Covid-19 and the ORC: Update 6

To The ORC Community, 

We would like to start by thanking everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to navigate all the barrier to rowing presented by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The club’s leadership team has been hard at work collaborating with the city and the province as well as our various rowing governing bodies to assemble a plan that gets our members back on the water in as timely and safe manner as possible. 

As part of our steps in returning to rowing, the ORC has appointed Dr. Christina Fernandez as our lead medical contact in accordance with RCA’s recommendation. Dr. Fernandez will continue to advise our executive and our coaches on best practices and provide updates from Ottawa Public Health and the provincial and federal governments. 

The club has put together a number or procedures and policies regarding expectations and rower conduct during our return to rowing, all of these can be found in the COVID-19 tab on the ORC webpage. Prior to coming down to the boathouse it will be the responsibility of each member to read these policies and assure adherence while on club property. 

The club is happy to announce that we have entered Phase 1 of our return to rowing protocol which included a couple of small pilot groups getting on the water for the first time this week. The groups chosen to pilot or procedures, ensure our timing, and execute our sanitation process were committed members of our junior and senior competitive teams who wouldn’t require access to personal equipment bays, have a strong rapport with their coaches, have an advanced degree of competence in single sculls, and many of whom trained six times a week all winter.  

At the end of this week the club will be completing a review of the procedures used and modify our set-up to best protect our members while on club property. The results of this review and updates on returning to rowing will be shared with our membership in next week’s Wednesday newsletter. The hope is to have recreational/master and private boat owners rowing singles (2x/- same household) in the next week or so. Please be patient, as the club prepares for a larger number of rowers. 

At this time, only single rowing is available at the club. It is understood that this isn’t ideal for all members but it’s a necessary requirement to get back on the water at any point in the near future. The ORC is using a staggering wave system for rowers each day, in order to educate athletes with launching and cleaning/disinfecting procedures that everyone needs to adhere to.

There will be a scheduling system set up that all members (competitive, recreational and private boat owners) will have to follow. Rowers following the scheduling system will be key in making sure that social distancing is possible at the ORC. Rowers will be expected to come to the club prepared to row, row, and leave immediately after washing and disinfecting their boats. The ORC clubhouse facilities will all be closed. All rowers are expected to have their own PFD, light and whistle. 

In order to return to the water all rowers will need to complete the two part registration, review the club’s COVID related documents (found on the website) and attend a safety session with Head Coach Zak at 8:30am on Saturday morning. These safety sessions will be recurring, so if you are unable to attend this week’s session there will be another one. 

Topic: ORC Safety Meeting #2
Time: May 30, 2020 08:30 AM Ottawa
Join Zoom Meeting:

All members will register using a special link that will be sent out by lead coaches after attending the ZOOM safety meeting. Step 1: RCA/RO registration and Step 2: ORC program fee is a Covid-19 Rec fee of $466 (June 1 – August 31). After which, a new fee will then be adjusted for the fall, if rowing is possible. In addition, members should familiarize themselves with all of the New ORC Covid-19 Policies, found on the ORC website COVID19 page. The material is being updated regularly.

ORC is taking steps to get as many members on the water safely and meeting the requirements outlined by RCA, RowOntario and the City of Ottawa. We do not want to lose the privilege to row so working together we can get back on the water,

Yours in Rowing, 

ORC Executive

COVID-19 and the ORC: Update 5

As many of you are aware the ORC has recently put some docks on the water as requested by the City of Ottawa so that they can gain access to the septic tanks for replacement. A small step forward to the opening of the ORC. 

As the Province of Ontario is slowly opening venues as part of Phase 1, RCA and RowOntario have also given the ORC certain guidelines to adhere to in preparation of opening. Each rowing club across Canada is unique depending on the number of Covid-19 cases in the rowing clubs region so rowing clubs across Canada cannot be compared. The ORC will not be able to open its doors to all members as it is restricted by social distancing rules, however, some rowing will soon be allowed at the club. 

At this time, the ORC is aiming to give access to private single boat owners, and athletes capable of rowing club singles as well as pair/doubles for individuals who are living in the same household.  Our Head Coach, and the program coaches are working together to come up with a schedule for program athletes to gain access to club singles. Rowers will need to understand that they may not be given access to boats daily. Staggered start times, social distancing rules (max 5 people on ORC property at a time) and the use of face masks will be expected. Athletes will need to expect longer launching and docking times. Strict cleaning rules will need to be followed by all members, even private boat owners. 

As an athlete, whether you are a private boat owner or using club singles you are required to educate yourself with the new ORC Covid-19 policies when they are released in the coming days. This policy is being put into place for the safety of all members. The ORC requires you to have your own face mask on land and suggests that you have your own gloves and cleaning products (buckets, sponges) to eliminate cross contaminations. 

The ORC is excited that it will be able to open for rowing soon, albeit on a limited basis and with restrictions. Details about registration and the Covid-19 policy protocol required to row safety at the ORC will be communicated as soon as possible. 

Yours in Rowing, 

ORC Executive