The new age of social distancing is presenting unique challenges for community associations and their residents each day in Aurora. Living in a close proximity and sharing common amenities can bring up worries surrounding the spread of COVID-19 that HOAs couldn’t have anticipated just a few months ago. All around the country, HOAs and their community management services are working together to figure out the best practices for protecting residents from COVID-19 and flattening the curve in their area. Here are a few ways that your community association can do its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your neighborhood.
Emphasize Social Distancing for Residents
It’s important that everyone stays in their homes as much as possible in order to remain safe. While many homeowners are taking this seriously, there will likely be a select few who prefer to venture out. In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, cancel or postpone all organized events in your community. Encouraging people to stay at home and not giving them an opportunity to mingle will help set a good example and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within your neighborhood.
Close Common Areas
Along those same lines of encouraging self-isolation, it’s advised that you close all common areas possible during this time. If your HOA has a pool, gym, basketball court, playground, or any other amenities that encourage group activity, close these down in order to deter any residents from violating stay at home orders. It may be an unpopular step, but it’s one that needs to be taken if you want to keep everyone in your community association safe. If your HOA has a large park or field, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to close it. You may restrict hours or assign someone to supervise the area. If the area is big enough that people won’t be in close proximity to one another, it will likely be okay to keep amenities like these open.
Clean Common Areas More Frequently
If you do decide to keep your facilities open, it’s crucial that you regularly disinfect high traffic areas. Clean each facility more extensively at the end of each day than you normally would, and wipe down common areas such as desks, door handles, and public restroom surfaces every hour. The more frequently and the more thoroughly you clean an area, the safer it will be for other residents.
Install Disinfecting Stations
Similarly, make sure that residents have access to disinfecting materials by installing hand sanitizer and hand wipe dispensers wherever possible. Posting this by the entrance to common areas that remain open will help ensure that everyone in your community is doing their part to keep things safe and sanitary.
Hold Virtual Meetings
It’s likely that you’ll still need to hold just as many HOA meetings during this time, if not more of them. In order to comply with social distancing measures and keep everyone safe, take things digital and switch to video conferencing for your board meetings. Apps like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts are perfect for professional conferencing purposes. It’s important to lead by example, so remaining at home and conducting business over the phone or computer will be in everyone’s best interest while still allowing you to get the job done.
Before taking any drastic steps, be sure to have your HOA board consult with medical, legal, and insurance professionals. The Management Trust’s community management services can help you establish appropriate objectives and execute them as efficiently as possible. We manage more than 1,500 communities nationwide, including in Aurora, so we have the expertise to proactively implement any precautions you feel are necessary to best protect your community association.