On Friday night, I went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Old Town Alexandria, Va. While I was hoping for outdoor seating, there was none available, and the restaurant was packed. As I entered with my mask covering my nose and mouth, the sign on the door caught my eye. It read: “If you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to wear a mask inside the restaurant.”

It had only been a week since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a change in its COVID-19 guidelines stating that fully vaccinated individuals can ditch their masks while indoors in certain situations. I looked at my husband and friends and said, “Easiest habit to break!” I quickly removed my face mask.

This changing guidance is not an easy one for community associations—especially condominiums with shared indoor spaces—to navigate. Complications related to the interpretation and rapid changes in federal, state, and local ordinances can make pool or amenity openings challenging.

CDC guidelines have trickled down quickly to governors’ offices and state and local health departments. In reviewing these restrictions, there are some common themes:

  • Maintaining social distancing.
  • Frequent disinfecting and sanitizing of equipment and facilities.
  • Maintaining pool water chemistry.
  • Restricting pool guests.
  • Displaying signage discouraging entry of people with COVID-19 symptoms and/or exposure.

For the most current government guidance related to pool openings and mask mandates, visit CAI’s State Government Actions Regarding COVID-19 Impacting Community Associations. In addition, please visit your state or local municipality’s health department website for current information.

Finally, download Pool Position: Swim Season Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic, to review results from a recent CAI survey on pool openings, examine the latest safety guidelines for opening and operating pools, and gain access to sample documents to communicate protocols to residents. The report is free for CAI members and $19.99 for nonmembers.

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