So how are gay bathhouses dealing with COVID19 (the coronavirus)
Curtis Jensen, Steamworks’ marketing and graphics coordinator, writes in an email
“We have increased our cleaning protocols to include more frequent wiping and disinfecting of touch points such as door handles, handrails, and sinks and restroom stall doors. We will be maintaining our intensive regular cleaning routines. We are using disinfectant in our cleaning routines which has been shown to be effective against human coronaviruses. We will ask members displaying common cold symptoms to please refrain from checking in during this time and look forward to welcoming them back when they are feeling better.”
John Gamber, the Watergarden‘s general manager says they are routinely cleaning surfaces, providing hand sanitizer, and making sure people wash their hands and shower after using its facilities. It is following the model it used in addressing the HIV epidemic, to help educate its customers on how to protect against COVD19.
“We are also working right now to develop a new list of procedures for our staff to deal with and answer the questions our customers have,” he said. “In-house our prevention director, who normally deals with HIV outreach, we are utilizing him to hopefully answer questions, and as best as we can get information about this out to our customers.”
357 Sydney City Steam is trying to find humor in the situation by saying they are the “first sauna in Australia to not allow you entry if you’re too hot. At 357 we want you to feel safe, so every client will have a non-touch thermometer test to make sure you have no fever before entering our venue. It takes one second on entry so play safe and with confidence. We care about you at your venue 357.”
A 357 spokesperson said about COVID19, “357 is taking your safety seriously. To help with this, we are checking everyone’s temperature before entry, using a non-contact thermometer.
“We all need to help protect the vulnerable in our community by reducing contact if we are unwell.
“It’s a simple check that takes a few seconds and will make a huge difference for everyone.”
As well as turning away patrons with a fever, the sauna echoed official advice to wash hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes and stay at home if unwell.
“We have put a number of measures including frequent disinfection throughout the club and have hand sanitisers available in key locations.”