Ongoing Efforts Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
At Sweat and Tonic, our first and foremost concern is keeping our team and community healthy, safe, and informed. In light of the rapidly evolving status of coronavirus, we will be temporarily closing our facilities beginning March 16th, 2020 (5:30am).
With consideration of recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Toronto Public Health, as well as thoughts from team members and guests, we have prepared a 4-Phase Risk Mitigation Plan. As of March 15th, we are in Phase 4.
Phase 1: Education
- Screening at check-in: our team has been checking for signs of illnesses upon check-in. If you’re feeling unwell, you are advised to stay home. If you cannot attend class due to illness, we will not charge a late fee and we will refund your credit.
- Routine cleaning: as part of our standard procedures, our team uses antibacterial and antiviral cleaners to clean all equipment and surfaces, multiple times a day and specifically in between every class. These are the items used to protect against COVID-19: Virex II 256 & Oxivir Plus. Disinfectant wipes are also provided at every studio for guest use.
- Staff and guests protocol: staff are required to stay home if feeling unwell and guests are advised to do the same. Staff and guests should wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (provided throughout our facilities).
- Providing information: we will continuously keep our members updated on matters regarding COVID-19 and our responses.
Phase 2: Prevention
This is the phase of our plan we are currently in. In recent days, the situation has intensified, with the WHO declaring coronavirus a pandemic, the Canadian federal government asking Canadians to cancel all non-essential international travel and the number of cases within Canada having increased. As such, we will implement the following:
- Travel notices: All travellers from outside Canada should voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days, as urged by Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada. If you have travelled internationally, please stay at home and refrain from attending class. We are implementing a travel request/approval and monitoring for all staff that will enforce self quarantine inline with the new guidance from the PHAC.
- In-class sanitation: During class, please wipe down your stations in between rotations (i.e. in between strength training and treadmill stations during 3D) with the provided disinfecting wipes at each studio.
- Cleaning + Equipment: We have 8 full-time cleaning staff members and 5 part-time. They will continue to disinfect and clean every piece of equipment, from gloves to weights, after each class/use. We have been in communication with our chemical supplier Diversey on best practices. In classes which require boxing, you have the option to shadowbox.
- Smaller class sizes: In keeping with WHO’s recommendation to keep social distance between individuals, we will be reducing class sizes in all studios so that guests can keep a safe distance apart from one another. Effective Monday, March 16th at 5:30am, classes will be kept at a reduced capacity:
- Ride: every other bike will be available to book
- HIIT: every other station (treadmill, strength, boxing) will be available to book
- Yoga: 38 mat capacity maximum
- Triple Sweat: 24 person maximum
- If you’ve already booked a spot, you may be moved depending on your location. If there are no spots left, you’ll be added to the waitlist. If you’d prefer to remove yourself from the class, feel free to cancel on our website or email us at email@example.com. We will not charge a late fee and will refund you the credit.
- Reductions in class sizes are temporary and will be reviewed every 2 weeks.
- Class adjustments: classes such as 3D will only rotate once between stations effective Monday, March 16th.
- Late fee/credit refund: As mentioned in our last newsletter, if you decide to cancel a class past our 12 hour late policy due to illness, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org before your class and we will not late charge you/refund your credit.
- Membership holds: you are able to freeze your membership for 1 month. Note that this will not count towards the 90-day annual freeze allowance. Please reach out to email@example.com to put your account on hold and include the preferred start and end date of your hold so we can update your account accordingly.
- Less contact and props: We have suspended hands-on adjustments by instructors and essential oil massages at the end of our Yoga classes for the time being. Use of props such as blankets and eye pillows will be limited.
- Virtual classes: over the next 2 weeks we will be fitting the studios with equipment to produce and film classes that will allow online access to virtual classes. We will also be testing a limited selection for live streaming as an alternative way to stay connected if you prefer to exercise in the comfort of your own home. Please stay tuned for further details.
- Events: All events will be suspended for the next 2 weeks and we will reassess the situation in 2 weeks.
- Staff: Any staff with cold-like symptoms will be placed on paid leave.
- ERV clean air system: Our facilities, including our 3 studios, are fitted with a state-of-the-art HVAC system with top-grade Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV) that improve our indoor air quality by:
- Constantly pulling fresh air into all 3 floors of our space. While typical HVAC systems recirculate indoor air, our system exhausts indoor air outside and pulls fresh, outdoor air inside on a continuous cycle.
- Having built-in filters that filter all outdoor air coming inside, keeping microorganisms at bay and resulting in double-purified air
- Regulating humidity of our entire facility to prevent mildew and mold, which are the primary causes of respiratory illness
- Facials: Our skincare partner, Consonant Skincare, has decided to pause facial offerings for the next 2 weeks. They will continue to monitor the situation and reassess as we move forward.
- Registered Massage Therapy: We will be pausing massages for the next 2 weeks and will inform you when we review the situation again.
Phase 3: Containment
- In the scenario where further external factors impact our services, we may reduce our offerings. We may start with reducing the number of classes at a given time and further stagger class start times. This will limit the number of people gathered in one area (i.e. check-in, locker rooms, etc.).
- External factors could look like inability to access cleaning supplies, food, and other items essential to day-to-day operations. Transit restrictions and employee safety concerns may also impact our services in this phase.
Phase 4: Closure
- Closure of all offerings and facilities: classes, spa services (facials and massages), meditation pod, nutbar cafe, Tonic House, events.
- All memberships will be put on hold as of March 16th. The expiration date of credit packs will be extended.
- All credits used for future bookings starting March 16th between will be returned to accounts.
- We will extend the Make Your MOVE: March Challenge until the end of April.
- As always, we want to take care of our team and community. During our closure, all employees will receive paid leave for scheduled hours of work.
- Continuous communication to keep guests informed: guests will be notified as we continuously reassess the situation and evaluate when it is best to reopen.
- We are also diligently working on getting virtual classes for guests to access online. Many of you have reached out letting us know that physical activity has helped with stress and anxiety, and we hope to keep providing this outlet for you while keeping safe and practicing social distancing. Please stay tuned for more information as this becomes available.
This has been a hard decision for us to make, but we feel it is the right one. We believe this is the most responsible course of action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, we have not received any information to indicate that anybody within our community has been tested positive for COVID-19. The whole Sweat and Tonic team will miss seeing all of you here, whether that’s sweating it out in class, enjoying a smoothie at nutbar, or having a laugh with friends in Tonic House. Practicing social distancing now will help us come back later stronger together. We’re excited to see you back at Sweat and Tonic once it is safe to do so.
David Ingram, Founder