 6th. This will allow us to use these funds to offset the costs incurred by the impact of COVID-19. If your ability to wait is affected by other extenuating circumstances, such as immediate financial need, please reach out to us at [email protected] 

Facts about COVID-19  

British Columbia is currently in a state of emergency to support access to essential good and services. Find out more here.

At the time of writing, there are 7,695 confirmed cases of the virus in Canada and 970 in British Columbia.1 In BC, 469 of those individuals have recovered, and 19 have died. As of March 30th, 42,028 individuals have been tested.2

You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms. 

The symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19: https://covid19.thrive.health/

The BC Ministry of Health strongly urges anyone who has symptoms – including a fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficulty breathing – to self-isolate for 14 days. To protect yourself while out in public, wash your hands frequently and maintain a distance of about 2 metres from others. For more information on COVID-19, refer to HealthLink BC’s COVID-19 website.

There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Social distancing – keeping physical distance from others – has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. Minimize close contact with others by avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes; avoiding crowded places; limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health; and keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others as much as possible.

For up-to-date information, visit Health Canada’s coronavirus disease resource page: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Additional facts about COVID-19: 

  • Elders and people with existing health concerns are at the greatest risk from COVID-19. We must ensure that our collective response includes care for the most vulnerable members of our community. 
  • Asians and people of Asian descent have been targeted in xenophobic attacks as a result of widespread fear and misinformation about this virus, which originated in Wuhan, China but which attacks people of all races and nationalities without discrimination. A healthy response to COVID-19 must include caring for all community members and dispelling myths that perpetuate racism. 
  • There are multiple reasons someone may cough, sneeze, or choose to wear a mask—including seasonal allergies and non-contagious health concerns.
  • Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. Good hygiene practices can help prevent transmission.  
  • There are increased health risks for Canadian travellers abroad. Because of these risks, the Government of Canada advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.It is important for all travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada, monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

Additional resources: