Community Responsibility for Operating & Opening Facilities

Communities are faced with many novel questions when creating operational procedures and cleaning policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  What is the new normal for community association responsibility when operating and opening facilities during this crisis?

 The COVID-19 pandemic has created a broad range of issues community associations are facing for the first time.  While many communities are choosing to keep community facilities closed until further notice, and although specific guidelines and restrictions differ depending on your state and county, the following are some things community managers and boards should keep in mind when opening and operating community facilities and understanding community responsibility.

Communities should implement protocols for community facilities to uphold social distancing measures and gathering restrictions, such as reducing occupancy limits for amenities, removing certain community furniture, or offering reservation systems for amenity usage.   

  •  Communities should follow increased cleaning and sanitization measures.  At a minimum, frequently touched surfaces should be sanitized and wiped down, such as doorknobs, bathrooms, and entry doors, on-site personnel should be issued face masks or other personal protective equipment, and disinfectants and sanitation products should be made available for members to use when possible.
  • While communities have heightened cleaning obligations for community facilities, members are responsible for ensuring their own safety and practicing CDC-recommended health and safety measures.
  • Communities should post signage outside of community facilities warning residents that COVID-19 may be present.  These signs should include language restricting amenity access for people that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, had symptoms of COVID-19, or had contact with a person diagnosed with or having symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Managers and boards should communicate community facility operational plans and updates to members frequently.    

Given the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, it is crucial that managers and boards stay up to date on new federal, state, and local guidance to modify the above procedures as needed to best address this crisis.

-Taylor M., Esq.     

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Marie Harrington - Monday, May 11, 2020

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