DISCLAIMER: This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The intent of this communication is to provide boards with a framework to make decisions as it relates to the current COVID-19 crisis. Nothing in this document should be construed as specific legal advice.
With stay-at-home restrictions beginning to ease and summer just around the corner, residents and guests will expect community amenities to reopen. But following federal, state and local orders to ensure the safety of your members introduces new challenges and unplanned expenses. Following CDC guidance, as well as state and local government regulations, will help keep your members safe, but implementing these recommendations may introduce new challenges and unplanned expenses.
Each community is unique, and your prevention and mitigation plans should be customized for your facilities and members. Consider the cost, time and additional resources you’ll need to maintain safe social distancing in the community:
The virus is vulnerable to wipedowns and disinfecting solutions, so enhanced cleaning protocols will be expected for common areas and facilities. Will janitorial contracts need to be renegotiated to address the additional deep cleaning? Will additional staffing be required?
- Stairwell/walkway railings
- Clubhouse Surfaces
- Fitness Areas
- Pools – Furniture
- Common Areas
Due to ongoing supply shortages, new vendors may need to be selected, and the cost of standard supplies may go up.
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
- Gym Wipes
- Hand Sanitizers
Additional supplies recommended for your staff or office may include Personal Protective Equipment such as face masks and gloves, facial tissue and bottled water, sanitizer dispensers, UVC light and specific disinfectants, as well as thermometers for health screening.
Rules & Regulation Changes
- Will you adopt new rules?
- Developing procedures to use communal resources under social distancing restrictions, e.g. scheduling access to communal laundry facilities or pool, only allowing community member access to facilities (and prohibiting their guests)
- Will you communicate new rules and risk through email, mail, additional signage? What will these methods cost?
- Will you continue to hold virtual board meetings or annual meetings? Is there a cost associated with your web conference platform?
- Without coverage for infectious disease through your liability policy, is the association prepared to pay for the defense of a possible lawsuit involving COVID-19?
- There is no action an association can take to guarantee a common area is totally clear of the virus. Never issue a statement that the property has been disinfected and cleaned of all infectious diseases.
- Consider requiring the signing of waiver of rights to file suit if contracting an infectious disease.
- The Board of Directors is responsible for the fiscal management of the association and is opening the amenities in the association’s best interest.
This is an unprecedented situation. Government orders and best practices will continue to evolve daily. Consult your association’s legal counsel and insurance advisor before reopening amenities.
Depending on your community type, consider adjusting your 2021 budget to allow for continued mitigation efforts to keep your community safe.
For additional guidance on navigating COVID-19, visit https://www.caionline.org/pages/coronavirus.aspx.