At the start of the pandemic the Aerial Dance Leadership Team met and confirmed that we would always error on the side of caution and science. As a formulation scientist for Kimberly Clark I can tell you that the results of science changes and evolves as more research is done. This meant that our leader, Paula, would stay on top of the current science and adapt our plans accordingly. And our plans have been constantly revised since. And starting September 13 will be starting a change in how we will be treating/disinfecting our fabrics and the number of fabric classes we are offering per day.
Back in March (remember then?!?! we were all thinking this would be two weeks…ah naivety) there was no research on how Covid could be transmitted via the type of fabrics we use for aerial. The aerial community had people saying silks shouldn’t be used at all, to needing to wait 3 days between uses, to still sharing silks in classes. Insane how wide of a range. And that makes it challenging to know what is “right”.
When we resumed in-person classes in May there was still no consensus in the aerial community. Paula spoke with the local health department which confirmed the CDC’s update that surface contact wasn’t concerning. Meaning, we could start right away with multiple fabric classes in an evening but when we did a risk assessment we chose to err on the side of over cautious and only run one class per night on a fabric apparatus so the fabric had 24 hours to rest between use. We also researched a BUNCH of fabric sprays and settled on one that would kill viruses and not cause skin reaction.
We’ve been running our program with those parameters for three months now. And the science is again changing. With the updated risk assessment we can now confidently use fabrics more than once in a 24 hour period. The CDC said this for a while but months have passed and now we feel the mentally this will also feel less scary. But to aid in the mental side we wanted to find a product that allowed our students to spray their own fabrics directly before (and after) use so they feel confident and in control of their in their saftey.
We will be transitioning our fabric cleaning product to Decon 30. It has been approved by Health Canada as an effective hospital disinfectant, bactericide, virucide, fungicide and mildewstat. The active ingredient is thymol, which is known for its natural antiseptic activity. Transitioning to this product will allow us to have multiple hammock and silks classes in one day because of the low toxicity of the product. EPA testing on all routes of entry showed that this product is safe if inhaled, ingested or comes into contact with skin or eyes.
In addition to my discussion with the manufacturer, we also spoke with Rising Goddess Fitness in the Chicago area who has been using this product and running multiple fabric classes in a 24 hour period since reopening and they have had zero issues. So from a science, research and antidotal perspective, we feel very comfortable with this product change.
Please see the below technical documents for reference or contact Instructor Kelly for questions.