COVID-19

Rowing PEI Protocol for Return to Rowing

Overview

Rowing PEI operates in a very visible, public space at the Charlottetown Yacht Club.
Because of this, it is important that we model exemplary behaviour and follow a clear
protocol that is easily understood. We also share the space and many eyes will be on
us as we return to rowing.

Our members are familiar with risk assessment, which is a process we engage in
constantly, to minimize the risks associated with rowing. We have cold weather rules,
rules around unsafe weather conditions and other hazards, so we know how important
it is to abide by rules to be safe. Similarly, we will follow the directives of the Chief
Public Health Office as well as the direction from Rowing Canada to minimize the risk of
transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Updated July 8, 2020: World Rowing’s guidance says that “As an outdoor and non-
contact sport, rowing can be relatively safe due to air flow and distances possible
between athletes when rowing.”

*****Rowing PEI has now moved to Phase #2.

Disclaimer
Rowing PEI will organize a schedule that allows for physical distancing as required by
the Chief Public Health Office. We will carefully track attendance at each row, so that
we can use them, if needed, for contact tracing. Members of Rowing PEI will be
required to respectfully follow the protocol laid out by the Charlottetown Yacht Club at
all times. Members must also pay attention to updates sent by Rowing PEI via email
and social media that will cover any changes in procedures as we move through this
process. We may require you to acknowledge that you have read these updates, in
order to ensure a full understanding before you arrive on site.

There is no playbook for returning to rowing. Rowing PEI will be following a multi-
phased return to rowing protocol, as laid out by the Chief Public Health Office and
Rowing Canada. We ask that our membership be patient and understanding as we
move through the process. Our goal is to do as much rowing as possible in 2020, with
as many members involved as possible, but always being guided by the principles of safety.

Rowing PEI’s Return to Rowing Phases
Phase #1
Facilities

● Go directly to the Rowing PEI dock when you come to row and leave directly
when you are finished.
● If you need to use the washrooms, follow the protocol laid out by the
Charlottetown Yacht Club. The ground floor of the building will be open for
washroom use only by members and their guests. To access, enter through the
West doors (facing the parking lot). One user in the washroom at a time. Exit
through the South door of the Great Hall.
● Come in your rowing clothes. There will be no change rooms available.
● You must be signed up for a row. You can’t just show up even if it appears there
is a spot on the schedule. We need to pre-screen you before you come to the
Yacht Club. Only one person can touch the logbook.
● Maintain physical distancing guidelines (6ft apart) at all times.
● A safety lead is assigned to each row. That person will remove all the oars
from the oar box and place on the dock. Take turns going up on the deck and
getting your oars, stepping back when you are done.
● On the dock, all rowers must wear a face mask until they launch their boat. Masks
can be removed once on the water, but must be replaced upon docking. Rowers
are expected to bring their own mask and a Ziploc or other waterproof bag to
store their mask. Best practice is to bring two masks, for before and after the row.
● Make sure your water bottle is clearly labelled and in a Ziploc or other waterproof bag that is also clearly labelled. Fill your water bottle before coming to the Yacht Club.
● Bring a Ziploc bag or similar to place any tissues or trash used while in the boat.
Take your garbage home or place in the garbage bins provided by the Yacht
Club.

Equipment
● Only single sculls and doubles rowed as singles will be allowed during
phase #1. Two members of the same household are also permitted to use
a double.
● If you are helping to lift a boat into the water, make sure you maintain physical
distancing as much as possible even with a mask on.
● Don’t touch someone else’s oars. Keep your water bottle with your oars so we
know who they belong to.
● Step back while the rower is adjusting the foot stretchers. If you are holding the
boat for them, make sure you are two metres (six feet away) from them.
● Oars, riggers and foot stretchers will be washed and sanitized before and after
each row with soap and water provided. Boats will be washed with soap and
water after each use. Areas of the boat that are touched, i.e. seats and handles
will also be washed and sanitized.
● There will be multiple buckets and soap to allow for physical distancing. Any
towels/rags will be placed in a plastic bag to be washed before they are used
again. Sponges will be sanitized and left to dry in the sun.
● Rowers will wash and sanitize their OWN oars and riggers and foot stretchers.
Only one person will wash the boat. The safety will sanitize the oars before
placing them back into the oar box.
● One person will be responsible for the hose. They will be the only person to
touch it during any given row. They will do so with gloves and will wash and
sanitize it before and after use.
● The safety will log cleaning in the logbook, noting which oars and boats have
been cleaned and sanitized.

Communications
● Club communication will continue via email, as well as on our Rowing PEI social
media channels on Facebook and Instagram. We will provide daily updates on
the Rowing PEI Facebook page and any significant updates will also be sent via email.
● We will use signage at the club house to reinforce key procedures.
● The COVID committee will monitor these feeds to make sure that all
communications reflect safe practices, including photos.

Phase #2: as of July 8, 2020

Guidelines remain as in Phase #1 with the exception of restrictions on boats.

Single sculls and doubles are now permitted. Doubles rowing should align with
the following conditions:

● Doubles partners should designate each other as part of their extended”bubble” of close contacts
● Partners must remain consistent throughout training

Phase #3: As of July 21, 2020

Guidelines remain as in Phase #2 with the addition of a modified Learn to Row
program.
The program will include an initial online component, followed by on-the-water training
with modifications.

LTR Training:

● Session #1 –  We will start online, via Zoom, with an introduction to Rowing PEI
and a viewing of the Rowing Canada safety video. (1.5 hours)
● Session #2 – On Zoom or at the Charlottetown Yacht Club: Stroke kit, Rowing machine and
tour of the docks. (1.5 hours)
● Sessions #3  and #4: Participants will row the coastal doubles as a single. One
coach will provide support from the safety boat and a second from another
coastal boat.

Phase #4: TBD
Crew boats may be permitted subject to clarification and advice from Rowing Canada
and various medical authorities. More information will come, when available.

Rowing PEI COVID Protocol – Step by Step – June 9, 2020

Step #1 – Getting ready and things to bring

  • You must be signed up for a row. You can’t just show up even if it appears there is a spot on the schedule.
  • We need to pre-screen you before you come to the Yacht Club.

You must reply by email to the following self-assessment checklist.

If you are signed up to row today, are you feeling unwell?
Do you have any of the following symptoms?
Fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, unusual fatigue, sneezing, congestion, runny nose
Have you travelled off the Island within the last 14 days?
Is there anything else we need to know before you come and row?
If you answered no to all of the above, you may row today. Maintain physical distancing and proper hand washing hygiene.

  • Come in your rowing clothes. There will be no change rooms available.
  • Rowers are expected to bring their own mask and a Ziploc or other waterproof bag to store their mask. Ideally you will bring two masks – one for pre-row and one to use when you return.
  • Make sure your water bottle is clearly labelled and in a Ziploc or other waterproof bag that is also clearly labelled. Fill your water bottle before coming to the Yacht Club.
  • You must place any tissues or trash used while in the boat in the Ziploc.

Step #2 – Before the Row

  • Arrive no more than 10 minutes before your row.
  • Don’t park in the Charlottetown Yacht Club parking lot unless it is an early morning row. They are strictly limiting parking there.
  • Make sure you are wearing your mask before arriving at the deck.
  • Go directly to the Rowing PEI deck when you come to row and leave directly when you are finished. Don’t walk across the porch but take a wide berth to our deck.
  • Avoid touching anything on the deck or dock that you don’t need to touch.
  • If you need to use the washrooms, follow the protocol laid out by the Charlottetown Yacht Club. The ground floor of the building will be open for washroom use only by members and their guests. To access, enter through the West doors (facing the parking lot). One user in the washroom at a time. Exit through the South door of the Great Hall.
  • Only one person will be assigned to sign in rowers. No one else can touch the logbook.
  • Maintain physical distancing guidelines (6 feet apart) at all times.
  • A safety person is assigned to each row. That person will remove all the oars from the oar box and place them on the wall. Take turns going up and getting your oars, stepping back when you are done.
  • On land, all rowers must wear a face mask until they launch their boat. Masks can be removed once on the water, but must be replaced upon docking.
  • Take your garbage home or place in the garbage bins provided by the yacht club.

Step #3 – Getting into the boats

  • Only single shells and doubles rowed as singles will be allowed during phase #1. Two members of the same household are also permitted to use a double.
  • If you are helping to lift a boat into the water, make sure you maintain physical distancing as much as possible even with a mask on. People are watching and we want to model physical distancing whenever we can.
  • Oars are to be placed a safe distance from other oars.
  • Don’t touch someone else’s oars. Keep your water bottle with your oars so we know who they belong to.
  • Step back while the rower is adjusting the foot stretchers. If you are holding the boat for them, make sure you are two metres (six feet away) from them.

Step #4 – Back on the Dock

  • Oars, riggers and foot stretchers will be washed and sanitized before and after each row with soap and water provided. Boats will be washed with soap and water after each use. Areas of the boat that are touched, i.e. seats and handles will also be washed and sanitized.
  • There will be multiple buckets and soap to allow for physical distancing. Any towels/rags will be placed in a plastic bag to be washed before they are used again. Sponges will be sanitized and left to dry in the sun.
  • Rowers will wash and sanitize their OWN oars and riggers and foot stretchers. Only one person will wash the boat. The safety will sanitize the oars before placing them back into the oar box.
  • One person will be responsible for the hose. They will be the only person to touch it during any given row. They will do so with gloves and will wash and sanitize it before and after use.
  • The safety will log cleaning in the logbook, noting which oars and boats have been cleaned and sanitized.
  • Please don’t congregate at the yacht club. Leave as soon as you have completed your tasks.

Step #5 – Keeping in Touch

  • Club communication will continue via email, as well as on our Rowing PEI social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. We will provide daily updates on the Rowing PEI Facebook page and any significant updates will also be sent via email.
  • We will use signage at the club house to reinforce key procedures.
  • The COVID committee will monitor these feeds to make sure that all communications reflect safe practices, including photos.

All members will be tasked with ensuring everyone is adhering to the rules of the club and anyone failing to comply will be asked to leave the property immediately.

Rowing PEI Protocol for Return to Rowing*    Published June 8, 2020

Overview

Rowing PEI operates in a very visible, public space at the Charlottetown Yacht Club. Because of this, it is important that we model exemplary behaviour and follow a clear protocol that is easily understood. We also share the space and many eyes will be on us as we return to rowing.

Our members are familiar with risk assessment, which is a process we engage in constantly, to minimize the risks associated with rowing. We have cold weather rules, rules around unsafe weather conditions and other hazards, so we know how important it is to abide by rules to be safe. Similarly, we will follow the directives of the Chief Public Health Office as well as the direction from Rowing Canada to minimize the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

In the first phase of return to rowing, as directed by Rowing Canada, we will be rowing in singles and household doubles only. Crew boat rowing will be on hold as our sport’s governing bodies seek clarification on a number of issues including a “slipstream effect” for crew rowing. The “slipstream effect“ refers to respiratory droplets transmitted when exercising behind an athlete. In rowing, that effect could potentially vary with the speed of a boat, wind conditions, crew numbers and exertion. Given the novel nature of the virus, little research has been conducted to date. We hope that clarity and understanding will come soon.

Disclaimer

Rowing PEI will organize a schedule that allows for physical distancing as required by the Chief Public Health Office. We will carefully track attendance at each row, so that we can use them, if needed, for contact tracing. Members of Rowing PEI will be required to respectfully follow the protocol laid out by the Charlottetown Yacht Club at all times. Members must also pay attention to updates sent by Rowing PEI via email and social media that will cover any changes in procedures as we move through this process. We may require you to acknowledge that you have read these updates, in order to ensure a full understanding before you arrive on site.

There is no playbook for returning to rowing. Rowing PEI will be following a multi-phased return to rowing protocol, as laid out by the Chief Public Health Office and Rowing Canada. We ask that our membership be patient and understanding as we move through the process. Our goal is to do as much rowing as possible in 2020, with as many members involved as possible, but always being guided by the principles of safety.

Principles for the Decision to Row

Risk Assessment: Rowing PEI has undergone a thorough assessment of the risks outlined in Rowing Canada’s Risk Assessment Document and scored well enough to be considered in the “Low Risk” threshold.

Rowing PEI has also prepared an operational plan as required by the Chief Public Health Office. It has been submitted to Sport PEI.

Personal Responsibility: It is important for all members of Rowing PEI to take personal responsibility for their own safety and decision-making. By choosing to register, each member agrees to act in a responsible and selfless manner in accordance with the club’s, province’s and Rowing Canada’s current safety guidelines.

We also ask that you only row in Phase 1 if you are competent in a single shell or a double rowed as a single, so as not to put anyone else at risk having to pull you out of the water.

We will also ask you to conduct a self-assessment before each row and not participate if you are experiencing any symptoms.

*This will mean that we have to delay our Learn to Row program until a phase where we are allowed more than one person in a boat, or we find a way to adapt our Learn to Row program to maintain physical distancing. We ask you to be patient as we work towards that goal.

The importance of compliance with current COVID-19 restrictions: It is important to everyone in our sport that we ensure full compliance on the phased lifting of restrictions to ensure rowing remains a ‘low risk’ activity. The reputation of rowing is at stake if we don’t all do the best job we can to be as safe as possible.
ANY transgression of the rules places not only you but the entire club, rowing community and local community at risk.

If you do not abide by these rules, you will not be permitted to row again until you can clearly demonstrate you will comply with the rules. Your return to rowing will be at the discretion of the board of Rowing PEI.

RCA Safety Training – All Rowing PEI members must complete the Rowing Canada Safety video training and review of Rowing PEI safety rules. This will be done online.

All Rowing PEI members must also attend a COVID-19 education session prior to returning to the club for all rowing activities.

If you don’t understand something, please ask. We’re all learning together!

Rowing PEI’s Return to Rowing Phases

Phase #1
Facilities

  • Go directly to the Rowing PEI deck when you come to row and leave directly when you are finished.
  • If you need to use the washrooms, follow the protocol laid out by the Charlottetown Yacht Club. The ground floor of the building will be open for washroom use only by members and their guests. To access, enter through the West doors (facing the parking lot). One user in the washroom at a time. Exit through the South door of the Great Hall.
  • Come in your rowing clothes. There will be no change rooms available.
  • You must be signed up for a row. You can’t just show up even if it appears there is a spot on the schedule.
  • We need to pre-screen you before you come to the Yacht Club. Only one person can touch the logbook.
  • Maintain physical distancing guidelines (6ft apart) at all times.
  • A safety person is assigned to each row. That person will remove all the oars from the oar box and place them on the dock.Take turns going up and getting your oars, stepping back when you are done.
  • On land, all rowers must wear a face mask until they launch their boat. Masks can be removed once on the water, but must be replaced upon docking. Rowers are expected to bring their own mask and a Ziploc or other waterproof bag to store their mask. *
  • Make sure your water bottle is clearly labelled and in a Ziploc or other waterproof bag that is also clearly labelled. Fill your water bottle before coming to the Yacht Club.
  • Bring a Ziploc bag or similar to place any tissues or trash used while in the boat. Take your garbage home or place in the garbage bins provided by the yacht club.

 

Equipment

  • Only single shells and doubles rowed as singles will be allowed during phase #1. Two members of the same household are also permitted to use a double.
  • If you are helping to lift a boat into the water, make sure you maintain physical distancing as much as possible even with a mask on.
  • Don’t touch someone else’s oars. Keep your water bottle with your oars so we know who they belong to.
  • Step back while the rower is adjusting the foot stretchers. If you are holding the boat for them, make sure you are two metres (six feet away) from them.
  • Oars, riggers and foot stretchers will be washed before and after each row with soap and water provided. Boats will be washed with soap and water after each use. Areas of the boat that are touched, i.e. seats and handles will also be washed and sanitized.
  • There will be multiple buckets and soap to allow for physical distancing. Any towels/rags will be placed in a plastic bag to be washed before they are used again. Sponges will be sanitized and left to dry in the sun.
  • Rowers will wash and sanitize their OWN oars and riggers and foot stretchers. Only one person will wash the boat. The safety will sanitize the oars before placing them back into the oar box.
  • One person will be responsible for the hose. They will be the only person to touch it during any given row. They will do so with gloves and will wash and sanitize it before and after use.
  • The safety will log cleaning in the logbook, noting which oars and boats have been cleaned and sanitized.

Rowing and masks…. We are all learning!  Some thoughts from a physician-rower:
(with thanks to Dr. Gwyneth De Vries)

The main idea is to make sure that hands are cleaned at all steps.  Two masks (one going out, one coming in) decrease the worry and the potential risks. Have a personal supply of masks, bags, hand sanitizer. 

1.On land: Wear a clean mask to set up equipment, launch, and arrive at a safe physical distance on water from others. (Don the mask with clean hands, handle from the edges.  Do not touch the mask.  Using a bit of paper tape along the top of the mask at the bridge of the nose will prevent glasses from fogging). See separate guidelines for the order of donning mask and glasses.

2.On the water:  Acknowledge surroundings.  Balance the boat, secure oars to free up both hands to handle your mask.

3. One mask available: Handle the mask by the ear loops or ties.  Do not touch the front of the mask.  Put the mask in a bag if planning to re-use the mask; avoid touching the inside of the bag where the mask has had contact.  Tip: if you have only one mask, carefully fold the mask so the inside surface touches itself as a safeguard, or place the mask flat, inside surface up, in a sandwich container with a lid.  Handle by edges only at all times.  

Perils of one mask: it will possibly contaminate itself while being stored and retrieved but it can be done. 

Two masks available: Handle each mask by the ear loops or ties.  Do not touch the front of the mask. Have a strategy to safely stow away the used mask in its bag (plastic is okay if the mask will not be re-used; e.g. going home to the laundry).  Be sure that the bag with the used mask will not contaminate other equipment later in the row or when back on the dock. 

4. Sanitize hands before grasping the oar handles.  Avoid touching the face while rowing.

5. Don a clean (and to avoid confusion if using two masks, different coloured) mask to return to the dock.  (Solid colour out, jaunty stripes to come in? Fundraising opportunity if you have sewing expertise in the club).  Be sure the hands are clean before and after handling all masks.

Bring two masks in a plastic bag. Bring a second plastic sealable bag  for dirty masks and put a tissue or object in it that identifies it as “dirty”.
Put a mask on before coming to the club.
Remove once in boat and place in the “dirty” bag. Do not touch the outside surface of mask.
Put a second clean mask on before returning from the row. 
Hand hygiene before and after putting mask on or taking mask off.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
Place of used mask in “dirty” bag.
DO NOT RE-USE MASKS that are dirty.
If masks are washable, wash in hot water and detergent. Hot dryer if possible too. If single use, dispose in covered garbage.
Removing gloves, if used, is also likely to contaminate the hands. It’s important to use hand sanitizer after removal of gloves.
*Source: Ottawa Rowing Club

 

Communications

Club communication will continue via email, as well as on our Rowing PEI social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. We will provide daily updates on the Rowing PEI Facebook page and any significant updates will also be sent via email.
We will use signage at the club house to reinforce key procedures.
The COVID committee will monitor these feeds to make sure that all communications reflect safe practices, including photos.

Phase #2

Phase two will involve a modified Learn to Row (LTR) program when it is appropriate to do so. The program will include an initial online component, followed by on-the-water training with modifications:

Session #1 (Online): Welcome to the dock video and slideshow.
Session #2 (Online): Safety video and review of safety rules.
Session #3 (Online): Parts of the stroke, on the erg and the stroke kit.
Session #4 and #5 (On the water): One coach is in coach boat; second coach is in coastal double with the LTR participant. Physical distancing would be practiced as much as possible. Both will wear masks for the entirety of a session.

The return of LTR will be subject to the approval of PEI’s Chief Public Health Officer and Rowing Canada. All other practices will continue as in phase 1, unless otherwise advised by the appropriate authorities.

Phase #3

Crew boats may be permitted subject to clarification and advice from Rowing Canada and various medical authorities. More information will come, when available.