Updated: May 30, 2020
Many studio owners are slowly starting to anticipate re-opening, and what this will look like. As a studio owner, you may be wondering how to keep yourself, staff and students safe. We at Aerial Physique have received MANY messages from aerialists asking how we plan to navigate this situation. This is new territory for everyone, and it is natural for anxieties to arise. While we are all learning as we go, we’ve listed policies that we plan to put into practice. We have also included info on how long COVID-19 can stay on fabrics.
1. Instructors and students will be encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the studio prior to warming up, and again at the end of class.
2. Instructors and students will fill out a sign-in sheet prior to each class confirming that they have not had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have not come into contact with anyone who has.
3. A COVID-19 release of liability form will be mandatory prior to attending class.
4. Spotting will be spoken about in advance so students are aware that they may need to be touched. We will likely put a pause on our Introductory classes which require heavy spotting for the time being.
5. We will highly encourage both students and instructors to wear masks. *However, we do have safety concerns about engaging in rigorous activities without proper oxygen.
6. Rosin sharing will not be allowed. Each student will need to bring their own rosin if they want to use it.
7. Hand sanitizer will be placed throughout the studio. We will encourage this to be used prior to touching things like pens and doorknobs.
8. To limit apparatus sharing, our already small class sizes will likely be cut in half, and students will be encouraged to take private and duo lessons.
9. We will instate a 30 minute or longer gap between classes to allow for changing of fabrics, proper cleaning of surfaces, mats, and non-fabric apparatuses. **This article from MindBody has some useful information on cleaning fitness studios.
10. We will likely wash silks after every use using an antibacterial detergent additive that meets EPA criteria. In addition, we will encourage students to purchase their own apparatuses to bring to class (we are fortunate to have a pulley rigging system that makes apparatus changes easy).
Here is what we know about how long COVID-19 can stay on fabric:
So far, evidence suggests that the virus does not survive as well on soft surfaces (like fabric) as it does on hard surfaces (like elevator buttons and knobs), and the amount of the virus in the droplet matters. Most of what is known about how long this virus lives on surfaces comes from this study from the New England Journal of Medicine. Here is what it states:
Some small viral particles can float in the air for about half an hour
The virus can survive, under ideal viral conditions, up to three days on hard metal surfaces and plastic, and up to 24 hours on cardboard. At the end of these time frames, less than 0.1% of the starting virus material was observed.*
*The study did not look at fabric. However, virus experts believe that the cardboard research offers clues about how the virus probably behaves on fabric: absorbent fibers in the cardboard appear to cause the virus to dry up more quickly than on hard surfaces. The fibers in fabric would likely act similarly on the virus.
A 2005 study from Clinical Infectious Diseases was done on the virus that causes SARS, another form of coronavirus. Researchers concluded that even with a relatively high virus load on droplets, rapid loss of infectivity was observed on paper and cotton. In that study, researchers tested increasingly large amounts of viral samples on paper and on a cotton gown. Depending on the concentration of the virus, it took five minutes, three hours or 24 hours for it to become inactive.
We are confident that by instating new rules and systems, and by staying on top of the latest information available, we can keep our studio a clean and safe zone for aerialists! We’re all in this together.