Reopening Community Centers, Gyms, and Pools: What Boards Need to Know

May 14, 2020

With Summer upon us, many cities are starting to ease restrictions regarding use of communal areas. Here are some guidelines to help you stay on top of the necessary steps to ensure maximum safety for your community.

IMPORTANT: Boards are under no obligation to immediately reopen any common area amenities. We suggest devising a reopening plan and reviewing insurance coverage. There are many policies that state infectious and communicable diseases are excluded for both property and liability perspectives. It is important to create interim pool rules because residents need to self-adhere to the CDC guidelines, including sanitation and social distancing. It is entirely impossible for staff to police social distancing, high-risk residents, and keep surfaces sanitized 100% of the time. Therefore, residents need to be provided sanitation stations so they can wipe down gym equipment and pool furniture after use.

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, under all circumstances, the following precautions should be followed by people utilizing community centers, gyms, and pools. To the extent possible, the association should take measures to ensure that residents follow the following guidelines :

  • Consider limiting gym, pool & clubhouse hours to allow for proper sanitation by cleaning crew.
  • Consider changing maximum occupancy signs.
  • Maintain physical distancing, to the extent possible.
  • Provide access to soap and water for hand-washing or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at stations around the pool, gym, and clubhouse for use by employees and residents.
  • Operate with reduced occupancy and capacity based on the size of the pool, gym and clubhouse.
  • Implement comprehensive sanitation protocols and provide a stainless steel antibacterial wipe dispenser in pool, gym and clubhouse.
  • Consider posting signs advising residents and employees of expectations and guidance.
  • Provide 6’ markers on the floor if residents need to check in to pool or clubhouse
  • Do not provide towels to residents.
  • Consider adding a Plexiglas (or similar) counter barrier to the front desk
  • Provide additional space between pool chairs at community pools to allow for appropriate
  • Physical distancing.
  • Disinfect pool lifts in between each use.
  • Arrange cardio equipment so that appropriate physical distancing can be adhered to.

We suggest that HOAs halt any community events, classes or other group activities for the time being in order to comply with CDC recommendations. Lastly, Boards may want to consider implementing temperature checks for on-site staff and providing non-medical grade face coverings and gloves for the safety and comfort of the residents.

For more information on how HOAMCO can help your board navigate the reopening of your community centers, contact us at (800) 447-3838.