As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are all adapting to a new normal. We don’t know how long we’ll need to embrace “social distancing” measures. We face substantial uncertainties in our personal and professional lives. Long-standing plans fall under a need to reassess.
At Timed Out, we approach this uncertainty with a few values as guideposts. First, we must take measures to limit the risk of propagating COVID-19; we must embrace our responsibility. Second, we bias toward action and positivity – we continue to try to create positive outcomes from a challenging situation. Finally, we prioritize our customers, and our team members, as we evaluate and execute in this new reality. With these factors in mind, we’ve initiated operational changes to embrace these values and deliver experiences more safely.
NEW COVID-19 PROTOCOL OVERVIEW
- We are shifting our scheduling, entry, exit, and game management procedures to eliminate interactions between teams.
- To manage our room schedule, we have shifted to phone-based scheduling – our digital booking capabilities are temporarily disabled.
- Our team will control entry to our facility and access to any public spaces. Customers may not enter the facility until invited by a Timed Out team member. Similarly, customers cannot exit the escape room until escorted by a Timed Out team member.
- Customers will not be permitted to wait in the lobby before, during, or after a game.
We have established a specific set of room play slots, and we have expanded our room reset times to 45 minutes between games to facilitate expansion of our already enhanced cleaning and sanitizing efforts. As a result, we are not managing a specific schedule for each room – instead, call us with a desired start time and/or room in mind, and we’ll provide you with the best options to meet your needs. We have implemented a few additional limitations with respect to scheduling, specifically:
- Games remain private – no groups will play together
- Teams may include no more than 8 players
- Any individual overseeing a team (such as a parent) must enter the room with the team, and will be included in the 8 maximum.
- All guests must disclose a) if they have any known exposure to COVID-19, or b) have traveled to any class-3 locations (per CDC) within the past 14 days, or c) are experiencing symptoms of illness. No such guests can enter Timed Out.
Upon arrival to the shopping center, please do not enter the facility. Gather your full group in the parking lot and be prepared to enter no less than 5 minutes prior to your scheduled start time. Your team will complete waivers as needed, and will be escorted to your room. We will not be offering locker space; instead, a single plastic bin will be available in each room. You may place items such as purses and jackets into these bins.
The protocol does not significantly impact game play. However, players cannot exit the room until and unless authorized and accompanied by a Timed Out staff member. This includes restroom access. In addition, we have removed props from the rooms to simplify and improve cleaning between groups. Finally, our team can no longer provide additional time beyond the 60-minute game timer.
Upon completion of your game, you must wait for your game master to come retrieve you from your room. This may mean that you have to wait a few minutes in the room to allow the scheduled arrival or departure of other guests.
COVID-19: WE ARE ALL JOINTLY RESPONSIBLE
We have taken these measures because we recognize that we all share a joint responsibility to slow the onset of this virus, and to prevent our medical infrastructure from facing an overwhelming onslaught of patients and cases. In closing, we ask that you take similar measures. If you are feeling ill, please do not go into public spaces – ours or others. High-risk individuals must be extremely diligent about avoiding exposure. If you live with, or interact with, others who are in high-risk categories, please behave in a manner that minimizes exposure.
We want to be responsible, and we think we can do that while still providing some much needed fun and diversion in a time that is strikingly – and appropriately – serious. But we all must keep context of the broader picture – the importance of social distancing, the aggregate risk we must manage, and the fact that we will eventually emerge from this crisis – perhaps more cautious, and hopefully more knowledgeable about how to prevent a similar event in the future.