Keeping your clients and staff safe during COVID-19 will require extra work on behalf of everyone who uses your facility. However, extra precautions are crucial to ensure the continued wellbeing of your studio. While you may have been able to host sessions outside in the spring and summer, winter’s arrival means that a. classes may need to move indoors and b. you’ll have to be vigilant about safety and cleanliness.
Whether you’re just starting to re-open or have been holding in-person classes for a little longer, here are 6 safety tips you should make sure you’re implementing to help your studio stay safe:
- Maintain social distancing: Adherence to social distance guidelines can dramatically reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus. Maintain a minimum of six feet between members and staff at all times. This could mean hosting smaller classes, putting up protective barriers between equipment, or placing stickers on the floor in group classes to show how far apart members should stand. Remind instructors that for the present, partner and teamwork-based exercises are not allowed.
- Clean often and thoroughly: Increase the frequency of both how often your studio gets cleaned daily and how often it receives a deep clean. This may require hiring additional personnel or closing down your facility a few times a day for the cleaning to take place. You will also want to request that members sterilize all props and equipment before and after class (and give them instructions on how to do so). Don’t forget about lockers, door knobs, and any other surfaces that your members touch often.
- Be flexible with members: If any attendees experience symptoms, having a flexible refund/return policy can ensure that these individuals don’t come to your studio even when they’re feeling under the weather. Let them know that there are new procedures, and their health is always the first priority. Being lenient with certain attendance rules could make a difference in maintaining the overall health of your members.
- Be flexible with employees: If any of your employees experience symptoms, encourage them to stay home. Make sure that you have a clear instructor substitution system in place, and have some tasks ready that can be done remotely for those who can’t come in (i.e. writing a newsletter).
- Wash hands: Encourage your staff and members to wash/sanitize their hands frequently. Set up hand sanitizing stations throughout your studio and make sure they wash their hands before entering. Place signs around your facility to remind members that hand-washing can help minimize their chances of contracting the virus.
- Limit numbers: Stay informed about the latest government/location rules about how many members can be in your studio at once. You may need to limit the number of classes/participants in each class. Staggering classes further apart can also prevent too many people being in your facility at once. Using an online booking platform, like Mariana Tek, can guarantee that everyone has a spot in class without the risk of overcrowding.
Adapting to the new normal of fitness in a pandemic will require extra effort by both your membership and your staff. Continue to openly communicate about your new policies and make sure that all studio participants are on board with the new procedures. Staying committed to the health of everyone in your facility can help your studio stay open and thrive in the months to come.