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Obviously, there’s a lot of concern around the Coronavirus outbreak right now. There are also a lot of float centers who are worrying about how this will affect their floaters.

Here’s the critical information and tips for float centers to keep in mind during the Coronavirus outbreak:

Float Tanks
  • Coronavirus is not water-borne. Standard filtration and disinfection in your float solution should be sufficient.
  • Coronavirus does not seem to be air-borne. It is spread by droplets through the air, for example when someone sneezes, but so far it does not look like it can last long amount of time in the air or be spread over long distances.
  • The walls of your tanks, inside and out, are where the virus is more likely to be spread. Increase disinfection of the interior and exterior of the tank, especially where customers are likely to touch.
Hard Surface Disinfection
  • (Re)Familiarize yourself with hard surface disinfection and kill times.
  • Use EPA recommended and registered disinfectants on all hard surfaces.
  • Stress to your staff the importance of properly disinfecting all items and surfaces that floaters are likely to touch, both in the rooms and out.
  • Frequently disinfect chairs, doorknobs, check-in counters, and all solid surfaces where someone might place their hand.
  • Consider storing objects that floaters typically touch that aren’t easy to disinfect (float journals, books, toys, etc.).
Staff and Customers
  • Brief your staff on what we know, and make sure they feel comfortable answering any customer questions.
  • Make sure your staff is washing their hands diligently and not touching their faces.
  • Have everyone maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others.
  • Make sure staff take sick leave and stay home if they think they’re feeling ill.
  • Let customers know that they won’t be charged for canceling floats, even last minute, if they’re not feeling well.
  • Put a page on your website informing your customers of your increased cleaning and health policies, and link to it from your scheduling page and emails.

We aren’t microbiologists, and we wanted to get the best possible information on what float centers should do in order to keep our customers safe from coronavirus, so we reached out to Dr. Roy Vore for comment. 

If you’re not familiar with him, Dr. Vore is a microbiologist and expert on water sanitation; he’s one of the leading experts on outbreaks in shared water facilities (pools, hot tubs, etc), and fortunately for our industry, he’s taken a particular interest in float tanks.

Dr. Vore has been discussing this issue with pools and spas, so making a statement for float centers wasn’t too far out of his way.

The first thing we learned from talking to Dr. Vore was that the actual name for this virus is SARS-CoV-2. It’s similar to the flu both in how it spreads and what it’s susceptible to. This is what he had to say (see if you can avoid hearing it in his voice):

 

“This is an enveloped virus. The concentration of salt used will provide a reasonable inactivation, but is not likely to be complete. But this virus is both spread by contact and inhalation of airborne droplets; it is not water-borne. As such, the water is not the medium of transmission.”

 

It’s been known for years that high concentrations of magnesium sulfate in a water solution can actually stop some viruses and bacteria from spreading that would otherwise thrive in water. As we know, this isn’t sufficient disinfectant for all pathogens, but it does impact our risk factors. Dr. Vore actually did a big talk about this at the 2018 Float Conference.

The nature of our business also means we just don’t have large groups of people interacting with each other. This doesn’t mean we’re off the hook, though.

This virus has a long incubation period, which means that it can last longer on surfaces. So the real danger of this epidemic for a float center is all the stuff that your customers interact with. As Dr. Vore puts it:

 

“All float centers should focus on disinfection of hard surfaces including chairs, doorknobs, check-in counters, and all solid surfaces where someone might place their hand.”

 

In addition to his statements, Dr. Vore has released a document outlining the impact of the virus on float tanks that’s been adapted from a similar document he released for pools and spas. We’re including that here for all of you so you have a document directly from a microbiologist about this disease.

Art of the Float recently released an interview with Jason MacDonald, a health regulator in Alberta, Canada, and he went into further specific recommendations about what to do while our country handles this health crisis.

It’s important to remember that a pandemic is temporary and many places affected earlier in the cycle are already recovering. Hopefully, the fact that we’re not a high-risk industry can be something float centers can take some comfort in and emphasize to the public.

Be patient, be mindful, and adjust your plans to the environment as new information comes out and the situation develops. And don’t forget to take some tank time for yourself to float away some stress. 

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

The 2019 Float Conference Recap – OSP 09

You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about. 

Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year. 

The Russian Float Conference – OSP 08

The Russian Float Conference – OSP 08

Graham and Ashkahn are back to give their recap on the Float Conference. No, not THAT Float Conference, the Russian Float Conference. 

The guys got to go speak at the float event on the other side of the world and are reporting back on what that was like, how their industry is shaping up, and some of the lessons we can learn about their industry over there. 

Additionally, Graham and Ashkahn lied to you. The show notes will not have a puppet show in them. 

Tank Topic – Writing E-mails

Tank Topic – Writing E-mails

This Tank Topic covers everything you need to know to get your e-mail on. You wanna know how long your e-mail newsletter should be and what topics you should cover? You wanna know how frequently to e-mail for special deals? You even wanna know how long your e-mails should have to be? You wanna know all these answers all at once? We freaking got you! I’m so glad you asked, cuz we literally just put this episode together. I’m really glad you’re gonna find it useful. Rock on, dude. Synchronicity!

Tank Topics – Managing Employees

Tank Topics – Managing Employees

Summer may be coming to a close but we’ve still got Tank Topics to help you beat the heat.

This collection focuses on managing employees, so we share everything from what to look for when hiring, what orientation looks like, and how we at Float On have structured our management hierarchy. Also… Ashkahn likes socks, so send him some. 

Pseudomonas in a Float Tank! – OSP 07

Pseudomonas in a Float Tank! – OSP 07

This is a bit of breaking news for the float world. There was a clearly defined case of someone getting sick in a float tank and Graham and Ashkahn are here to tell you what you as a float center owner (or future owner) should know about it and the steps you can take to keep yourself informed on this issue and make sure you don’t repeat any of the same mistakes. 

Float Tank Conference