COVID-19 Return to Rowing Policies and Protocols

Updated 3/1/2021

Penn AC Members and Tenants will have access to the boathouse, exercise equipment and rowing with the following rules and restrictions outlined below. Vaccinations are not a substitute for these guidelines and vaccinated individuals must continue to abide by these rules. This plan is subject to updates as federal, state and local government recommendations and requirements change and as new information is available. Remember, as a club member, you enter at your own risk.


  • Members are expected to follow the club guidelines when at the boathouse.
  • Until further notice, there will be no guests or visitors allowed in the club.
  • Only current members who have signed the Penn AC waiver will be allowed in the club.
  • Safety First! Masks MUST be worn while in the boathouse at all times unless otherwise specified.
  • Please keep your hands clean. Use the available hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly.
  • All individuals should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 daily. If you are feeling at all unwell or have any symptoms of COVID, DO NOT COME TO THE CLUB.
  • Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or is aware of high-risk contact to a person who has been sick and/or diagnosed with COVID-19 must self-report to the Club’s President, Mike Wherley if the member was physically present at the boathouse within the prior 14 days. The club will contact trace for close-contact individuals and notify those individuals that they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Penn AC members who have a confirmed case of COVID or have had close-contact with individuals who have COVID should contact their doctor and cannot return to the boathouse until they have been cleared to return or they have quarantined according to CDC guidelines.



  • Available indoor work out locations: Nash room, erg room
    • Masks required at all times when working out indoors.
    • Social distancing (6 feet) required when using equipment indoors.
    • Erg room- 4 people max, Nash room 2 people max.
    • Members using equipment must clean/disinfect all equipment.
    • Members using equipment must return equipment to the proper place when finished.
  • Available outdoor work out locations: Deck, apron outside boat bays, boat bays
    • Masks not required when in designated zone only.
    • Usage is weather dependent. Equipment may not be used outdoors if raining/snowing.
    • Members using equipment must return equipment indoors after workout. If using the apron, return equipment to main boat bay, if using the deck, return equipment to the erg room.
    • Members using equipment must clean/disinfect all equipment.


  • Equipment use allowed: weightlifting equipment (NO CARDIO EQUIPMENT in weight room).
  • Usage limitations: 1 person. (2 people may share the room if they are in the same household or part of a training bubble managed by a coach)
  • Masks must be worn while in the room.
  • Members using equipment must clean/disinfect all equipment.
  • Members using equipment must return equipment to its designated location.


  • Restroom use is limited to one stall for men and one for women.
  • Members must wipe down toilet seat and handle with disinfecting wipe after each use.
  • Locker Room access is for changing into dry clothes only and should only be used if making it home in workout clothes is not feasible (emergency use only).
  • Time in the changing areas is limited to 10 minutes.
  • Number of people in locker rooms should be limited following the protocol of maintaining physical distance of 6’ from others.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Must take home all towels and clothing. No personal items of any kind thing may be left at the boathouse.


  • Club and Private 1x are permitted as well as 2x with members of same household.
  • Team boats will be permitted as follows:
    • Individual members commit to row in cohorts of no more than 6 people. Any combination of the 6 individuals can row in team boats so long as they don’t cross over into different cohorts.
    • Rowing in team boats with a coach should follow US Rowing recommendations:
      • Row in groups of no more than 10 people (nine athletes and one coach)
      • All participants row in the same group each day and not cross over to different groups to limit cross-group exposure.
      • All participants be monitored by the coach for any signs of symptoms each time they attend a practice, and at the sign of symptoms, all participants are in contact with medical professionals immediately in order to proceed to the next steps, which may include quarantine, contact tracing, and testing.
  • Designated team launching windows will be assigned to the HP team and the High School teams. These time slots will be published to the club. Members are encouraged to avoid these times.
  • Masks must be worn in and around the boathouse, on the apron and on the docks. Members rowing 1x can remove masks once on the water but mask needs to be put back on when returning to the dock. As per Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidelines, members rowing in team boats must wear masks for the entirety of the row unless all team boat members reside in the same household.
  • Always maintain 6-foot distance when in the boat bays and on the docks.
  • After rowing oar handles should be dipped in a bucket of cleaning solution and allowed to air dry. Contacted surfaces of boat equipment should be sprayed with available cleaning solution and allowed to air dry (do not wipe clean).


All Members must submit their plans to row, confirm receipt of COVID protocols, and return a signed risk release. If members would like to row team boats, they must also submit members of either their household or cohort for Club record. Cohort changes should only occur after all members of the new cohort have not rowed a team boat for at least 14 days.



  • High school tenants must abide by their school's testing policy.
  • Masks must be worn at all times as specified in this document.
  • All school bags must be kept in the Nash Room.
  • Only the high school athletes and coaches are allowed in the boathouse; parents and guests are not permitted in the boathouse.
  • Club members will be notified of the times that the high school tenants will arrive at the boathouse and when they will launch and should avoid arriving or launching at these times.
  • If a high school athlete tests positive for COVID-19, the athlete must isolate for 10 days, per CDC guidelines, and anyone who has had contact with the athlete needs to quarantine for 14 days, per CDC guidelines.


  • The HPG squad has already been determined to be in two training bubbles.
  • Team bubble guidelines for the HP squad vary as this group has received an exception from PDPH (Philadelphia Department of Public Health) to train as a professional athlete group with different rules and protocols.
  • All HPG athletes should be training separately from any HPG-Collegiate athletes.


If it is confirmed that someone who has been at the club in the previous 7 days has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will follow the state recommended cleaning protocol.

  • This means the club will first be closed for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • During the 24 hours, there will be a disinfectant applied to all high touch surfaces including all door knobs, sink handles, restrooms and equipment.
  • Members currently using the club may be asked to help do a deep clean during the 24-hour period.
  • Once the cleaning is complete, the club will re-open.


  • If you see someone who is not following the guidelines, we encourage you to remind them.
  • We will have an anonymous reporting form available for reporting any violations of the guidelines.
  • If there is an issue reported, the Executive Committee and/or Board of Stewards will review the issue and discuss with the person in question.
  • Violations will be handled as follows:
    • 1st confirmed violation – 1 week ban from the club
    • 2nd confirmed violation – 1 month ban from the club
    • 3rd confirmed violation – 1 year ban from the club