Our Response to Coronavirus
Sunday, March 29th UPDATE
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. All our staff remain home (and as far as we know, healthy) and the studio locked up as we wait to understand how to best support our staff and community’s health. As you can imagine, our owner is working tirelessly with our landlords, our countless service providers, the Small Business Association, and the Department of Labor to explore every possibility to support our staff and to get our studio through this unexpected and crazy time. We are so grateful to those of you with the means who have supported us by making use of our Gift Shop...and of course we are most grateful to those of you who are working to maintain the health of our community members. We are keeping everyone who has already lost jobs or health in our daily prayers and intentions. It is astounding how much every aspect of our business and personal lives are impacted.
As we hope most of you are aware, local government has extended closure of schools and “non-essential” business through early April. In keeping with local guidance, we have decided to remain closed through at least Wednesday, April 15th (which will be exactly one month) - at that point, we hope things will be in a better place, and that we will be able to make informed decisions about next steps. MindBody (our registration and membership system) is working on a way to quickly and easily stop all Membership payments without having to go into everyone’s individual accounts, and that will be enacted beginning April 16th. So if you have either a Limited or an Unlimited Class Membership or a VIP Massage Membership, no further payments will be accepted beginning April 16th, and when we DO reopen and have staff available (either on the 16th or on some date after that), we will then manually go in to everyone’s account, and individually adjust each account to add an additional month of services without payment, to make up for the month paid but not used.
Most of our staff (like so many of you!) is overwhelmed with kids, financial worries and loss of work, new #workfromhome and other family changes, and are just trying to make sense of news and all these changes. But a couple of our generous instructors with available time and some space at home have been so kind to volunteer to film classes,and have done their best to learn new technological skills to make them available to you. We also dug out a class or two we had filmed prior to closing. .Please check out the first couple of Online Classes here!. Thank you to Heather Plumberg and the Instructors who have generously volunteered to put together some movement and #goodvibes for us all.
We can’t wait to see you all in class and hope that you are all hanging in there ok. Stay safe!
Thursday March 19th:
We are temporarily closed for two weeks, and will reassess on March 29th.
Our staff are all home and offline, and our priority is making sure all our staff, community members, and clients do all our parts to support healthcare workers and our most vulnerable community members by STAYING HOME. When we reopen and have staff help available, we will respond to all individual questions, and prorate all Limited & Unlimited Memberships' future month payments by whatever amount of time we were closed for. We will also extend all Class Pack and Massage Therapy expiration dates by whatever time we were closed by.
Community members can support our business and our amazing staff and instructors by buying a gift certificate in our digital Gift Shop. Some Instructors have reached out and volunteered to try to put some classes up online from home, but are figuring out the technology. Please check here for updates and STAY SAFE!
Sunday March 15th UPDATE:
COVID-19 is creeping closer to greater Columbus/Phenix City/Ft Benning each day (it is now within 60 miles in most directions), and may already be in our community.
New studies published today suggest it is considerably more likely than we originally understood that people without any symptoms can be carrying and spreading infection.
As such, we understand that even our well-thought-out preventative measures may not be enough to ensure that we would not inadvertently expose staff or clients to risk. With this new level of understanding, we believe that it is our absolute civic duty to close doors immediately, and are asking all staff to suspend operations, and for staff and clients to remain at home. This closure will remain in effect through Sunday March 29th, at which time we will assess and update our status based on the conditions in the region, state, and country.
We are in completely uncharted territory and have no answers yet about ANYTHING. Just like all of you, management has been 100% focused on determining best courses of action, and have been “on hold” waiting for answers, recommendations, tools, and support from so many of our partners, service providers, civic support organizations, and colleagues. And as of 3:00 pm Sunday, March 15th, all our staff are offline and at home, and all operations have been suspended.
With all staff offline, please bear with us, as we will not be able to answer your individual questions - please know communication will resume and be posted here as soon as we have answers about next steps and are able to get them up. In the meantime, please stay safe. Stay informed and strictly follow all recommendations provided by the CDC as well as our state and local emergency and health services. Thank you for your understanding, we can't wait to be back online to help all of us ride this tsunami of uncertainty!
Posted Friday, March 13th
Hello #UpFactoryFamily. As you already know, we take your health and wellness incredibly seriously! We are absolutely committed to keeping the studio a place where you can come to connect safely with others, move, sweat, breathe (carefully!)…and stay healthy!
In light of our new reality, we are affirming our already strong commitment to & investment in cleanliness…and strengthening our commitment to stay informed & follow public policy.
We have decided YES - we are continuing to offer services for now - though with many changes and added precautions! (Read below!) Staff are continuing to work only if they feel comfortable doing so. We are working to get as many of our offerings available digitally, as soon as possible. And as long as we stay open, we are adapting - and hope you will too! - a handful of NEW NORMS into our culture!
—> No touch!
—> Social Distancing (capacities are reduced to promote this)
—> Wash Before & After! (props, equipment, floors, and especially our hands!)
As I’m sure you are too, we are monitoring and researching on an hourly basis, and are implementing a vast array of preventative measures to help reduce all our risks of exposure immediately. These may change at ay time - check back here at TheUpFactory.com/Covid19 where changes to our policies will be posted.
We believe that staying active provides a needed balance to fear, anxiety, and eyes glued to a screen. We hope (now more than ever!) to provide incredibly valuable stress-management tools, boost immunity, and give us much-needed doses of positive endorphins. If you choose to come in, please support our commitment to Personal & Community Responsibility by adhering to our suggested practices before, during and after visiting us… and by refraining from visiting us if you experience ANY symptoms (or have contact with anyone else who does).
Please read below to review all our new procedures and FAQs, and if you feel comfortable with the measures we are putting in place, please join us to UP!-lift your heart - or your heart rate! – as we all navigate through this new and unfamiliar territory. Please know we are completely committed to staying vigilant and doing whatever we can to provide the best possible environment in our studio so you can practice and play with Peace of Mind. Please don’t hesitate to call or text with additional questions and concerns.
With best wishes for mindful Health & Hope!
Erika and The UP! Factory Team
PS - Again, starting next week we will also begin making our classes available virtually to you and others at home…Please let us know if this would serve you, and stay tuned for more details! Turn your Notifications "ON" in your MindBody Account to receive updates about online classes available to you.
Questions & New Procedures
Why exercise now? Is it safe to go to any gym or the studio?
Our research shows that the studio does not seem to be any more risky than any other activity, and we are putting extraordinary measures in place to do our best to keep our doors open to serve you as long as it is deemed safe.
Data shows that sweat does not transmit the virus and porous surfaces, such as wood floors and our fabrics, are not places where the virus can survive long. Never the less! – we will be taking extra precautions to clean and disinfect our surfaces between every class. We believe, as things currently stand, with added precautions and measures that we are taking, that we can provide a reasonably safe environment for all of us to continue to move and play with a level of risk acceptable to some, for now.
Now more than ever, it is helpful to focus on managing anxiety, and on wellness. Movement, fitness, and yoga can help tremendously in improving overall wellbeing as well as immunity. As long as the space is safe and it does not increase your risk anymore than being out of your home in general, exercise and yoga can provide tremendous benefit at this time. Here is some more information about the relative safety/risk of gyms and how exercise may be helpful at this time:
Whether you feel comfortable coming in to the studio or prefer working out from home we are committed to accommodating you either we because we believe it is so important at this time.
What should I do to prep before coming to the studio, or bring with me?
We are reducing class capacities support 3-foot social distancing, so be sure to book your class well in advance!
Please bring your own mat and towels if available to you, and an extra face towel for hot yoga classes (so you can wipe your face with a towel instead of hands!).
We encourage you to purchase your own mats, towels, and props - many are available at our Front Desk, and others are available at Yogaacessories.com
For classes that require a mat for during-class or after-class stretching, you must rent or bring your own mat rather than stretching on the bare floor…you are welcome to bring your own mat to every class at the UPZone to use for stretching.
What new cleaning practices are being done in all your spaces?
We are providing hand sanitizer spray or gel in all classrooms and foyers
We are wiping down any handheld devices you might need to use, between each use
We are wiping down all doorknobs and commonly-touched surfaces before, during, and after shifts.
We are adding microbial disinfecting cleaning of all floors between each floor-based class
What’s different when I arrive?
For the time being, we are removing our self check-in station and asking all community members to check in at the front desk or with your instructor.
As the weather improves, please feel free to enjoy the outdoors on our benches as you wait for your class to begin! We promote social distancing as we wait, move in and out of class, and leave
Please wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or if neither is available you can use alcohol wipes or spray, before entering a class room and upon leaving class. We have designated a restroom to be used just for hand washing at the ZenSpot
We are NO TOUCH in our greetings for now! Instructors and staff have been advised to limit close physical contact with students, members, and each other. We will not be giving hugs, high fives, or handshakes during this time. A warm smile, a “Namaste” or kind words are the safest ways to positively connect!
We are making helpful supplies available at the Front Desk for a small fee (just to cover costs!), including disposable face masks, gloves, and alcohol wipes (for your phones and personal items)
Our handy disinfecting UV Wand is available for free use in our Main Desk area for anyone who would like to further disinfect their own mat, or a rented mat
…At the ZenSpot:
Please wait for your class in the front foyer or as the weather improves, if you do not wish to be in an enclosed space, please feel free to enjoy the outdoors on our benches as you wait for your class to begin!
Please allow the prior class to fully depart from the class room and for our staff to sanitize the floor before proceeding straight back into the Hot Room.
When entering the Hot Room, please try to bring the bulk of your belongings into the classroom and place them in the cubbies provided rather than leaving everything outside.
Is there anything different about classes?
In addition to reduced class capacity and requests to wash hands and disinfect props before and after each class, you can expect the following in specific types of classes:
All Yoga Classes
We are designing classes so that use of bolsters, blocks, eye pillows, straps and other props are completely optional, and providing alcohol spray for you to use on any items you wish to incorporate into your classes. You can also order your own props here: yogaaccessories.com.
Straps & eye-pillow covers need to go into the hamper after each use.
We have lined all our bolsters (under the cloth covers) with plastic bags, and are giving you the option to also cover the outside of your bolster with a plastic bag if desired. Bring an extra towel to place under your face if desired.
Alcohol spray bottles are available in all classrooms for you to completely disinfect mats & equipment before & after each use. Saturate your mat from top to bottom at the beginning and at the end of each class!
As always, hands-on assists are optional, but in addition, we will provide stones to use to indicate in yoga classes whether or not you would like any hands-on assists. Some teachers are not going to be doing any hands on at this time, and they will let you know at the start of class.
Hot Yoga Classes
In addition to waiting for the prior class to depart before moving back to the hot room, we would like to minimize use of the lobby outside the restrooms as this puts us in close proximity to each other…Please prepare for class in the front foyer and file right in, then place your belongings in the cubbies provided in the hot room, rather than leaving them all outside in the foyer.
Rent or bring more than one towel! We highly Recommend that you rent at least one but possible more towels at this time – one for your mat and a small one to wipe your face!
Silks - All silks will be sprayed down with alcohol in between classes
Pole - we already use alcohol to wipe down the poles and will continue to do so. We are adding disinfecting of floors before pole classes where we might use the floor
Lyra - We will be spraying hoops with disinfectant in between classes
What can I expect in Massage Therapy?
We are providing Massage Therapy through Monday March 16th, and will then be temporarily providing very limited Massage therapy (Spa only), for two weeks.
When providing Massage Therapy sessions, our Therapists will be wearing N95 compliant face masks to reduce any breath-born pathogens, and will be thoroughly disinfecting their own hands and forearms between clients.
Our linen service already thoroughly cleans and disinfects our linens, and will continue to do so
Please don’t come if you are feeling sick or have been exposed to anyone else who may be sick! Again, We are completely committed to staying vigilant and doing whatever we can to provide the best possible environment in our studio so you can practice and play with Peace of Mind!
It IS Allergy Season as well…unfortunately, if anyone exhibits symptoms of any kind of respiratory symptoms, or mentions exposure to anyone who may have symptoms, they will be discreetly and promptly asked to leave the premises. We appreciate your understanding!