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COVID and the Cryo Arctic

With California and numerous states enforcing stricter COVID rules the question about infection rates has reached cryotherapy. Specifically, how can small businesses that use the popular Cryo Arctic enclosed chamber protect their customers?¹

Is the air inside “safe” without a mask?

Masks Are Never Perfect

Wearing masks for skin protection in cryotherapy is a matter of preference. Some wear masks to prevent cold air inhalation or to protect their lips, others do not. But with COVID making a comeback we must ask: how can we sanitize the air in a Cryo Arctic? If someone with COVID or any respiratory illness does a cryo in an enclosed chamber, how long must the chamber be open to clean the air? What if a person with COVID—who shows no symptoms—infects the chamber before an elderly person arrives?² As a business owner and a medical professional I am concerned for myself and every Arctic owner who is struggling.

Air Quality In Cryo Is The Future

People have been wearing facemasks for nearly a year now, and frankly there is no end in sight. Cryo in the era of COVID now requires hospital-level wipedowns, single-use feet and hand coverings, and facemasks for everyone. Apart from touchpoints cryo consumers have become aware that the air they breathe is concerning. Cold air simply will not disable the virus; there must be an air-out time in between sessions.

What Alternatives Do We Have Now?

For current Cryo Artic owners it may help to keep the door open after a session with a floor fan circulating air through the chamber. Other measures may put your customers at ease:

  • Limit cryo to appointments only to prevent uncontrollable traffic
  • Open all windows and keep the chamber window open when not in use
  • Invest in a hospital grade air purifier
  • Sanitize the entire room with a disinfectant fogger at the end of the day

For small business owners who are uncertain on what type of chamber to add it may be best to review models of cryosaunas that allow the customer to keep their head out of the chamber. The future of our industry is unknown, and investing in an enclosed chamber right now may bring more headaches than anticipated.

What About N95 Masks?

Are N95 masks the solution for cryotherapy? Probably not. N95 masks are effective only if they are fitted and worn correctly. Just buying a box of N95’s is not sufficient. They must be fitted by trained specialists who ensure a correct fit and seal is made. If this was possible nationwide for everyone it would be ideal, but COVID has taught us that it is not. These special masks are most effective in clinical situations by those who are trained to wear them. In a cryo setting a surgical mask or a mask of cloth can provide protection from the cold, but they are not perfect.

This N95 is ineffective as it is too big and not sealed to his face because of facial hair.

Footnotes:

  1. I am using Cryo Arctic in this example as it is more popular than other enclosed whole-body chambers. It is not an attack or disparagement of Cryo Arctic at all.
  2. Masks have shown promise in reducing the transmission of COVID when they are worn correctly.