When the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading through the U.S. in late February, guidance and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention became part of daily conversations. For the past several months, Americans have turned to the CDC for information on how to protect themselves from COVID-19 and what to do if they become sick. The resulting CDC guidelines impacting community associations are outlined here.

The CDC included information relevant to community association common areas. Early on, elevators and entryways were deemed essential and remained open during the pandemic. However, amenities such as pools, fitness centers, and clubhouses were deemed nonessential and association boards made the decision to close them.

As associations have determined how to maintain the areas of their communities that remain open, they are now grappling with how to safely reopen areas and amenities that were closed.

The following CDC guidelines apply to different common areas and amenities in community associations:

COVID-19 Guidance for Shared or Congregate Housing. Guidance for owners, administrators, and operators of shared or congregate housing to follow when maintaining safe operations. It encourages staff and residents to prepare and take action to protect themselves, consider how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a building’s common spaces, and what to do if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the community.

COVID-19 and Pets. While more information is needed about how COVID-19 affects animals, the CDC provides guidance for how a pet owner should proceed to keep their pet safe during the pandemic.

COVID-19 and Public Pools, Hot Tubs, and Water Playgrounds. Offers several safety considerations for communities that operate, manage, and use public pools on their premises.

Healthy Communities: COVID-19 & Community Associations Summary of Relevant CDC Guidelines. CAI prepared a resource based on information developed by the CDC to help community association board members, community managers, and business partners determine how to safely and effectively operate their communities in a COVID-19 world. This resource offers specific recommendations for effective communication and best practices for communities to follow to help maintain a clean environment for residents, staff, and visitors.

CAI has compiled extensive resources related to local, state, and federal government actions impacting community associations due to COVID-19, in addition to guidance, sample forms and documents, and FAQs. Bookmark these pages and return regularly for updates and additional resources. www.caionline.org/coronavirus and www.caionline.org/Pages/covid19gov.

For more information on the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

This information is subject to change. It is published with the understanding that CAI is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, medical, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Phoebe E. Neseth, Esq.

Phoebe E. Neseth, Esq.

Senior Manager of Government and Public Affairs

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