COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols
Summer 2022

Scientific understanding of the COVID-19 virus is evolving every day and Rocking the Boat’s response will continue to evolve with it.  Rocking the Boat’s priority is to reduce community risk and the organization has implemented a comprehensive set of health and safety protocols designed not just to protect individual staff members, participants, and volunteers, but the broader South Bronx community.  All staff, participants, and volunteers must attest to having read these guidelines and agree to follow them at all times while at Rocking the Boat indoor and outdoor facilities and 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 reflect the most up-to-date New York State and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Rocking the Boat will:

  • Ensure that all visitors who enter the property complete the health attestation screening;
  • Ensure that rapid tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) are available to all staff, participants, and volunteers;
  • Ensure that all who enter the facilities are following the protocols below. 

Staff, participants, or volunteers who feel protocols are not being followed should contact the Executive Director immediately to report concerns and be assured that all such contact will be kept confidential.

Vaccination Policy

Consistent with its duty and ongoing practice to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of recognized hazards, Rocking the Boat has adopted this policy to safeguard the health and well-being of employees, participants, and their families; visitors and others who spend time in our facilities; and the larger community from the risks associated with COVID-19.  This policy is intended to comply with all state and local laws. It is based upon guidance provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health and licensing authorities, as applicable.

Rocking the Boat will expect all employees, participants, and visitors to either (a) establish that they have been fully vaccinated; or (b) obtain an approved exemption as an accommodation.  The process for seeking an accommodation is explained below.  For purposes of this policy, an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of a single-dose vaccination (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen).  Employees who do not fulfill one of these two requirements will be placed on unpaid leave and their employment will be subject to termination.  Other unvaccinated individuals will not be allowed to enter Rocking the Boat’s buildings.  To establish that they are fully vaccinated, individuals may present a completed COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or the digital New York State Excelsior Pass for inspection by an appropriate member of the Management Team.

The CDC recently updated its guidelines by defining what being “up to date” with your COVID-19 vaccines means. Specifically, “you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and all boosters recommended for you, when eligible.”  For adults 18 years or older, a booster of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is indicated for “most people at least 5 months after the final dose in the primary series.”  For adults ages 50 years and older, a second booster is indicated “at least 4 months after the first booster.”

While Rocking the Boat is not currently mandating that employees and participants are “up to date” beyond their primary series of vaccinations, the organization strongly encourages all members of the community to fulfill the CDC’s definition of being “up to date” with your COVID-19 vaccines.

Rocking the Boat will treat all such information as confidential.  To facilitate employees’ ability to receive the vaccination, Rocking the Boat will consider timely requests for appropriate schedule changes.  In accord with its time-keeping policies, Rocking the Boat will also pay non-exempt employees for time spent receiving the vaccination. Additionally, Rocking the Boat will reimburse employees for the cost, if any, of receiving the vaccination, contingent upon receipt of appropriate supporting documentation.

Requests for Exemptions as Accommodations

To assist any employee who is disabled, who is pregnant, who is a nursing mother, who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates the vaccination, or who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs and practices, Rocking the Boat will engage in an interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be provided so long as it does not create an undue hardship for Rocking the Boat and/or does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others in the workplace and/or to the employee. To request an accommodation for one of the above

reasons, please notify an appropriate member of the management team in writing.  Once Rocking the Boat is aware of the need for an accommodation, management will engage in an interactive process to identify possible accommodations. If you believe that you have been treated in a manner not in accordance with this policy, please notify Rocking the Boat immediately by speaking to Executive Director Adam Green.  You may request an accommodation without fear of retaliation.

In-Person Programming Opening and Closing

Rocking the Boat will follow all State and City requirements for closure, reopening, operations, and reduced occupancy of buildings.  If two or more people in a given program or department test positive, Rocking the Boat may opt to transition to remote programming and work.

Pre-Arrival Self-Screening 

As of July 5, 2022 employees and participants are no longer required to complete the Health Screening Attestation.

Visitors, including non-staff alumni, volunteers, contractors, and guests

Before arrival at Rocking the Boat visitors, including non-staff alumni, volunteers, contractors, and guests must complete the COVID-19 Health Screening Attestation online.  The screening consists of a short series of questions You must answer “yes” to the question about being fully vaccinated and answer “no,” “N/A,” or “none of the above” to all other questions in order to be allowed to enter Rocking the Boat facilities.

The COVID-19 Health Screening Attestation should be sent in advance to anyone with a planned visit to Rocking the Boat and visitors should be encouraged to complete it before arrival.  Should this not happen, visitors will be asked to await outside the building until a staff member conducts the Screening, including a temperature check.  Visitors who pass the screening will proceed to wash their hands with soap and water in either the bathrooms or at the boatbuilding shop sink before proceeding to the location of their visit.  Visitors who do not pass the screening will be asked to leave.  Logs recording pass/fail screening results will be maintained daily.

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

  • Individuals may “test out” of wearing masks indoors by taking a rapid antigen test and receiving a negative result upon arrival at Rocking the Boat each day. Of critical importance is that all testing protocol is followed.
  • All employees, volunteers, participants who do not take a test are required to wear face masks at all times while inside public or shared spaces within Rocking the Boat buildings.Masks must be worn properly, covering both the mouth and the nose.
  • For all programmatic activity, the only acceptable masks will be KN95 or KF94 masks that meet requirements similar to those set by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for respirators.Rocking the Boat will provide these masks to members of the staff, volunteer, or participant body at a rate of one mask for every two days of time on site.
  • Acceptable masks/face coverings for use during when programming is not active include medical grade masks, three-ply non-medical grade masks, and two-ply cloth face coverings.
  • Masks with built in valves (filters) protect the user, but not anyone else and are prohibited, as are single-ply neck gators.
  • Masks are not required to be worn outside.
  • Individuals who wish to continue to wear masks inside or outside are encouraged to do so.
  • The only time when employees who have not “tested out” are notrequired to wear masks while indoors is when they are alone in their offices with the doors closed.Employees who share offices and have not “tested out” must wear masks at all times when not alone.  
  • Individuals working alone in their offices who have not “tested out” must be prepared to put on a mask if another person unexpectedly comes within six feet. 
  • Employees are notrequired to wear masks while eating.See below for specific eating guidelines.

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 before exiting the bathroom and 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, even when wearing a mask.

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.

Eating

  • Individuals are encouraged to eat outside at the tables and chairs set up under the main tent or elsewhere in the yard or in Hunts Point Riverside Park.
  • Staff, volunteers, participants, and visitors who have “tested out,” receiving a negative result, may eat in all indoor spaces unless marked otherwise.
  • Staff, volunteers, participants, and visitors who have not “tested out” must eat outdoors or in their private offices with the door closed.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Internal doors (i.e., shop, lobby, administrative office, library, classrooms) will be kept open whenever possible to increase air flow.

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
  • 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 may not come to Rocking the Boat and must report the results to their Program Director or Social Worker. Program Directors and Social Workers must immediately successfully communicate that information to Rocking the Boat’s Executive Director, Adam Green.
  • 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.  Supervisors must immediately successfully communicate that information to Rocking the Boat’s Executive Director, Adam Green.
  • Staff and volunteers who have been tested positive for COVID-19 through any FDA approved test may not come to Rocking the Boat and must communicate the results to their supervisor as immediately as possible and receive a confirmation of receipt of the message. Supervisors must immediately communicate that information to Rocking the Boat’s Executive Director, Adam Green.
  • Staff, participants, or volunteers who have tested positive for COVID-19 through any FDA approved test must not come to Rocking the Boat for 5 days from the time of diagnosis or onset of symptoms (whichever comes last) and must test negative on a rapid antigen test for two consecutive days in order to be allowed to return to Rocking the Boat. Rocking the Boat will provide all necessary tests if needed.
  • While maintaining the anonymity of the affected person, Rocking the Boat will conduct a contact tracing process and notify anyone who has been in close contact with the infected person.

Close Contact

At Rocking the Boat "close contact” to someone who has tested positive through any FDA approved test is defined as the following:

  • Indoor close contact with someone who has neither tested nor worn a medical grade KN95, KF94, or N95 mask: exposure of a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period
  • Indoor close contact with someone who has either tested negative or worn a medical grade KN95, KF94, or N95 mask: exposure of a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period 
  • Outdoor close contact: exposure of a cumulative total of 30 minutes over a 24-hour period with no mask within two feet

  • Vaccinated individuals who have been in indoor close contact with someone who has neither tested negative that day nor is wearing a medical grade mask who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 must not return to Rocking the Boat for three days following the date of exposure.If no symptoms are experienced on the third day after exposure the exposed person should take a rapid antigen test and continue to stay off Rocking the Boat premises.  If the test result is negative and they continue not to experience symptoms, on the fourth day after exposure they should take a second rapid antigen test.  If the result of that test is negative, they may return to Rocking the Boat.  If any tests results are positive, the individual must communicate with their supervisor, Program Director, or Social Worker.  Rocking the Boat will provide all necessary tests if needed.  Rocking the Boat staff who are not allowed on site and not able to work remotely will be compensated at their regular rate of pay for the duration of this testing period until the staff member is permitted to return to work or becomes subject to a mandatory or precautionary State or Federal order of quarantine or isolation.  In such a case, the staff member shall receive COVID-19 quarantine leave at their regular rate as required by New York’s COVID-19 legislation, for the period of time the employee is subject to such mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation .
  • Vaccinated individuals who have been in indoor close contact with someone who has either tested negative or is wearing a medical grade maskwho subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 must test daily and wear a medical grade KN95, KF94, or N95 mask both indoors and outdoors for three days following the date of exposure.If, by the third day the test result is negative and they continue not to experience symptoms, they may remove the mask.
  • Vaccinated individuals who have been in outdoor close contact with anyone in or out of the Rocking the Boat community who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 must test daily and wear a medical grade KN95, KF94, or N95 mask both indoors and outdoors for three days following the date of exposure.  If, by the third day the test result is negative and they continue not to experience symptoms, they may remove the mask.
  • If an individual learns of being exposed after the third day but within 10-14 days of initial exposure, that person must test negative on a rapid test before returning to Rocking the Boat but is not required to mask.

Travel

Contact Tracing, Notification, and Communication

  • If a staff member, volunteer, or participant has who has tested positive for COVID-19 through any FDA approved test, Rocking the Boat will conduct its own internal contact tracing effort and, while maintaining anonymity, will notify everyone who has been in close contact with the infected person.
  • The person who tests positive will be interviewed and asked to identify everyone they have been in close contact with for a period of three days prior to the positive test (including the day of the test). For example, if the positive test occurs on a Friday, anyone in close contact from Monday will be identified and contacted.
  • The person who tests positive will be encouraged to contact all colleagues, students, friends, and family members who may have been in close contact over the previous five days. 
  • Beyond required notification, confidentiality will be maintained.
  • Communication to the rest of the staff will take place while maintaining as much confidentiality as possible.

Other Considerations

  • If a staff member or volunteer develops COVID-19 symptoms while at Rocking the Boat they will be given a rapid antigen test, asked to wait for 15 minutes in a safe location for results, and then asked to immediately leave, regardless of whether the result is positive or negative. A second test will be sent home with them and they will be asked to take that test the following day and report the results back to their contact at Rocking the Boat.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 well also be tested as others per above, be isolated in the library or outdoors, weather permitting, while their parents are contacted to arrange safe travel home.
  • Rocking the Boat will attempt 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

info@rockingtheboat.org
phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892

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