All over North America, states and provinces are in the process of gradually easing up on the lockdown brought about by the coronavirus. The return to normalcy is expected to be, in most cases, very gradual. With so much at stake in terms of money and lives, this poses a unique challenge to governments of all levels. The challenge of safely easing restrictions and ensuring proactive measures is a challenge that is shared by property managers and boards in condos. Most notably, common areas and amenities will be a focus as the world attempts to get back to normalcy.
Following the Orders of Government
It is only a matter of time when local government officially announce the easing of restrictions in condos. Once that happens by way of an authoritative guideline, the ball will be in the court of the condo's board of directors to decide if and when to adjust and lift the restrictions on amenities. In other words, it will be up to the board to decide whether to follow suit and actually open the amenities.
The liability of the condo corporation in the case where someone contracts coronavirus in a common area is a rather grey area because the science is thus far lagging. It would be in the best interest of the condo to take all of the necessary precautions as possible such as putting up signs, setting time restrictions on facilities, cap on number of people that can use the facilities at the same time and so on. Another recommendation would be for the facilities to be cleaned and disinfected on a frequent basis.
The most common and most used facility in any condo is the gym. The fitness facility also happens to be the amenity that is most crowded throughout the day. For that reason, they require special attention in terms of creating a safe environment. We have already seen some condos that have started reopening set in place measures to address any concerns. Some options include limiting capacity, blocking or deactivating some equipment to increase social distancing and also very frequent cleaning and disinfecting. There has even been a sighting of separators between treadmills.
While we expect condos to take stringent measures, we also do expect foot traffic in gyms in condos to become drastically reduced despite the easing of lockdown measures.
The reopening of swimming pools will be even more trickier for condos. It is best recommended to consult a Certified Pool Operator on how to safely reopen them. As they will likely become very busy in the coming months, it would be wise to begin making arrangements with them as soon as possible.
Some aspects of the pool that will require constant monitoring include water quality, filter pressure and equipment leaks and so on. Before any of that is set in place however, the first step will be to conduct a thorough health inspection as all pools will have been closed for a significant period of time thus leading to the risk of bacteria growth.
As the easing of restrictions is an ongoing topic, we will do our best to update you on best practices and recommendations. We recommend for now, to subscribe to the Condo Manager blog in order to get the latest directly by email.