Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency in the State of Florida, City of Tampa, and Hillsborough County. Florida is just one of forty-eight U.S. states to have declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak in order to reduce the rate of infection. Condominium associations, homeowners associations, and property managers alike are increasingly concerned about the impact of the virus upon their communities. In this article, we will discuss some of the important considerations for Tampa condo management in handling the coronavirus and the steps to take to reduce its spread.
Obligation to the Health of Residents
Liability is an important facet to consider when deciding upon what plan of action or communication is necessary for your condominium. While the condominium association, both the board and its managers, want to ensure the safety of the community and individual health of residents, you do not want to assume an unnecessary liability that may not be covered under the insurance policy.
There are limitations as to the actions the association can take, and in no way should the condominium association board or management be expected to serve as a health care provider or guarantor. Instead, it is important to convey to condominium unit owners that they should contact their individual health care provider with any questions regarding their health and how they can best protect themselves from the coronavirus.
Certain precautions, however, can and should be taken by the condominium association to reduce the risk for infection within the community. These precautions include:
- Closure or limited access to common areas
- Cancellation or rescheduling of community events
- Cancellation or rescheduling of board meetings
- Providing resources reminding residents to wash their hands and avoid touching their faces
- Providing hand sanitizer in any common areas
The condominium board should ensure that any recommendations from the CDC and the government are being followed concerning group gatherings and the use of common facilities. The authority is allocated to the board on whether to limit access and hours or completely close community facilities during this time. For any meetings of the board or management, it is recommended that you consider alternative methods of meeting, such as virtual conference platforms.
In the event of an outbreak within your condominium association, the CDC recommends having a response plan in place which may include the prohibition of the rental of community areas, required quarantine for sick residents or employees, and limited access of the community to nonresidents and the general public. If you have any questions or concerns about how your condominium association should be handling the coronavirus or what actions you can take to ensure the safety of your residents, contact Wise Property Management — a company devoted to HOA and Tampa condo management.
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