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COVID-19 Safety

At Norcal Crew we take the health and safety of every athlete and coach seriously. We have implemented the following policies to help ensure everyone stays safe during the pandemic.

Travel

Norcal encourages all athletes to be tested bi-weekly throughout season.

If your athlete is going to travel out of the state, Norcal asks that you submit a negative COVID test, the CDC recommends a negative COVID-19 test be taken within 72 hours upon returning. Send results to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org and copy your coach. This applies when traveling to visit colleges, we ask parents to please adhere to this policy.

Resources:

  • Curative: Free testing, locations throughout Peninsula and South Bay, oral swab, results available within 24-48 hours
  • Project Baseline: free testing, locations throughout Peninsula and South Bay, nasal swab, results available within 24-48 hours

Everyday Safety:

  • First and foremost, stay home if you don’t feel well or you have a cough or fever.
  • Daily self-monitoring for COVID-19
  • Wear a face covering or mask upon arrival and its continuous wear, unless actively engaging in physical activity or an underlying respiratory condition is present 
  • Maintain physical distancing practices on land
  • Arrive at practice “Ready-to-go” – Upon arrival, be dressed and prepared for any activities
  • “Pack-in, pack-out” – Supply one’s own water and supplemental objects/ equipment and minimal storage of personal items 
  • Use of the bathroom is limited – Predominantly used for handwashing before and after handling communal equipment for the CDC recommended twenty (20) seconds, or alternatively, using hand sanitizer
  • Wash/sanitize your hands upon arrival and departure from our facility.
  • You may not leave shoes or personal items on the dock. Everything you bring must go in the boat with you. Wear sandals or water shoes to make it easy. Leave your electronics at home.
  • All boats and oars will be sprayed with sanitizer, the pumps on the docks are filled daily with Clear Gear.

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Updated: 4/19/21

The County of San Mateo has moved into the orange tier and as such the COVID policies are changing.  Norcal is using a balanced risk approach to COVID safety.  That means practicing social distancing, masking and testing as well as taking all precautions to keep our athletes and coaches safe.

The County issued Implementation Guidance for the Four Pillars: School-Sponsored Athletic Events on March 9. We have reviewed the guidelines and feel we are complying in a safe manner.  The rules we have put in place regarding exposure and/or being sick with COVID comply directly with the County’s and State’s guidelines. 

Health

The California Department of Health Guidelines for Outdoor Recreational Activities define rowing with 2 or more people to be an outdoor high-contact sport. Consistent with the Guidelines, Norcal strongly encourages regular and postseason (antigen or PCR) testing of athletes and coaches weekly while participating in rowing with 2 or more people in the boat. You must send a message to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org every two weeks stating whether you took a COVID test during that period and the result if you were tested (negative, positive, or indeterminate).

Anyone who tests positive for COVID, suspects they have been exposed to COVID, doesn’t feel well, or has a cough or fever (coaches & athletes alike) MUST not come to the boathouse at any time. Further, you MUST send a message to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org as soon as any of the above health conditions applies. You must also send a message to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org when your condition improves or, in the case of COVID exposure or infection, after you have met the CDC self-quarantine guidelines for COVID. 

If you test positive for COVID or have been exposed to COVID, please follow the self-quarantine procedures recommended by the CDC.  

  1. All athletes and staff who test positive or are clinically diagnosed with COVID-19 disease must self-quarantine: 
    • For 10 days after specimen collection for their first positive test, and
    • The individual may end their quarantine and return to Norcal
      • after 10 days without providing a negative PCR test –OR–
      • after 7 days providing a negative test result (test must occur on Day 5 or later)
  2. Individuals who have been exposed to COVID or have been identified as close contacts (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) must quarantine for 7 days after the last exposure. These individuals must present a negative PCR test taken on day 5 or later of the last exposure before returning to Norcal.

A coach or athlete who is fully vaccinated can participate in Norcal or return to Norcal without having to provide a negative PCR test, even if the individual is a close contact of someone who has tested positive or has been exposed to COVID. Fully vaccinated means two weeks have passed since the person’s second COVID vaccine shot (for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine) or after their single COVID vaccine shot (for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Whether or not you are fully vaccinated, you should immediately self-quarantine and contact your coach and/or the Executive Director if you experience signs and symptoms of COVID. You should immediately alert your coach and/or the Executive Director if you have been exposed to COVID or you have tested positive for COVID, so that Norcal can take the appropriate steps to protect coaches and athletes from exposure to COVID.

All athletes & coaches MUST maturely adhere to strict health protocols and social distancing policies. This means maintaining at least six feet of distance between you and others as much as possible when outside of the boat.

When the athletes arrive, they get their oars & boat and immediately go out on the water.  There is no time in which the athletes are gathering.  The coaches have stopped having team meetings and have gone to using Remind & e-mails for all team communications.  The coaches use Coaches Eye to review video with the athletes and all of this is done remotely.

At the boathouse the athletes are supplied with multiple stations of hand sanitizer and two sinks and soap in the porta potties to sanitize their hands.  On the docks are spray containers of Clear Gear to spray down the surfaces that the athletes touch between uses.  We have developed a boat washing station to facilitate washing the boats on the way up the dock.  There are bottles of spray on the dock with soap, simple green, etc. that the athletes should spray on their boats, and then rinse the boats.  The coaches spray the oar handles between practices and we recommend the athletes hand sanitizer before and after using the oars (rowing).

Face Coverings

  • All athletes and coaches/staff MUST wear a mask when on land or on the dock.
  • Face coverings are to be worn by participants anytime that they are not actively working out.
  • All equipment being shared MUST be sprayed with Clear Gear before use by another.
  • Norcal recommends athletes wash hands or use hand sanitizer when they arrive and when they leave the facility.

Physical Distance

  • All athletes & coaches MUST maturely adhere to strict health protocols and social distancing policies. This means maintaining at least six feet of distance between you and others as much as possible when outside of the boat.
  • Maintain at least six feet of distance between sport participants and others to the maximum extent possible, including when on the sidelines.
  • All observers must maintain at least 6 feet from non-household members.
  • Mixing with other households during pre-game or post-game activities are discouraged and must strictly adhere to current CDPH gathering guidance.

Limited Gatherings – Guidelines for Observers

The San Mateo County guidelines for observers are:

  • Observers are limited to two adult family or household members in addition to any siblings per participating athlete as long as indoor and outdoor capacity limits can be maintained.
  • Participating athletes of the team’s junior varsity squad may observe its varsity competition as long as the athletes maintain at least six feet of distance between other groups, athletes, or coaches.
  • Household members must sit together as a group.
  • Each household group must maintain at least six feet of distance between other household groups, athletes, coaches, and others while at the event and while entering and exiting the facility.
  • All observers must wear face coverings at all times and in compliance with the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings.    
  • Event organizers may limit the number of people at the event, including turning people away, if they have concerns about maintaining physical distancing.

If Exposed or Infected

  • Children and teens with symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend practices. 
  • They should consult their physician for testing, notify their coach, and send a message to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org as explained above.
  • If anyone in a group gets sick, or is diagnosed with COVID, Norcal will immediately notify the entire team and restrict access to that athlete’s group as follows:

We will follow these guidelines for exposure: 

  • Wait at least five days from the time of your possible exposure to be tested. The test is most likely to detect an infection 5–7 days after infection. 
  • A PCR test, rather than a rapid antigen test, will be the most accurate, especially if you still do not have symptoms. 

Travel – Individual & Team

Individual – Norcal encourages all athletes to be tested bi-weekly throughout season.

If your athlete is going to travel out of the state, Norcal asks that you submit a negative COVID test, the CDC recommends a negative COVID-19 test be taken within 72 hours upon returning. Send results to covidnorcalsafety@norcalcrew.org and copy your coach. This applies when traveling to visit colleges, we ask parents to please adhere to this policy.

Resources:

  • Curative: Free testing, locations throughout Peninsula and South Bay, oral swab, results available within 24-48 hours
  • Project Baseline: free testing, locations throughout Peninsula and South Bay, nasal swab, results available within 24-48 hours

Team

Traveling as a full team the way we have before, in buses, sharing hotel rooms, etc… is not possible at the current time.  This policy will be continually evaluated as the situation changes.  

Team travel guidelines as of 4/19/21:

  • Parents will be responsible for their athletes attending events, this includes transportation, housing and food.    
  • Coaches will work with the parents to determine time-lines for races, travel etc…
  • If families want to travel together the team leaves that up to the individual families

The only travel Norcal expects to attend is the National Championships in Sarasota Florida.  This regatta will start with a time trial and eliminations, so Norcal will think hard about who to take to the regatta.  

Vaccination of Eligible Households

NorCal athletes, coaches, and staff are getting vaccinated and this will help to reduce the likelihood of transmission.   All of the staff have made an appointment to get a vaccine, been vaccinated once, or are finished being vaccinated.