Chesapeake Paddlers Association, Inc. Guidelines for Club Paddles Under COVID-19 Going Forward May 2, 2020

Governors in Maryland, Virginia, and other Bay states are beginning to set forth guidelines for reopening public access after the more restrictive lockdowns, including recreational access for paddlers. In light of these developments, CPA adopts the guidance for trip and piracy leaders below:

1. No CPA trips, events or activities will be sanctioned that are not allowed under State or local stay-in-place orders in effect in the State where the activity is scheduled. That is, we will not allow scheduled Club activities where State or local emergency orders do not allow them. MD and VA statements linked below:
District of Columbia
2. Note that all participation in scheduled CPA activities under these guidelines is VOLUNTARY by the participants and implies no liability or guarantee of the safety of participating from COVID-19 infection. We, and all others, simply do not know enough to guarantee your personal health and safety in this emergency. If you DO NOT feel comfortable participating under these conditions, please DO NOT PARTICIPATE.
3. Participants have the responsibility to refrain from participating if they have a) been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, b) been exposed to sick people or the virus within the last 14 days, c) feel ill or have a temperature, regardless if they have not been tested or diagnosed with COVID-19, d) have underlying health conditions (pulmonary, cardiac or immune-compromised health issues) that would render them especially susceptible to COVID-19.
4. The number of participants is limited to the number allowed under eased stay-in-place orders in the various States and localities. If more participants are anticipated (e.g., at a piracy), waves of launch times should be scheduled to avoid violating the maximum number of participants at any point in time.
5. Only activities that a) take place outdoors, b) allow for proper social distancing, and c) minimize face-to-face and hand-to-hand contact should be considered appropriate. That means no indoor meetings, workshops or training activities that would bring participants into close contact (less than 6 foot distance) with one another.
6. No social mingling or shared food or eating should be allowed at CPA activities in the initial phases of relaxing stay-in-place orders to minimize face-to-face contact and spread of the virus.
7. Participants in paddles or other activities should carefully observe all social distancing, disinfecting, and face and hand covering requirements suggested by the CDC and State health authorities for preventing spread of the virus.
8. Participants can seek help loading or unloading boats for activities at their discretion, taking care to observe appropriate social distancing and cleaning of surfaces on boats and equipment where others may contact them.
9. Carefully limit interaction before and after the planned activity (conversations, greetings, goodbyes, etc.) to those at appropriate social distances (> 6 feet) and with appropriate face and hand protection in place.
These guidelines are expected to remain in effect until greater relaxation of stay-in-place orders are enacted by competent State and local authorities in the affected locations. Be alert for changes based on second-wave pandemic spread which may require a retreat to previously more restrictive stay-in-place orders.

Bill Smith
For the Steering Committee

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