Introducing 826DC’s COVID-19 Safety Policies

826DC is officially reopening for in-person writing adventures this fall! We’re delighted—and determined to do this right.

“We’ve spent the summer ensuring that our upcoming programs will be meaningful and engaging for students,” says Zachary Clark, 826DC’s Executive Director, “and preparing our writing center to welcome everyone back safely. We’re so excited to create with you all again! We’re going to do that, like we do everything, thoughtfully and with a real focus on community.”

826DC is committed to fostering a safe environment in which to write, learn, work, and grow. To make that happen and to make this return as smooth as possible, we’ve developed the COVID-19 safety policies that you’ll see below.

These policies are based on the current guidelines from the CDC, DCPS, and DC government. As that guidance evolves, so will ours. You’ll always be able to find the most up-to-date version of these policies here, at bit.ly/StayingSafe826DC.

For many, these policies will bring a welcome sigh of relief. Others may not be so thrilled. We want to recognize that and to thank you all for your part in protecting this community. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with Zachary directly at zachary@826dc.org.


826DC’s COVID-19 Safety Policies

(As of September 7, 2021. Again, you can always find the most up-to-date info at bit.ly/StayingSafe826DC)

Everyone needs a face mask

-Everyone must wear a face mask at 826DC and Tivoli’s Astounding Magic Supply Co. at all times, except when eating or drinking.

-Your mask should cover your nose and mouth.

-We will do our best to provide masks to visitors who arrive without one.

826DC staff, interns, and volunteers need to be fully vaccinated.

-All volunteers must provide proof of vaccination before joining us at any in-person 826DC program.

-We’ll accept any of these documents as proof of vaccination:

-A photo/scan of your vaccine card
-A vaccine record from the DC MyIR, Maryland MyIR, or Virginia Immunization Information System
-A verifiable letter from your doctor

-You can either bring us a paper copy of your proof of vaccination or email it to zachary@826dc.org. Either way, those records will be destroyed annually to protect your privacy.

Fewer people, further apart

-Up to 10 students can join us at once in the 826DC writing center, and must stay at least 3 feet apart from other people.

-Up to 5 adults (other than the staff working in their offices or facilitating a program) can be onsite with us when students are present, and must stay 6 feet apart from other people.

Safe pickup & dropoff

-If you are picking up a student from 826DC, you need to be masked and to stay 6 feet apart from other people.

-If several guardians arrive at once to pick up a student, we will ask you to wait on the entrance stairwell.


What If…

What if I believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

We define an exposure as having been within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19, for 15 minutes or more.

If you have had an exposure, you should quarantine for 5 days. You will be able to come back to 826DC once you provide a negative PCR test result, taken 3-5 days after the exposure happened.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

Stay home, and feel better soon! Three things have to happen before you can return to 826DC or any 826DC programs:

1) You don’t have symptoms anymore,

2) You have sent us the results from a negative PCR test, and

3) It has been at least 10 days since your symptoms first appeared.


Other FAQ

How has 826DC adapted the writing center to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

We have rearranged our furniture to make it easier to socially distance in the writing center. 826DC is also working closely with Horning Brothers, our building’s management company, to make sure that the building’s HVAC system is functioning properly and that the nightly cleanings include antibacterial wipedowns of high-traffic surfaces in our space.

We have confirmed that the HVAC system brings in outdoor air, does not recycle indoor air, undergoes monthly preventative maintenance, and uses Merv 13 filters which are changed regularly.

I’m not ready to volunteer in-person yet. Can I volunteer remotely?

Be sure to join our mailing list or follow us on social media, if you haven’t already, to get the heads up about remote volunteering projects.

If you are a current, active volunteer in an 826DC program, our staff will also let you know about those opportunities as they pop up.

What will happen if a staff member, volunteer, or intern is exposed to COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19?

We will alert anyone who was within 6 feet of that person for 15 minutes or more. If you are a student, we will contact your guardian or your teacher.

If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 here, 826DC will also close on a program-by-program basis. Depending on the situation, the impacted program may or may not go virtual. We will have more information to share about our decision-making process for that soon.

What if I have other questions or concerns about 826DC’s safety policies?

You can reach 826DC’s Executive Director, Zachary Clark, at zachary@826dc.org.