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Covid-19 Virus Actions and Updates

COVID-19 presents unique challenges and considerations for our program as we enter the modified Fall 2020 season. Coaches will keep rowers and parents apprised of enhanced safety and distancing procedures for each squad, and patience is appreciated as circumstances continue to evolve and change as we move forward.

Questions can be directed to Chris Rickard, Director of Rowing, or Alix Patterson, Booster President.

As we all monitor developments regarding COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, we wanted to share with you what steps we as a community are taking and can take to help protect ourselves and prevent spreading the virus. The health and safety of our rowers, and their families, is, as always, our top priority. 

Actions break down into several categories. Those not already under way will take effect immediately:

Actions We are Taking:

  • We are sanitizing oar handles between uses when at the boathouse, and ergs between uses when at Wilson, and ensuring we maintain a continuous supply of necessary cleaning and disinfecting products to do so. 
  • Coaches are reminding athletes of good hygiene practices during practices and providing time for athletes to wash hands.
  • If it appears weather will not permit rowers to be out on the water, coaches will attempt to move practices to Wilson, so that we may use our own indoor equipment. 
  • We are in communication with school officials to ensure our actions are compliant with DCPS guidelines, and monitoring developments with WMATA as they pertain to any potential transit changes and resulting impacts on travel to and from TBC.
  • We are establishing plans to ensure we can make decisions and respond in a nimble way to this continually and rapidly evolving situation.

Actions We Ask You to Take:

  • Athletes who are sick – with symptoms including but not limited to fever, cough, or congestion – should stay home. Rowers who arrive to practice exhibiting symptoms will be sent home. There are no penalties for rowers who miss practice because they are ill. Staying home when you are ill protects everyone – not just your teammates and coaches, but their families, and our community in general. This is just as true for common colds as it is for possible cases of COVID-19. If you will miss practice(s) because you are ill, please email your coach and keep him/her apprised of how you’re feeling. 
  • If a rower or member of a rower’s household is self-quarantining, the rower should refrain from attending practice. Should this situation arise, please notify coaches right away so we can develop an action plan on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Athletes should not share water bottles, snacks from the same containers, etc. 
  • Athletes should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after using oars and handling other Wilson Crew equipment. We encourage rowers to have with them hand sanitizer (containing at least 60 percent alcohol) in the event hand washing with soap and water is not immediately available but remind rowers this is not a substitute for hand washing.
  • We discourage rowers from using ergs, shower facilities, and other communal items at Thompson Boat Center. Maintenance and cleaning of these items is outside of our control. Please note that use or non-use of them is a personal decision – parents and guardians should discuss with their rowers.

Looking Ahead:

  • The March 11, 2020, guidance from DCPS regarding activities outside DC through May 1 applies to us. Under current restrictions, we will not be able to participate in any regattas held outside DC through May 1We are monitoring any further changes to these restrictions.
  • Practices will continue as normal unless and until further adjustments are needed. 
  • On Monday, March 16, the Varsity boys will practice at Wilson at the normal time. Novice girls will practice at TBC at the normal time. Varsity girls are off.
  • Information on any changes to practices and regatta schedules will be shared as quickly as possible through TeamSnap and the Wilson Crew newsletter. Rowers are encouraged to share notifications from coaches to their team’s group chat, as well.
  • We have postponed the movie premiere of “A Most Beautiful Thing.” A new date will be announced once more information is available.
  • We are working on a plan to distribute ergs to rowers to use at home should we be prevented from practicing for an extended period of time. Details will follow.
  • We are monitoring events carefully and proceeding with caution. 

We appreciate your attention to this matter, and your cooperation and patience as we move forward during these uncertain times. Please know we are monitoring the situation carefully and are making adjustments as the situation warrants. Please do not hesitate to contact Chris Rickard, Joe McMullin, or Alix Patterson with any questions or concerns.

Thank you, as always, for your support of and involvement with Wilson Crew.


Chris Rickard, Director of Rowing and Varsity Girls Head Coach (

Joe McMullin, Varsity Boys Head Coach (

Alix Patterson, Booster Committee President, Wilson Crew (