Dear Cleveland Rowing Foundation Rowing Community,
The Cleveland Rowing Foundation has received several requests to re-open the sculling house to single scullers, under the theory that scullers are capable of complying with the COVID-19 State-implemented social distancing requirements. The Board of Directors has been closely monitoring and evaluating the successive orders issued by Governor Dewine and Director of Health Dr. Acton in view of boathouse operations. Like you, we are tired of erging and eager to return to the water. Many of us also row singles. This letter is to explain why CRF cannot re-open at this time, even in a limited capacity to single scullers. On March 22nd Dr. Acton issued a Stay at Home Order, which was recently extended through May 1st. That Order classifies businesses as Essential or Non-Essential based on the criticality of their products or services. Essential Businesses may continue operating and include hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc. Non-Essential Business must reduce their operations to only a handful of activities, such as ensuring site security and processing payroll. CRF is a Non-Essential Business, and therefore the boathouse is closed except for minimum basic operations. Unfortunately the fact that single scullers may be capable of complying with the six-foot social distancing measure while rowing does not give CRF license to re-open under the Order. CRF can only re-open if the Order is rescinded, or after its May 1st expiration. From a practical perspective, the small boathouse and the dock would remain shared public spaces. As owners of those facilities, CRF is charged with enforcing the social distance and sanitation rules. The COVID-19 virus can survive for several days, and every surface that a rower contacts would require disinfection, including not just door handles, keypads and garage doors, but also boats, oars and even the dock. Given that our constituency also includes many members of vulnerable populations, including the dozens of single scullers, CRF would not have the ability to ensure the level of disinfection required to make the space safe. CRF will continue to monitor the Orders as they are issued by Governor Dewine and Dr. Acton, and will keep its member organizations updated if these orders allow a change to CRF’s position. Thank you for your understanding. Doug Carlson Betsy Niño de Rivera CRF Board of Directors, Legal Committee Chair CRF Board of Directors Safety Commitee Chair
* This email has been sent to all certified 2020 SQL/CQL's, Member Organization Program Head Coaches, and Presidents. This notice is also posted on all CRF social media accounts.