Creating Your Safety and Cleanliness Guidelines

To help you start thinking through your reopening plan, we brought together a group of fitness and wellness experts in a safety and cleanliness webinar panel discussion to discuss the following topics in the space:

  1. Capacity & Availability
  2. Social Distancing Measures
  3. Amenity & Equipment Access
  4. Sanitation & Cleaning
  5. Communication

Use this as a checklist of discussion topics and action items for your fitness or wellness business.


Get Access to the Webinar and Deck


Webinar Panelists

Quick tips to keep your business safe and clean

  • Reorganize your studio layout to maximize distance between attendees
  • Add time in your daily schedule for cleaning
  • Make sure you’re cleaning high-use, high-touch areas in your space
  • Cleaning regularly and using the right disinfectant is key

Common Safety and Cleanliness Questions

The webinar will cover some of these common questions about safety and cleanliness:

  1. How are you adjusting your operations to increase cleanliness?
  2. How are you communicating changes to your operations as it relates to safety and cleanliness to your clients and the public?
  3. Are you requiring staff and/or clients to wear masks or other PPE?
  4. How are you implementing social distancing measures, both in classes/appointments and shared spaces?
  5. Are you following government regulations or adjusting to fit your needs?
  6. How are you planning on limiting amenities and equipment usage?
  7. How are you compensating for these adjustments? 

For a snapshot of the webinar, you can check out a sample of the transcript below. Get access to the full safety and cleanliness webinar.


Safety and Cleanliness Webinar Transcript

Introduction

Justin Chang: I want to thank everyone for attending today. My name is Justin. I’ll be your moderator and host. I run Product at ClassPass. We have an awesome group of thought leaders and panelists across the country that are going to be able to provide real good insight on a very, very important topic: safety and cleanliness. I know this is top of mind for everyone. We’ve heard from countless partners as well as customers, and this is one of the most important topics to have to build customer confidence while going back. And so, the objective of today is for everyone that’s attending, If you can walk away with insights that you can go and apply immediately that can actually help get your customers back in, that is not going to only do great for your own studio or business, but also build overall confidence from your customers to keep coming back.

In terms of how we actually landed on these topics, we came at it two ways. One is we talked to over a thousand of our customers, reached out to a bunch, and also did in-depth interviews with dozens of customers to understand: what stands in the way of going back to class or booking an appointment. And these are the themes that came up, which we’ll be talking about.

But, first, just a little data, just to share with you some of the findings we got from this user and partner data. Just to highlight before we kick off, some of the big questions is, we asked our customers, what are the top three safety precautions a fitness studio can do that will make them feel more safe before attending a class. And what this chart shows you from the data we have is reduced class size, limiting the usage of shared equipment, and increased cleaning. Those are the factors that, if you do those, will create more confidence in your customers. Customers feel comfortable coming back and also returning once they come back.

On the partner side, we asked hundreds of our partners, both fitness and wellness, about what they’re planning on doing, and so, here’s what our fitness partners said. Fitness partners reported that the majority of them are gonna go and increase their cleaning, and over 50% plan to eliminate shared equipment during class.

Now, in terms of wellness, because I know we have a lot of wellness partners, as well as people that have come in and are joining us today, in terms of the top three safety precautions that a wellness business can take, a lot of similarities in terms of increased cleaning. But one of the different pieces here is that they really want the practitioner’s to be wearing masks.

From a partner standpoint, we asked the wellness partners, what they plan on doing, And again, increased cleaning comes up, as well as from a mask standpoint, is not only do the wellness providers want their employees to be wearing masks, but they’re actually going to go and ask the customers to also wear masks.

Sanitation and cleaning

Justin Chang: How are you adjusting your operations to increase cleanliness?

Geoff Allard, Co-Owner, Yihan Spa, New York, NY: Yes, so this is one area that we have always excelled and we had very strict hygiene protocols before coronavirus, so we are going to increase those. All our staff before used to wear masks through all the treatments. They’re going to continue to do that. We’re going to use PPEs. For instance, all of our staff who were disposable scrubs during treatments. Aestheticians will wear a face shield because of the close contact with the customer during the facials. 

We had a very strict sanitation and disinfection process. But we’ll, we’ll bump that up. You know we’ll do it more frequently, we will focus on our high touch areas or soft touch areas like the pads on the massage tables.

We always use a disposable sheet on top of the sheets, on the massage tables but we changed the sheets up to every treatment, so will continue to do that. As Missi mentioned, we will not allow people to use the showers, so we will stop using the showers and we will have sanitizers in every room, when you check in, when you go to the bathroom. 

Our staff always indicated to the customers that day and in their presence that they will sanitize their hands, especially before massage and during transition so we will continue doing that.

Also, every staff member, when they come in every morning, they’ll be tested. Temperatures will be taken. They’ll also be required to do a health declaration every day. All customers were required to wear a mask.

That’s pretty much what we were going to be doing. I think we will be doing more of what we did in the past and we will, you know, focus more on high touch areas. And the frequency of our sanitation and disinfection will increase.

Cleaning supplies

Justin Chang: This gets super tactical, because I know a lot of people out there are wondering like, what actual cleaning supplies? Where do you get them from? Stephanie would love to hear from you. Like, how are you thinking about this? Where are you getting them from? What are your recommendations?

Steph Cochrane, Owner & Founder, SPARKCYCLE, San Diego CA: Yes, what I’m most excited about, we ordered a couple electrostatic sprayer guns from WAXIE. So WAXIE supply does sanitation and other other products. And those are gonna come in about two weeks. And I got to play with one and test it out to you. Pretty much just walk through the room with this gun and it creates a cloud over, so you don’t have to go in and scrub or try to find, you know, all the areas. It creates this cloud look like, think that’s everything in the area. So, I’m really excited to get those. So if anyone has a chance to order.

Justin Chang: From a cost-effective standpoint, is that more cost-effective than just the standard type of cleaning supplies, your app, and the time labor?

Steph Cochrane, Owner & Founder, SPARKCYCLE, San Diego CA: It was cheaper than I thought it was gonna be. So the guns are about $700 each, and the tablets that go on the guns are not super crazy either. So it will be more expensive than using just a regular hydrogen peroxide cleaner. But it will definitely be worth it from a time perspective too, because it’ll make the cleaning time shorter.

Justin Chang: Then, Mike, I mean, as you’re thinking about all this cleaning stuff, all the increased operations, are you doing anything related to pricing at all and you keeping it the same, or is there like a covid tax at all? I know that’s something that’s been coming up with different establishments.

Mike Huling, Owner & Founder, Reformation Fitness, Washington D.C.: So, during our first rollout, we’re gonna, in one respect, yes, we are putting all our memberships on pause until Labor Day. We’re just selling packages of either a 5, 10 or 20 pack. In the very beginning, we wanted to provide our clients with a little bit of flexibility. Also, because we are at reduced capacity, having someone to unlimited, monthly, pass, just doesn’t make sense right now.

So we’re just doing the a la carte passes to start so we are increasing our per member rates per class a little bit by just doing that. but we are also hiring additional cleaning staff throughout the day.

Per class, per room, we’re doing 2 to 3 classes taking a break sanitizing, 2 to 3 classes, taking a break sanitizing. Pre-covid we were running six classes back to back with maybe 10 to 15 minutes in between on the cleaning supplies. The one thing that the company that we hired to take a look at it, make sure you read the instructions on the back. Sometimes you have to leave it on for like hydrogen peroxide, or other chemicals you have to leave it on there for a minute. So, make sure your staff reads the instructions and are knowing how long to apply either the hydro peroxide, or whatever the disinfectant is to be fully effective. 

And then also make sure you’re leveraging as many of your team members. You can constantly go after the high contact high touch points throughout the day. And then you see where people are flowing and making sure that you’re using as many hands as possible to help, disinfect, but make sure you’re reading the back of those products to get the full benefit out of them.

Membership flexibility

Justin Chang: Mike actually, I want to dig into 1 of the things you mentioned, which was you’re not, so it’s when you guys re-open, it’s the people on unlimited subscription, unlimited membership. It’s just a la carte right now. How’s the response been in terms of from customers that have that plan that has been paused.

Mike Huling, Owner & Founder, Reformation Fitness, Washington D.C.: Well, we’re going to be communicating it. We have not yet communicated fully to our members all of the info.

Letting everyone know, we’re taking it very slow. We want to provide our members flexibility. And then also, you know, if someone has to take care of their children or their parents or their friend, they’re going to be pausing the membership anyway. And our thought was at least for the first 4 to 6 weeks, just give everyone the packages. They can use it when they cann. The other thing that we’re asking our members to do is try to pick the 2 or 3 times or 3 or 4 times depending on how often members try to stick to the same time that you do, so, there’s less number of combinations and permutations within each class. Obviously, that’s not possible for a lot of people, but the more people can stick to a certain class times, the better. But we have not in full disclosure. We’re not told our members. That, we’re doing that tomorrow, and we’re releasing our opening date.

And we’re going to be actually individually contacting our members versus just sending out a mass e-mail, just making sure they understand the reasons why, and you know, we’re planning to re-open up the passes on Labor Day versus September. So, we’re hoping that people understand right now, because that, Because of how we have to ramp up.

Protective equipment

Justin Chang: So, Geoff’s been talking a lot about requiring clients to wear masks, coming into his spot. And Missi, I’m curious, when you re-open – was this something that you are considering and walk us through how you thought about clients and whether or not they need to wear masks that class?

Missi Wolf, CEO/President, Blast, Atlanta, GA: It was kind of easy for us just because there’s no way you could. There’s no way you could wear a mask in a blast class, where we know, even when you’re doing a low intensity workout, because we’re a HIIT Studio, but we’ve really, over the past few years, really started incorporating low intensity days, and high intensity days, depending on, you know, where your programming is.

But, you know, you’re in an enclosed space. There is no, you know, you can’t open the doors because of the humidity in Atlanta. We recommended them, to wear them when they came in the door until they started their workout and that went out the door in five seconds. The first two days, I can tell you, And I would love to hear like if Stephanie’s instructors are wearing masks, because I’ve heard it’s different for spin instructors. Two days, my partner who is on the fitness sides said all of her instructors were wearing masks and two days later, she was like, I’m going to the hospital, I can’t breathe, like, you cannot teach in a mask. So I mean, it was, so it was so intense just, you know you’re, you’re exerting all the effort. So nobody wears a mask instructor or clients, but our front desk, and our assistant in the class, are always masked and gloved.

And I’ll tell you, it’s, it’s, I think that Stephanie, hit it on the head, there are clients that are just ready to come back. They’re ready to get into it, they don’t want anything to change. And then you’re going to have clients that are just not ready to come back. That’s interesting, what Mike is doing. We had not suspended anybody’s membership the day that we had to close. We sent out an e-mail saying, we really need your support. We’re not pausing your membership if you want. If you need us to pause iit, let us know and we had a tremendous amount of clients that did not pause, so anybody that did not pause and we opened on May 15th, we said, if you do not have to suspend by June first there will be a $10 increase per membership, We got a lot more people to unsuspend, even if they weren’t ready to come back. They wanted to support us and it was just that constant communication with clients. And I think there’s you know different ways to do it.

But I think it’s just really important to constantly be communicating to your clients what you’re doing. What your protocols are, how you’re looking at it, why you’re looking at it that way. Because a lot of them, they didn’t understand they didn’t understand the showers or the lockers, and then once you explain it to them, you know, because there are only thinking about themselves. Like, they are only thinking about and they’re, you know, they’re not thinking about what that capacity is, but for the entire studio. So, I would just say, communicate as much as you can. 

Justin Chang: Stephanie would actually love to hear from you. How are you thinking about masks, whether for your instructors, your clients, people walking in. 

Steph Cochrane, Owner & Founder, SPARKCYCLE, San Diego CA: So everyone is required to wear a mask when they enter the studio. And we have masks available for anyone who has forgotten theirs in the car or doesn’t want to wear one, we have a disposable one for you.  And then once you get on your bike, you can take off your mask, put it on the handlebars or put it wherever. 

A big thing that we did that we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from was to install a hygiene barrier in front of the instructor. So there’s a plastic guard that hangs from the ceiling at both of the studios. The instructors whipping her hair around with sweat, nobody gets sprayed and it also protects the instructor. If anyone has a studio where the instructor in staying in one place and you can install some type of protection in front of or around the instructor, that’s worked out well for us.

Justin Chang: Can you actually give us some details and, like, maybe when you purchased that, or was it custom made?

Steph Cochrane, Owner & Founder, SPARKCYCLE, San Diego CA: Yeah, It was actually a client, a writer, works for a company that did special events. So, special events that require custom made type of, not furniture, but custom made things. I don’t know if they ship nationally, but if anyone’s in Southern California, I provide can provide the contact, I think if you Google hygiene barrier, and try to find someone local, you will probably have some good chances.

Justin Chang: And, Geoff, are you planning on enforcing the clients wear masks? What are you doing in case a customer comes in and they actually don’t even have a mask on them? 

Geoff Allard, Co-Owner, Yihan Spa, New York, NY: We’ll be able to provide them with a disposable mask, but we will know, as Missi was saying, one of the most important things right now is a lot of communication. So we will be  notifying customers that they are required to wear a mask in confirmation of their appointments.

I think in the wellness, especially, there’s a lot of close contact, and, you know, the services provided in a treatment room. So, it’s a lot easier for us to require customers and our staff to wear masks, as opposed to, if you are in a high intensity gym, doing that, sort of a workout. So, for us, it will be easier to implement. 

Our challenge will be having customers who refuse to wear the masks, and at this point, our policy will be mandatory because not only to protecting our customers, but it’s also the protection of our staff. And that’s a critical mitigation measure, to prevent the spread of the, virus. So all our customers will be required to wear masks, and if they don’t have one, we will provide one. 

Justin Chang: Right. And then just some ClassPass data, qualitative interviews we’ve had here is, this is just one we had from an interview we conducted with a customer. They’ve said that I would expect them to have some information or proclamation about what their protocol is. So customers really just want to know about, like, what are the standards? What are you doing? And if they made no mentioned about their disinfecting the space and equipment, I’d be a little reluctant to go back. That’s something that is expected. So it really tees up our next conversation on the last area, which is communication.


Check out our other COVID-19 partner resources to learn about reopening, hosting outdoor classes, safety and cleanliness and more.

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