COVID-19 and its resulting country-wide restrictions have brought about a constantly evolving struggle between economic interest and public safety. Officials at the city, county, state, and federal levels are all facing a unique challenge in posing COVID-19 restrictions, and these safety guidelines have changed many times over the past year as case numbers have fluctuated. As an HOA board, it can be difficult to determine which amenities are safe to reopen for your Tacoma community association and which should stay closed. When to reopen and how to reopen are big questions that everyone across the country is challenged with, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. If you’re a community association looking for a guide to reopening your HOA amenities during COVID-19, follow these tips to maximize safety as best as you can during this difficult time.
Follow Local & Federal Guidelines
The most important thing to take into consideration when reopening amenities is the local guidelines and laws surrounding COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions vary by state, or even county, so do thorough research into the current laws governing your neighborhood. Some counties may allow the reopening of certain amenities but not others, or they may require that all amenities implement certain safety protocols in order to reopen. Determine what the local rules are for your community association, and ensure that you follow them to avoid any health risks and resulting consequences for your HOA.
Speak to an Attorney
Even if you’ve done independent research into local guidelines, it’s still best to consult with an attorney regarding any reopenings you’re considering. They’ll likely have a better understanding of the current laws and any potential consequences of breaking them, so they can best advise you on which amenities are safe to reopen and what adjustments will need to be made in order to open these amenities safely for residents to use.
Allow for Social Distancing
If your HOA amenities are deemed safe to reopen, you’ll need to ensure that proper social distancing measures are possible in the given space. If the amenities are outdoors, this likely won’t change much, but indoor amenities such as gyms or lounges may need to be limited to just a few people at a time. Consult with your attorney and management association firm to decide what occupancy level is safe and appropriate, and post adequate signage detailing the new rules. Even if all businesses and amenities are allowed to reopen under your current local guidelines, you still need to allow for proper social distancing in order to keep residents safe, healthy, and comfortable.
Adopt a Frequent Cleaning Schedule
Homeowners may be hesitant to visit reopened amenities due to the health and safety concerns surrounding shared spaces. Put residents at ease by adopting a more frequent cleaning schedule, especially for shared indoor areas such as the management office or athletic facility. Sanitize high-traffic areas hourly, if possible, thoroughly cleaning doorknobs, phones, elevator buttons, and other areas that are touched regularly. Providing hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, or soap in common areas can also help keep your community safer and make them feel more at ease.
COVID-19 restrictions are constantly evolving and vary by state or county, so make sure that you’re staying up-to-date on Tacoma’s regulations and abiding by all laws and guidelines. You may feel pressure to reopen amenities after long closures, but resident health and safety should always be at the forefront of any decision making. If you want to ensure that you’re taking the best and safest route when reopening your community’s amenities, speak to your HOA management firm. HOA community management companies such as The Management Trust have the network and industry expertise to help you navigate the difficulties of community association management, so you can always have peace of mind that your Tacoma HOA is well taken care of. To find out more about our services, give The Management Trust a call today at (253) 472-0825. One of our expert employee-owners would be happy to assist you in any way they can.