COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols
Summer 2021

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 who enter the property complete the health attestation screening;

  • Take morning and evening carbon dioxide readings daily, both in all indoor spaces and outdoors, and maintain ventilation systems to ensure healthy carbon dioxide levels;

  • Ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to all staff, participants, and volunteers;

  • Ensure that all who enter the building are following the protocols below.

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

Vaccination Status Certification
Consistent with certain state, CDC, and OSHA guidance, those employees who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be excused from some of the protocols below. For this reason, Rocking the Boat is requesting that all employees provide their COVID-19 vaccination status by completing a Self-Certification of COVID-19 Vaccine Status form and submitting it to Adam Green, Jaye Pockriss, Alix Cotumaccio, or Xiomara Ayala. All forms will be kept confidential. Please note that if you state that you are fully vaccinated, Rocking the Boat will request documentation of your vaccination status (e.g., a copy of your vaccine card).

While Rocking the Boat strongly encourages all employees and members of the Rocking the Boat community to get vaccinated, the organization is aware that people with the certain medical conditions or beliefs may not be willing or able to do so. As a result, Rocking the Boat is not requiring employees to get vaccinated.

That said, do not make assumptions about anyone’s vaccination status and please treat everyone, regardless of vaccination status, with respect. Rocking the boat has zero tolerance for any kind of harassment or bullying related to perceived vaccination status and such behavior will result in progressive discipline up to and including termination.

In-Person Programming Opening and Closing
Rocking the Boat will monitor 7- and 14-day rolling average infection and test positivity rates in the community, borough, city and state, as well as infection within the Rocking the Boat community. Rocking the Boat will follow all State and City requirements for closure, reopening, operations, and reduced occupancy of buildings. If multiple positive cases occur at the same time within the Rocking the Boat community (staff, students, volunteers working on site), Rocking the Boat will suspend in person programming.

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 a short series of questions; should the person completing the screening answer “yes” to any of the questions they may not enter Rocking the Boat’s premises.

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 for at least 20 seconds 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. 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.

  • 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

  • Unvaccinated employees, volunteers, participants, and all other people on Rocking the Boat premises or involved in any Rocking the Boat programs, indoors or outdoors, must wear face masks at all times with the exceptions listed below. Masks must be worn properly, covering both the mouth and the nose.
  • Vaccinated employees and volunteers are not required to wear masks indoors or outdoors during non-program times.
  • During active programming all employees, volunteers, and participants must wear face masks at all times.
  • 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 (filters) protect the user, but not anyone else and are prohibited, as are single-ply neck gators.
  • Employees, regardless of their vaccination status, are not required to wear masks while indoors when they are alone in their offices. Unvaccinated employees who share offices must wear masks at all times when not alone. Vaccinated individuals, whether sharing an office or not, are not required to wear masks.
  • Unvaccinated individuals working alone in their offices must be prepared to put on a mask if another person unexpectedly comes within six feet.
  • Employees are not required to wear masks while eating. See below for specific eating guidelines.
  • Individuals who wish to continue to wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status, are encouraged to do so.

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, 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.

Physical Distancing for unvaccinated people

  • 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 that include unvaccinated people 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, and do not socialize with people working in the shop.
  • Seating has been reduced from public, social, and meeting areas to discourage congregating and encourage physical distancing.

Eating

  • Vaccinated staff and volunteers may in indoors or outdoors without maintaining social distancing requirements.
  • Unvaccinated staff and volunteers should make every effort to eat either alone in their offices or outside, maintaining at least six feet of distance from each other. If neither are possible, during non-program times only, and while maintaining at least six feet of distance from the nearest person, staff and volunteers may eat in the following indoor classroom and office spaces:
  • Lobby
  • Boatbuilding Shop
  • Boatbuilding Office

  • Environmental Classroom

  • Environmental Classroom Office

  • Sailing Classroom

  • Participants may not eat inside any of Rocking the Boat’s facilities. Tables and chairs will be set up under the main tent and under additional tents throughout the yard as necessary for participants to eat before program or during breaks while maintaining six feet of distance from each other.

Note: Eating will not be allowed in the Kitchen, the Environmental Lab, the Admin Office, or the Library with an exception for staff members whose desks are located in those spaces when they are alone.

Program Space Use
Because of the comparatively large size of Rocking the Boat’s indoor program spaces, the opportunity to use multiple outdoor spaces, and the small number of participants in Rocking the Boat’s alternating daily youth development program structure, Rocking the Boat is in a strong position to resume in person programmatic operations. That said, the following practices will be followed:

  • Participants must make every effort to stay six feet apart from each other

  • Programming will take place outside whenever possible

  • Doors and windows to all program spaces will be left opened whenever weather allows

  • Room capacity limits have been removed but outdoor activity is encouraged whenever possible as are small groups when indoors

  • Boat capacity limits have been removed

  • 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 or on Zoom when possible

  • The library will be reserved for two-or three-person counseling sessions

  • Participant breaks should be taken outside whenever possible

  • Rocking the Boat van use will be limited to 10 passengers plus the driver. Unvaccinated passengers must wear masks at all times. 

Bathroom Use

  • Kitchen bathrooms will be designated for use by staff and participants who use the 812 Edgewater Road building.
  • Additional bathrooms will be installed in the yard for use by participants of designated programs.

  • People using bathrooms must wash hands for at least 20 seconds before exiting.

  • Along with nightly cleaning and disinfection, bathrooms will be cleaned before program begins each afternoon.

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 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.
  • 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.
  • Carbon dioxide readings will be performed and logged twice daily (once before program and once during program) in all indoor spaces to ensure that 700ppm is being maintained. Outdoor carbon dioxide levels will also be monitored for comparison. If carbon dioxide levels are above 700ppm air flow will immediately be adjusted.
  • All HVAC fans are running in the ON position 24/7.
  • All exhaust fans are running 24/7.
  • Use of the kitchen for cooking and other food preparation (e.g., cutting, chopping) will be restricted to staff, but eating will not be allowed. All surfaces including refrigerator and microwave handles, sink faucets, countertops, and tables must be disinfected before and after use. The chairs have been removed.
  • Internal doors (i.e., shop, lobby, administrative office, library, 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 or 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:
  • 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
  • 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 diagnosed by a medical professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 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 been diagnosed by a medical professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 must quarantine for 14 days from the time of diagnosis or onset of symptoms (whichever comes last) and will not be allowed to return to Rocking the Boat for that period of time. 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

  • Unvaccinated members of the Rocking the Boat community (staff member, participant, or volunteer) who have been in close contact (within six feet of an infected person be they another staff member, participant, volunteer or outside individual for at least 15 minutes over the course of a 24-hour period) with someone diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, will not be allowed to return to Rocking the Boat for a period of 14 days from the date of initial exposure. If this includes the majority of a particular program, that program will instead 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.

  • Vaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 do not have to quarantine.

  • If more than one member of the Rocking the Boat community on site at any given time is diagnosed by a health care professional with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, Rocking the Boat will cease in-person operations for 14 days.

Travel

  • Unvaccinated members of the Rocking the Boat community (staff member, participant, or volunteer) who travel to an area outside the contiguous states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont need to quarantine after their return to New York per CDC guidelines for domestic and international travel for unvaccinated People:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
  • Vaccinated members of the Rocking the Boat community (staff members, participants, or volunteers) returning from travel beyond the contiguous states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont area do not need to quarantine after their return to New York but must follow the CDC guidelines for domestic and international travel:

Notification and Communication

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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 or outdoors, weather permitting, 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 7 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

info@rockingtheboat.org
phone: 718.466.5799
fax: 718.466.2892

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