COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Rocking the Boat is implementing a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols in order to resume in person programming in fall 2020. The purpose of these protocols is to minimize the risk to staff, volunteers, and participants of contracting or spreading the virus. All staff, volunteers, and participants must attest to having read these guidelines and agree to follow them at all times while at Rocking the Boat facilities or while using Rocking the Boat equipment. Each individual member of the Rocking the Boat community plays a critical role in keeping and maintaining everyone else’s health and safety.

These protocols fulfill both New York State and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Rocking the Boat’s Office Manager has been designated the Rocking the Boat site safety monitor charged with ensuring that these protocols are followed. Staff or participants who feel protocols are not being followed should contact the Director of Programs and Operations or the Executive Director, all such contact will be kept confidential.

Should Bronx infection rates exceed an average of 3% over a seven day period or if positive cases simultaneously occur in multiple programs, Rocking the Boat will suspend in person programming. Data from the NY Forward Dashboard will be consulted daily for this purpose.


Pre-Arrival Self-Screening
Employees and Volunteers:
Each day before arrival at Rocking the Boat employees and volunteers must complete the Health Screening Attestation online. The screening consists of six questions, if you answer “yes” to any of the questions you may not come to work.

The questions are:

  • Is your temperature higher than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit?
  • Have you had any known close or proximate contact with a person confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Are you or anyone you live with waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test?
  • Are you currently experiencing any of the following symptoms not caused by another condition: cough (new or worsening), shortness of breath (new or worsening), congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, trouble breathing, fever, chills, muscle or body pain (new or worsening), headache (new or worsening), sore throat (new or worsening), diarrhea, fatigue, new loss of taste, new loss of smell?
  • Have you been diagnosed by a medical professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
  • Have you or anyone you live with traveled to an area with significant community spread of COVID-19, as designated by New York State, in the past 14 days?

Participants, alumni, and all other people entering the facility:

  • Participants will arrive within 15 minutes of the beginning of their program and enter Rocking the Boat through the 1391-99 Lafayette Avenue door.Participants who arrive early will not be allowed to enter until screening starts.A staff member will be present to conduct a temperature check and COVID-19 Health Screening Attestation.  Participants who pass the screening will proceed to wash their hands with soap and water at the outside sink before proceeding to their program area.  Participants who do not pass the screening will be asked to leave.  Logs recording pass/fail screening results will be maintained daily.
  • All other visitors including contractors doing work at Rocking the Boat will enter through the 812 Edgewater Road front door.A staff member will collect their name and contact information and conduct a temperature check and COVID-19 Health Screening Attestation.Visitors who pass the screening will proceed to wash their hands with soap and water at the boatbuilding shop sink before proceeding to their program area.   Visitors who do not pass the screening will be asked to leave.  Logs recording pass/fail screening results will be maintained daily.
  • Mail carriers and other delivery people will hand materials to a staff person at the 812 Edgewater Road front door and not be allowed to enter the building.Should they need to enter based on the nature of the delivery, they will be screened as described above.

Pass/Fail results for all people entering Rocking the Boat’s facilities will be recorded and maintained electronically.  Medical information will continue to be maintained separately from other employment records with access limited as the law, including the ADA and HIPAA, and Rocking the Boat policies require.

Mask/Face Covering Protocols

  • Employees, volunteers, participants, and all other people must always wear face masks on Rocking the Boat property, inside and outside.
  • Acceptable masks/face coverings include medical grade masks, three-ply non-medical grade masks, and two-ply cloth face coverings.Masks with built in valves (filter) protect the user, but not anyone else and are prohibited as are single-ply neck gators.
  • Face shields are acceptable in lieu of masks/face coverings when rowing.
  • The only exception to this rule will be when employees are alone in their offices.Employees who share offices must wear masks at all times when not alone.
  • Individuals must be prepared to don a face covering if another person unexpectedly comes within six

Other Hygienic Practices

  • All people must wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon arrival at Rocking the Boat and periodically during the day, particularly when moving from one space to another (e.g., shop to office, office to yard).
  • Hands must be washed, or if not convenient, hand sanitizer must be applied before and after using boats and shop tools.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or a tissue.

Rocking the Boat will have an adequate supply of face masks, soap, paper towels, disinfectant in spray bottles, and hand sanitizer in stock at all times.

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing guidelines require people to stay at least six feet away from each other whenever possible.When that is not possible, such as when entering a boat or working on a complex boatbuilding project requiring four hands, the use of face masks and the practice of hand sanitization is even more critical.
  • Staff workstations have been reconfigured, so workspaces are at least six feet apart.
  • Any group gatherings in person will be done while maintaining at least six feet of distance.When that degree of distance is not possible, meetings will be held on Zoom or Teams.
  • When walking through the shop stay on the demarcated walkway, do not socialize with people working in the shop.
  • Seating has been reduced from public, social, and meeting areas to facilitate physical distancing.

Program Implications

Because of the comparatively large size of Rocking the Boat’s indoor program spaces and the small number of participants in Rocking the Boat’s alternating daily youth development program structure, no reduction in number of Youth Development Program participants or staff will be required to maintain CDC recommended social distancing guidelines.  That said, the following practices will be followed:

  • As usual, participants will be registered to attend on set days of the week
  • Unlike usual, participants will NOT be allowed to attend on any other day than their set day
  • Participants must make every effort to stay six feet apart from each other
  • Participants in each program (Student Boatbuilding, Sailing Job Skills, etc.) may not engage with participants in other programs (there will be no shared programs or switch days)
  • Program Assistants will be required to commit to either one alternate group or the other (working two days) or to both groups (working all four days)
  • Programming will take place outside whenever possible
  • Boat capacity will be limited as follows:
  • 14’ Whitehall: 2 people
  • 17’ Whitehall: 3 people
  • Legacy and Triumph: 4 people
  • Hobie Waves: 2 people
  • Quests: 2 people
  • Zodiac RIB: 6 people
  • Defender RIB: 3 people
  • Odyssey: 4 people 
  • A break schedule for programs will be jointly determined and must be strictly adhered to by all staff and participants
  • Group social work programs will take place outside when possible or on Zoom
  • The library will be reserved for two-or three-person counseling sessions
  • Participant breaks should be taken outside whenever possible
  • Rocking the Boat vans will not be used to transport participants.Instead, a staff person will be assigned to accompany program participants to the subway station each night.

Workplace Cleanliness and Disinfection

  • All facilities will be professionally cleaned and disinfected nightly.Cleaning logs, including the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection, will be maintained.
  • Nevertheless, staff should regularly disinfect their office, workspaces, and program spaces daily with spray disinfectant and paper towels or reusable towels.
  • Waste receptacles for discarding face coverings and other personal protective equipment will be placed throughout the property.
  • Staff will be trained on all protocols and signage will be posted in all program and administrative spaces, indoors and outdoors.
  • A bathroom trailer will be installed in the yard for use by participants of designated programs.Inside bathrooms will be designated for other programs.All individuals should wait a minimum of one minute after someone exits before entering.
  • All HVAC units have had their coils and drain pans chemically cleaned and sanitized; all filters have been replaced with MERV 13 filters.
  • All HVAC units have been adjusted to increase fresh air intake with a goal of reducing carbon dioxide levels to no more than 700ppm above outdoor air levels.
  • All HVAC fans are running in the ON position 24/7.
  • All exhaust fans are running 24/7.
  • Cooking and other food preparation (e.g., cutting, chopping) will no longer be permitted in the kitchen.Staff can store food in the refrigerator for the day and heat up food in the microwave.All surfaces including refrigerator and microwave handles, sink faucets, countertops must be disinfected before and after use.  The table and chairs have been removed.
  • Shared appliances will no longer be available; staff can bring personal coffee makers or kettles for use in their offices. 
  • Internal doors (i.e., shop, offices, classrooms) will be kept open whenever possible to increase air flow and reduce the need to touch handles.
  • All reusable materials and equipment should be washed with soap and water, sanitized with provided disinfectant and wiped down with a towel, or in the case of boating equipment, left in the sun to dry after use. This includes:
  • all boatbuilding tools
  • scientific equipment
  • oars
  • all touch points on boats
  • PFDs
  • VHF radios
  • all touch points on vehicles

Suspected or Diagnosed Case of COVID-19

  • If you or someone living in your household develops symptoms associated with COVID-19, please do not come to Rocking the Boat while these symptoms are present. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • If you or anyone in your program has been diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, no one in that program will be allowed to return to Rocking the Boat for a period of 14 days from the time of diagnosis.Instead, programming will be run virtually.While maintaining the anonymity of the affected person, Rocking the Boat will notify all participants both in that program and across the organization.
  • Participants who do not attend programming due to experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must report that they are having COVID-19 symptoms to their Program Director.
  • Participants who receive a positive COVID-19 diagnosis must report the results to their Program Directors; Program Directors must immediately report that information to Rocking the Boat’s Office Manager, Briana Hickson.
  • Staff and volunteers who do not report to Rocking the Boat due to possible COVID-19 symptoms must report that they are having COVID-19 symptoms to their supervisor.
  • Staff and volunteers who have been diagnosed by a medical professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must report the results to their supervisor; supervisors must immediately report that information to Rocking the Boat’s Office Manager, Briana Hickson.
  • Briana Hickson must immediately communicate all reports to the Executive Director.
  • If members of more than one program have been diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 during the same window of time, Rocking the Boat will cease in-person operations for 14 days. 
  • If a staff member, volunteer, or participant has been diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, Rocking the Boat is required to immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts.
  • Beyond required notification, confidentiality will be maintained.
  • If a staff member or volunteer develops COVID-19 symptoms while at Rocking the Boat they will be asked to immediately leave, if they do not have safe transportation home, Rocking the Boat will assist them.If a participant develops COVID-19 symptoms while at Rocking the Boat they will be isolated in the library while their parents are contacted to arrange safe travel home.
  • Rocking the Boat may temporarily close off areas used by a participant, staff member, or volunteer in the previous seven days who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has experienced COVID-19 symptoms. Ventilation in these areas will be increased to the extent possible and the areas will be thoroughly cleaned (where possible cleaning will occur at least 24 hours after the symptomatic employee last entered the areas to minimize potential exposure to respiratory droplets for employees cleaning the areas).

Rocking the Boat will  try to determine if the COVID-19 case was work-related, including by asking questions about (i) how the staff member or volunteer believes he/she contracted COVID-19 and (ii) activities at work and outside of work that may have resulted in the illness (of course being mindful of employee privacy).  Any confirmed work-related COVID-19 cases will be logged, as required.

kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids

rocking the boat
812 edgewater road
bronx, ny 10474
phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892