Our Response to COVID-19
We are open but we must adhere to the rules set by Dane County Public Health to help protect the health of ourselves and our guests. Please familiarize yourself with the following so all future visits to Float Madison are safe and smooth. These new policies will remain in place until updates are provided by the Dane County Health Department.
Our floats have always been by appointment only, and the easiest way to check up to date availability is on the booking page of our website: floatmadison.floathelm.com/booking
In May 2020 we discussed with other float center owners and the Float Tank Association Board, which our owner, Greg, currently sits as the treasurer, the risks at float centers and best safety protocols, and we have come to a consensus about new protocols moving forward. Based on the recommendations of the research presented to us by the Float Tank Association Board and the expert panelists at an industry wide zoom meeting on May 20th, we are requiring all guests and staff to wear a cloth face covering when they are at Float Madison regardless of a lack of symptoms. This was a difficult decision to make, and not one we made for reactionary reasons. If you forget your face covering at home please let us know when you arrive and we will provide you with a new disposable mask. You do not need to wear a face covering while you are in your float suite or while floating, so you will only be wearing it when you arrive and on your way out which will only be a few minutes. If you are unable to wear one please let us know prior to your appointment. Face coverings with vents will not be allowed. If you forget your face covering or yours has a vent, we will provide you with a disposable one at no extra cost to you.
A cloth face covering must be worn when in all areas of our space except for in our float suites and while floating.
Please practice social distancing of 6 feet from other guests and staff.
Do not float if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if anyone you've been in recent close contact with is sick or experiencing symptoms. If you feel ill on the day of your appointment please call to reschedule.
No walk-ins will be allowed at this time. You can purchase gift certificates online by clicking here, and for purchasing retail or physical gift certificates please just call ahead.
New Guests: Please read through the confirmation email we sent and arrive 15 minutes early for orientation.
Returning Guests: Please don't arrive more than 5 minutes early to help us practice social distancing.
We will keep our robust sanitation procedures of the float suites, including sanitizing the insides of the float tanks and high touch areas between every session. We will also sanitize high touch areas around the rest of our space between sessions. (More details are further down on this page)
Upon entering, there is an automatic hand sanitizer dispenser to the left of the door and a pump bottle of hand sanitizer on the reception desk. We ask that you use it when you enter our space and anytime you wish to.
Our Post-Float Lounge is currently closed, which makes us sad because we know how important the room is for many of our guests, but is a requirement of the Dane County Re-Opening Plan and will also make it easier to keep our space sanitized. This means that water cooler and tea station access will be closed as well.
Please bring a water bottle or beverage of choice. Our Kombucha cooler is now housed behind our reception desk, and if you need a drink please let us know and we can provide you with a complimentary bottle of spring water or you may purchase a bottle of Kombucha.
We will continue to provide float amenities, including shower products, towels, q tips, petroleum jelly for cuts, makeup remover wipes, and earplugs.
Our hairdryer will not be available after floats at this time, but if you need to blow dry your hair you may bring your own to use in our restroom. Please do not try to use it in our float suites though.
Prior to our temporary closing in March we provided some information about reducing stress, one of the main benefits of floating, as well as information on how we keep things clean and safe here, and an amendment to our cancellation policy. We've left all of this up for anyone who wishes to learn more:
As in most public emergencies, one of our main challenges is fear and panic among us humans rather than the nature of the issue at the core of the emergency. Fear and panic are stress-based reactions that often aren’t based in logic or mindful consideration. Floating is a great antidote to those cycles of stress-based anxiety.
Stress is also a primary contributor to weakening of the immune system. Disruption of the immune system from excessive production of stress chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine will not only increase our susceptibility to viruses and infection but will increase the impact of viruses and infections once they’ve taken hold. Want to protect yourself from viruses? Manage your immune system by managing its inputs: environment, food/nutrition, and stress. Here’s a great TED-Ed video on how stress affects the immune system:
And another outstanding presentation on how floating helps immune system function and regulates inflammation:
HOW DO WE SANITIZE OUR CENTER AND FLOAT ROOMS?
The fact is the kind of obsessive focus on sanitization and cleaning that we’re now all talking about is and always has been a daily focus for us. We’ve been obsessed with sanitization and cleaning since we opened in 2016. To us, this is all pretty standard stuff, but we have learned a little of the past couple of months and we will always be very open to our guests about what we do to keep you safe.
A few things about our processes:
We operate our float tanks following the Standard set by the Floatation Tank Association (FTA) who works with health regulators and experts such as local health departments, the CDC, NSF, and The Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC) .
I've been on the board of the FTA, serving as treasurer, since early 2019. This organization has been in operation since the 1980s with it's mission to establish clear, effective float tank standards, and communicates to regulators and the public on behalf of the float industry. Dr. Roy Vore, microbiologist and expert on recreational water illness, has been a volunteer on the board since April 2020 and has been a big resource for helping float centers navigate best procedures for dealing with COVID-19 in our centers. If you really want to dive deep into float tank cleanliness you can watch this video of him speaking to us at Float Conference 2018.
Our float tanks contain 1,000 lbs of Epsom salts. In terms of salinity level, it follows the same “Specific Gravity” level as The Dead Sea, around 1.3 SG. The Dead Sea got it’s name for good reason: very, very few things can survive in it. As it is with float tanks. They are a highly inhospitable environments for pathogens purely from having that much salt in them.
Besides the required pre-float shower, each tank has a 3 step filtering process that consists of a micron filter to filter out particulate matter, an ultra-violet (UV) sanitation and ozone purification system, and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide (an oxidizer)– a safe alternative to chlorine and bromine. All of our float tanks are equipped with a 1 micron filter which captures material the size of the COVID-19 virus and is NSF (National Sanitation Federation) approved. Skimmers are used to keep the surface clear. The saltwater in our float tanks is filtered 5 times between every guest. We go in after every guest to visually inspect our suites, and sanitize all commonly touched surfaces such as showers, benches, float tank walls, etc
In addition to salt and filtration, the interior surfaces of our float tanks are cleaned every single day with a sanitizing solution to ensure no growth of anything pathogenic inside the float tanks.
In addition to salt, filtration and interior surface cleaning, we’ve doubled down on sanitizing all high contact surfaces (handles, light switches, faucets/knobs) with EPA-registered hydrogen peroxide wipes by Clorox and diluted hydrogen peroxide.
Last up, our float tank solution is sent to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene to ensure that our cleaning process is above and beyond what anyone would expect.
HVAC: During construction of Float Madison we installed a new very large roof top unit to handle all heating, cooling and dehumidification for just the side of our space where our float suites are: the 3 suites, the restroom, and the hallway (we have a separate system for the other side of our space). It has a high volume exhaust that is on 24/7. And, it doesn't recycle the air like many HVAC systems. It pulls it from the outside and exhausts it, so the air in our space is always moving which in turn helps dispel viruses.
What we want to assure you of is that we are always in a state of obsessive awareness of sanitization and cleanliness. It always has been and always will be paramount to us that you feel safe about coming to our space to rest, relax and heal. This situation is not new to us.
IF I AM CONCERNED ABOUT FLOATING RIGHT NOW, CAN I CANCEL MY APPOINTMENT?
Normally, we ask for a 24 hour cancellation notice. If you are feeling unwell, we are always happy to cancel your appointment for free. We understand right now that many people are afraid to be out and about in public, and we are happy to cancel your appointment without our usual policy need. We just ask that you are genuine with us about the reason for your cancellation. We’ll honor it if you do.
WE MAY HAVE TO CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT.
If we have reason to think you may be affected, we will cancel your appointment. In the event that we have staff out due to sickness, we may need to cancel your appointment. We will do our best to give you ample notice.
I’M HAVING FINANCIAL DIFFICULTY BECAUSE OF COVID-19. CAN I PAUSE MY MEMBERSHIP?
Absolutely. We’re in this together, and we understand that some people may already be or soon be experiencing financial difficulty as a result of workplace disruptions. Our membership plans always have and always will have flexibility at their heart. We never want anybody to feel financially trapped; that’s the opposite of stress management, right? If you’re having financial troubles, just let us know and we can easily pause your membership for however many months you might need. Accumulated member sessions can still be used so you can continue your self-care. You don't lose them just because you paused your membership.
You can learn more about our Membership at www.floatmadison.com/pricing
We do not want there to be any concerns when you come float with us, so please reach out if you have any other questions.
Thank you so much for your patience during this challenging time, and I have to give another special thanks to all of our members who had the means to keep their memberships active during April and May. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in again soon!