Flatwater

COVID-19 Protocols for the RACCC – May 2022

The continued presence of the COVID-19 virus in the Ottawa area has resulted in ongoing significant restrictions on club activities in order to reduce physical contact and, thereby, the risk of transmission of the virus.

All members of the Club must recognize that the failure to abide by these restrictions could result in the reinstatement of activity restrictions to the detriment of all members.

The protocols and guidelines will be updated in accordance with the latest information from provincial and local authorities and the RA centre. The club expects that there may be updates to the rules that the club must follow during the summer of 2022.

 

Overall Protocols for Activities

Provincial/Local Regulations

All Club activities must comply with:
• all applicable provincial and local regulations and restrictions for the Ottawa area and the areas where the activities are to be undertaken; and
• any requirements from the RA Centre.
These protocols and guidelines are in addition to, not in substitution for, those regulations and restrictions.

Responsibility For Individual Safety

All Club members and their guests are responsible for their own safety.
If anyone has a concern about safety on a club trip/activity, including COVID and non-COVID hazards, they should report it to the leader of the trip/activity.
Participants who do not feel that a trip/activity is safe should not participate in the activity.

Because of the greater difficulty in conducting rescues while following COVID protocols paddlers should lower their exposure to risk. For example:
• WW paddlers capable of running R3+ rapids may want to restrict themselves to R3- rapids.
• If possible, avoid crossing large expanses of open water.

Signing Waivers

All Club members must complete the RA’s online COVID waiver once. Renewing members who have already completed it are not required to complete it a second time.
Guests on club trips/activities must complete and sign a guest waiver prepared by the RA.

These waivers include clauses exempting the RA Centre and the activity leaders from any and all liability from any injury or illness arising from or in the course of undertaking the activity. This includes clauses related to COVID. The forms must be completed and submitted prior to undertaking the activity.

Removal From an Activity

Any Club member who is exhibiting or feeling any recognized symptoms of COVID-19 must withdraw from the Club activity immediately. In addition, if an activity leader considers that a participant may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, the activity leader may require that the person considered to exhibit these symptoms cease to participate in the activity and remove himself or herself from the group. Given the immediate risk that may be created for the group, the decision of the activity leader will be final and without right of appeal.

Notification of a COVID diagnosis

Anyone who receives a COVID-19 diagnosis within 14 days of participating in a club trip/activity shall notify the trip leader and a member of the Executive immediately. The trip/activity leader (or if that person does not wish to do so, a member of the Executive) will notify participants of the diagnosis without disclosing the name of the participant who has received the diagnosis.

Physical Distancing

Participants in Club activities who do not share the same household shall maintain physical distancing of two meters from one another.

Vaccinations

Members joining the Club will not be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. However, in order to participate in Club activities, members and their guests will be required to show the activity leader proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (see note below). The proof must be a government issued paper or electronic document. Participants failing to provide such proof will be excluded from the activity. These requirements apply to all Club activities, including canoeing and kayaking trips and training programs.

The requirement for proof of vaccination will not apply to Club members and guests providing proof of a medical reason for not being vaccinated (in a form that accords with guidelines issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health). In addition, children under 12 years of age will not require proof of vaccination.
Note: Provincial regulations establish what it is to be “fully vaccinated” based on vaccines approved by Health Canada. Currently, this includes two doses of the Pfizer-Biontech mRNA vaccine, the Moderna Spikevax mRNA vaccine or the AstraZeneca vaccine or a single dose of the Janssen vaccine.

 

Trip/Activity Planning

Size Limits

Trip and activity leaders continue to have the discretion to impose size limits on trips and other activities.

Trip Location Selection and Evacuation Opportunities

For multi day trips and activities, organizers are encouraged to select trip locations where there will be the opportunity to evacuate a participant to appropriate medical assistance within one day at any point along the trip. These potential evacuation points should be communicated to other participants during the trip planning meeting.

Electronic Meetings

Where feasible, all meetings shall be undertaken by teleconference or videoconference.

Use of Forms

Where meetings are undertaken in proximity to other participants, the exchange of forms shall be kept to a minimum. The trip leader will be responsible for completing any forms.

Carpooling

It has been among the best traditions of the Club to reduce the environmental footprint of trips and increase social inter-action by sharing driving, especially with Club members who do not own a vehicle. In order to reduce the number of vehicles, some Club members have travelled with two or more canoes or kayaks on their vehicles and several passengers in their vehicles. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, different protocols need to apply.

Carpooling may be undertaken at the discretion of the driver. The Club recommends that the driver and passengers follow these procedures:
• Only one passenger per row in the vehicle;
• People in the vehicle wear masks;
• Passengers sit in the back rows (diagonal from the driver);
• If possible, keep the windows open during your commute.
• Where possible store personal belongings in the trunk;
• Both passenger and driver thoroughly wash their hands before entering the vehicle; and
• Avoid all contact between driver and passenger.

 

Paddling and Portaging

Carrying of Own Equipment

The owner/user of equipment is responsible for carrying their own equipment to and from vehicles and for any portaging of the equipment on the trip. Tandem carries of canoes and kayaks is allowed as long as both parties keep a distance of 2 metres. Participants sharing a household may carry each other’s equipment.

Sharing of Equipment

Paddles and other equipment must be disinfected before they are shared with people from different households.

Physical Distancing

Unless required to provide assistance to the occupants of another boat, a minimum distance of two meters shall be maintained between canoes and kayaks on the water.

Self-rescue Capacity

In the event of a dump, trip/activity participants should limit the duration and extent of contact with other participants while conducting a rescue to what is necessary to perform the rescue.

 

Campsites and Shared Meal Sites

No Sharing of Tents

Unless trip participants share the same household, trip participants shall not share a tent or other sleeping accommodation.

Distance Between Tents

A minimum of two meters shall be maintained between the entrance points of tents and other sleeping accommodation.

Sharing of Food or utensils

Participants on a trip may share food where participants apply disinfectant to their hands prior to handling any utensils used to serve food.

Communal Toilets

Users of communal toilets shall wipe the seating area with a disinfectant or sanitizer after each use.

 

Concluding Comments

These protocols have been designed to minimize the risk that COVID presents to people participating in club trips/activities They do not provide any guarantee that a participant in a Club trip/activity will not contract the virus during the course of an activity.

Club members, especially those that are at increased risk should they contract the COVID-19 virus, who are concerned about the level of risk of contracting the virus during an activity are encouraged to refrain from participating in the activity.

The club understands that many of these protocols are, at best, inconvenient. Nevertheless, we hope that club members will continue to enjoy paddling with the club.

 

Boathouse Activities and Equipment Protocols

Need to Enter Only

Club members and their guests must limit their entry into the Boathouse to necessary activities. They should only enter and remain in the Boathouse where it is necessary to retrieve or return equipment or forms contained in the Boathouse.

Access Restrictions

Everyone entering the Boathouse shall wear a mask that covers the chin, mouth and nose. All people entering the Boathouse shall maintain a 2 metre (6’) distance to the greatest extent possible.

Restrict Touching

Persons entering the Boathouse should limit the touching of equipment to those items that they are removing for use or returning to the Boathouse.

No Shared Use of Forms – Leaders or Their Delegates Only

All trip forms, boat reservation forms and other common forms are only to be touched and completed by the trip leader or delegated person. Participants shall communicate to the trip leader the applicable inventory numbers of all equipment removed from the Boathouse as well as emergency contact information.

First Aid Kits

Participants on trips are encouraged to bring their own first aid provisions, such as pain medication and treatments of their own minor cuts and blisters. Where the First Aid Kit provided by the Club is opened for use, the kit should be placed in the designated area of the Boathouse for out of use equipment.

Return of Equipment – Out of Use Period

Many soft surfaces (throw ropes, PFD’s, knapsacks, utensil kits, etc.) can be damaged by disinfectant. They shall be returned to a designated area at the rear of the Boathouse with a note saying when they were returned. This equipment shall not be returned to its appropriate location within the Boathouse until a period of five days has passed since the equipment was returned.

Inventory of Club Equipment

To reduce the risk for the asset coordinator, other volunteers, and members, the weekly shed inventory will be limited to a visual inspection only. We ask that you report any missing or damaged equipment immediately to the Asset Coordinator, by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reporting of Damage to Equipment

Any member of the Club causing or identifying damage to Club equipment shall report it to the Asset Coordinator or any other member of the Executive.