The following guidelines have been created for our member organizations, to assist in the modification of their operations to align with the current public health measures in place in Ontario. At no time should these guidelines be interpreted as superseding or providing a justification for not closely following public health directives, government regulations or further canoe kayak specific or general return to sport guidelines in a given member organization’s municipality.
These recommendations have been compiled from CKC guidelines, provincial regulations and recommendations from our insurer. There are additional links on this page to other resources that may be helpful in the safe resumption of our sport. CKO will continue to provide support to all member organizations and clubs as they make decisions on returning to operations and paddling, based on their unique situations.
A chart is included below with links to all relevant Federal, Provincial and Territorial COVID-19 public health sources. Member organizations and clubs should also consult with their respective municipalities for further guidance and measures which may be applicable.
It is important to note that CKC’s On-Water Safety Policies apply at all times. The CKC Release Agreement has been modified to include a warning regarding contagious diseases. We recommend that this release be used by all participants or that the contagion clause be added to existing release forms.Personal HealthAll paddlers, coaches/leaders or anyone else who will be part of the paddling environment should be acutely aware of and must continuously monitor their own personal health. Any person who has had a confirmed case of COVID-19, or who has come into close contact with a person who has a confirmed case, should isolate, not be part of the paddling environment for at least 14 days and seek appropriate medical attention. All individuals in the paddling environment should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis and any person showing symptoms should self-isolate, refrain from entering the paddling environment or coming into close contact with others and seek appropriate medical attention. Any individual who is at elevated risk for COVID-19 infection should take any necessary further precautions to protect themselves. Paddlers and Coach/Leaders should work together to support and implement these further measures to ensure an inclusive and safe environment. If an individual is concerned about their risk level, they should consult with a medical professional. Information related to who may be at elevated risk for infection is available here https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html?topic=tilelink The Government of Canada COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool is available here: https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/enModified use of Club/Recreation Facilities (Bolding indicates Provincial Regulations) The only persons permitted to use the facility are athletes who are members of the organization or club No spectators are permitted at the facility, other than up to one accompanying parent, guardian or other adult for each athlete under the age of 18 Any locker rooms, change rooms, showers and clubhouses in the facility remain closed, except to the extent they provide access to a washroom or a portion of the facility that is used to provide first aid. Other activities that are likely to result in individuals coming within two metres of each other are not allowed to be practised or played within the facility Clubs and organizations should consult Municipal health authorities to understand the local risks and implications of resuming outdoor paddling activities, in addition to the use of club facilities or any public areas to support outdoor activity. This may include, but is not limited to, removal of boats/equipment and accessing public waterways. If the activity is being organized at a location other than an organization’s conventional training location, all potential restrictions or considerations for the place of meeting/launching should be understood (for example, if a city park is being used, or private property.) Coaches/leaders should ensure proper medical and sanitation equipment is available to meet all guidelines related, and should be properly instructed on how to use these products. Provide a sanitation station at the entrance to the facility Use signage and arrows to direct flow of traffic Coaches/ leaders should arrive ahead of paddlers and prepare the club environment/safety boats/facility for paddler arrival. Any special considerations for paddlers at an elevated risk, or for whom specific assistance will be required should be planned in advance and follow proper infection protection protocols. Paddlers should not enter facilities except where necessary, and anyone entering a facility should follow all relevant guidance in relation to physical distancing, limiting contact with surfaces and facility managers should follow sanitation guidelines (see below.) A necessary reason to enter a facility could be related to safety, sanitary or health-related reasons. Where possible, boats and paddles should be stored outdoors to remove the necessity of entering a facility. Paddlers should arrive wearing their paddling clothing.Group Gathering SizeTraining group size, including all paddlers, coaches/leaders and required safety personnel must respect the current Ontario or municipal group gathering size restrictions. CKO recommends training groups be kept to a minimum practical size to reduce risk where possible. If multiple training groups are established, they should be kept intact so that the same group of people are training together, and the circle of potential contact is not expanded unnecessarily.Physical Distance (2 metres)Always maintain 2 metres between all individuals before, during and after paddling activity. Use of masks is advised while in the facility in case of accidental contact Paddlers enter boat bays/containers one at a time and retrieve boat and any other necessary equipment. Ideally paddles, pfds and boats should be assigned to paddlers and brought home if possible. For Whitewater if car-top transporting boats, caution should be taken where unloading and loading boats to maintain physical distance. If shuttling participants from start to finish points is a necessary part of the planned paddling activity, all measures should be taken to ensure this can happen while maintaining physical distancing where possible, and further risk mitigation must be put into effect if it is not (for example, wearing of masks while in vehicles.) For paddlers requiring assistance with launching or disembarking, further precaution should be taken to lower risk if this process may bring individuals closer than 2m. Paddlers should prepare and get on the water while remaining physically distanced (one person on dock if necessary) No crew boat paddling in boats where paddlers are placed within 2 metres of each other at any time, unless the entire crew can be quarantined in self-isolation together (for example living in the same house.)If paddlers who are not quarantined together choose to paddle in a boat which will allow all crew members to remain 2 metres apart at all times, all caution should be taken to avoid incidental contact and any applicable measures regarding this type of incidental contact should be taken. (for example, wearing of face covering). Be conscious while on the water to respect physical distance between boats, wash riding should only be employed in a way that ensures 2m of distance is maintained at all times.SanitationAll surfaces which may be touched by multiple individuals should be sanitized before and after each training session. Maintain a log recording date and time and who performed the cleaning Ideally, equipment should not be shared between athletes in a group. Club boats, PFDs, paddles, polo balls or other equipment should be assigned to an individual paddler for the duration of public health measures and kept separate from other paddlers and their equipment (brought home). If it is necessary that boats are being shared between paddlers in different groups, sanitation practices should be strictly applied between uses. Sanitation practices should follow the Canadian Government guidelines for cleaning hard surfaces – https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19.htmlSafety ContingenciesClubs and organizers should ensure that all coaches have been supplied with the proper PPE and instructed in its use All participants (paddlers, coaches/leaders) are strongly encouraged to wear a Government of Canada approved PFD at all times while in the boat, irrespective of their age or swimming ability. Responding to an incident on or off the water (athlete tips/other injury) may cause a coach/leader to come in physical contact with a paddler. As such, coaches/leaders should always have gloves, masks and hand sanitizer available to protect themselves and paddlers should contact become necessary.Paddlers who are likely to capsize and need rescuing should not be on the water or should use a more stable boat. Where and when possible, paddlers should self-rescue to avoid contact with a coach/leader. Coaches/leaders should be aware of and understand the processes outlined in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (Forthcoming from OTP/COC/COC Work Group). During this time, unnecessary risks should be avoided. Paddlers and coaches/leaders should use common sense to avoid any situation which involves undue risk and the potential need for emergency personnel to respond, or that unnecessary personal contact becomes necessary.Communication & GovernancePaddlers, guardians, and all relevant community members should be fully informed of all measures so that they can be safely followed at all times. Relevant signage and marking should be put into place so that all measures are easy to follow and that participants are continually reminded of the modifications required. (For example: distancing markings on the ground to reinforce 2 metres of distance, signage to ensure paddlers stay outside facilitates, etc.) Member organizations should ensure participants are properly registered and insured, proper waivers have been signed and all other normal membership considerations have been taken into account. Have a protocol in place to deal with participants who do not follow the guidelines. COVID-19 Public Health Linkshttps://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus