COVID-19 Update (March 18, 2020)

Posted on March 18, 2020

Dear Lakesiders,

We hope this message finds you healthy and safe. We know that this time is concerning, frustrating and filled with uncertainty. We appreciate all the support we have received from so many of you.

One thing we know, Lakeside has always been resilient. From the fires of the 1800s and the days of the Great Depression, to the war eras through the economic challenges of the decades, Lakeside has forged through and become stronger and more connected to its mission.

We know through your love of Lakeside we will work through this and continue to be the great community so many of you call home. This is a serious time for all of us as every day we are confronted with and learn more about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Last week, we shared with you that we were following the guidelines of the CDC and WHO, listening to our state and local health/government officials, and monitoring the situation so that we could make further decisions.

At this point, we’re doing everything in our power to assess and monitor the situation, and make clear decisions moving forward about our events and activities in the coming weeks, the spring months, and of course, the Chautauqua summer season.

Every day, we have learned more about the continuing efforts to stop the spread and flatten the epidemic curve, as well as the protocols that can keep our community safe from this virus.

In accordance with the recent mandates and regulations implemented by Gov. Mike DeWine and with the guidance of our health system, Lakeside Chautauqua is doing the following:

  1. Implementing procedures and closures to protect our staff and community. During the next two weeks, the Lakeside Chautauqua office will be closed to the public, March 19-April 3. Limited functions and operations will continue with a majority of employees working remotely from home. The best forms of communication with staff are by email or phone during this time.
  2. Cancelling most Lakeside events through the end of April. Some meetings will not be cancelled but will move to telecommunication methods instead of meeting face-to-face. See listing of events below.
  3. Continuing discussions over the coming weeks with our board and staff about plans and operations of Lakeside in the spring and summer months. As time progresses and we learn more, future strategies and scenarios will be developed that may impact our spring and summer season further than the cancellations listed below.
  4. Communicating board and staff decisions in April and May with potential operational changes for the summer. Options may include moving forward with a full season schedule, reduced or partial season schedule, or in a worse case, minimal or deferred season schedule. Our hope is to continue with as much of the summer season as is prudent. At this time, we do not have answers regarding what that will be. Like businesses and organizations around the globe, we're working through this one day at a time and trying not to jump to any conclusions in the interim.
  5. Continuing to monitor the orders and recommendations of our health experts and government officials and make further changes and adjustments to our plans in line with those proposals.

As of right now, we have a great Chautauqua summer season planned. However, if at any time in the coming weeks we decide to make changes to season, we will communicate that to you.

At the same time, we’re coordinating plans with all of our related parties – West and East Ohio Conferences, Lakeside Chautauqua Realty, Lakeside stores and restaurants, summer camps, visiting groups, members of the community and many other partners that work with Lakeside. We will also be communicating with our sister Chautauqua organizations around the nation to share ideas and learn about opportunities for summer.

We appreciate you giving us time over the next few weeks for the board and staff to evaluate, learn, study, understand and develop the most effective plans moving forward.

Lakeside is a very special place because of its people. While we work on our plans in moving forward, we're interested in learning from you. What are your ideas about what Lakeside can do this summer and what changes and adjustments should be made to our season? Click here to share with us your ideas so that we may include them in our thoughts and discussions ahead.

We promise we will continue to keep you informed and updated as we move forward. Our plan is to connect with you each week with any updates we may have – even if the update is that there is no new news yet – through our official Facebook page, e-newsletter and website at

Also, check our official Facebook and Instagram pages, as we will be providing you and your family with various fun facts, videos, devotionals and more for your enjoyment during this time of quarantine.

We encourage you to stay focused on the information from your state and local health officials and continue to practice safe protocols to help contain this virus and help make our world healthy again.


Daniel Dudley
Lakeside Chautauqua, Acting President & CFO/COO

Kurt Geisheimer
Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors, Chair

Tom Jones
Lakeside Chautauqua Foundation Board of Directors, Chair

Spring Event Cancellations

The following spring events have been cancelled. At this time, there are no plans to cancel or postpone other events planned for May or the Chautauqua summer season.

  • Wellness Center closed
  • March 19: Community Potluck
  • April 9: Ohio Gathering in Columbus
  • April 15: Ohio Gathering in Westlake
  • April 16: Community Potluck/Ohio Gathering in Lakeside
  • April 16: Ohio Gathering in Wooster/Canton
  • April 23: Ohio Gathering in Shaker Heights
  • April 26: Ohio Gathering in Dayton/Cincinnati
  • May 9: Mother's Day Weekend Tea
  • May 10: Mother's Day Brunch