Many condominium residents are eager to jump back into community pools that have been closed or idle for months due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued COVID-19 safety guidance to help condominium associations re-open their community pools in a responsible manner. This guidance includes various strategies to promote behaviors that can help maintain healthy operations and prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as:
- Encouraging social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Provide adequate supplies (hand sanitizer, tissues, non-touch trash cans, etc.).
- Encouraging the use of cloth face coverings when around others by the pool; however, face coverings should NOT be worn while in the water.
- Encouraging people to stay away from the pool area if they are sick, symptomatic or were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Limiting pool access to only residents and immediate family members, if feasible.
- Limiting the number of people in the pool area at any one time (reservations, time-limits, etc.), if feasible.
- Limiting or prohibiting group events, gatherings or meetings in and around the pool, if feasible.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects each time they are used (handrails, slides, door handles, restrooms, lounge chairs, tables, pool noodles, rafts, etc.).
- Modifying layouts (chairs, tables, etc.) and providing physical cues or guides to ensure people remain at least 6 feet apart from those they don’t live with.
- Discouraging the use of shared or difficult to clean items (goggles, snorkels, etc.).
- Designating someone to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Unit owners should know who this person is and how to contact him or her.
- Cleaning and disinfecting the pool with approved chlorine or bromine concentrations.
The CDC cautions that all decisions regarding COVID-19 safety and preventative measures should be made locally, in collaboration with local health officials, to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local jurisdiction. Associations must also remain aware of any relevant local and state rules or guidance to determine if specific events or activities are permitted or prohibited (aquatic fitness classes, swim lessons, pool parties, etc.).
Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk offers condominium associations access to various risk management tools and services, such as Setnor Byer’s Risk Management Group, Unit Owners’ Electronic Report Line and Florida Division-Approved New Board Member Education Certification online training. Please contact us to discuss ways to protect your condominium association during the COVID-19 pandemic.