When the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 has escalated to such proportions that it has become a pandemic, countries were quick to enforce rules and restrictions to curb its spread. This meant businesses closing their physical locations, individuals staying home, and social events had to be canceled. For HOA communities, these restrictions meant keeping homeowners safe inside their homes.
As HOAs grapple with these unprecedented changes, they acknowledge the fact that they are responsible for the health and safety of their respective communities. The following are some of the ways HOAs are keeping their communities safe:
1. Strictly enforcing physical distancing
Living with the threat of COVID-19 in the air means normal things suddenly became taboo. Shaking hands, holding hands, hugging, and sitting side by side suddenly became a thing of the past. As health experts advised individuals to practice physical distancing (at least two meters apart) to help prevent the spread of the virus, public spaces were ordered to close down for the time being.
For HOA communities, these meant gyms, pools, and spas. Some HOAs chose to keep their parks open with physical distancing still strictly enforced.
2.Restriction on visits and gatherings
In keeping with the physical distancing protocol, HOAs have opted to restrict outside visitors except when an emergency calls for it. This includes medical personnel for health emergencies, caregivers, and other guests/personnel needed to assist a homeowner.
Gatherings, however, are strictly prohibited. This means parties for birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones will have to be postponed until local governments, upon the advice of health experts, lift such restrictions on group gatherings and events.
3. Postponing construction work and other contractual jobs
Construction work will have to be postponed as well except for emergency repairs. Construction work covers renovations and remodeling work both on homes and common areas. On the other hand, if the HOA has contractual employees for specific tasks or jobs, it is up to them to allow employee keep working or freeze the job order until such time when they deem it necessary (and safe) to resume work at the physical location.
4. Keeping homeowners and other stakeholders informed
Understanding that these are unprecedented times, homeowners associations double their efforts to communicate with the homeowners and other stakeholders. Keeping everyone informed about the goings-on in the community, particularly about changes in safety regulations, COVID-19 updates, emergency plans, and disaster management, is critical to preventing transmission within the community.
As HOAs grapple with the effects of COVID-19, it is their duty and responsibility to mitigate risk and keep homeowners informed at all times.