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Coronavirus Alert

What the Community Association Industry Needs to Know

CAI is monitoring the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on community associations.  Below are some basic guidelines and tips, however, as we are not a healthcare organization, we are encouraging CAI members and the community associations industry in general to follow the latest guidance and updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

General Info

The coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause the common cold and more severe diseases such as COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19, which can appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure, can include fever, runny nose, cough, and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild disease. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider immediately.

Free Covid-19 Webinars

Q&A: Coronavirus and Community Associations – 2 CEU Credits Available – CLICK HERE

What Community Associations Can Do

In the event of a widespread outbreak in the U.S., community associations, management companies, and business partners should take the appropriate measures to ensure and promote a hygienic and safe environment.  Our member companies should consider and potentially plan for the implementation of community interventions that can help slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Meetings & Events

Community Associations should review state statutes and governing documents to determine whether it’s possible to conduct association business remotely.

Associations also may want to consider how to handle common areas and amenities.

Optimal preventative actions include:

  • Regular cleaning of common areas and meeting spaces, paying particular attention to frequently touched objects or surfaces
  • Frequent refilling of soap and hand sanitizers
  • Using signs, newsletters, email alerts, phone calls and in-person discussions, encourage your homeowner community or staff to: Get a flu vaccine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
  • The use of face masks are also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

Meetings:  Postponing or cancelling community events and meetings.  Generally, there are several methods by which association members or association boards transact business in the absence of everyone gathering at the same time and location—some form of written consent, electronic meetings, or a vote outside a physical meeting. Community associations should contact their attorney.

Common areas and amenities: Community associations control the common areas, and owners are responsible for their private property. If the virus becomes widespread, communities may want to consider:

  • Extensive cleaning, disinfecting, or wiping down of common areas and common area surfaces
  • Closing common areas and amenities, such as gyms, clubhouses, and pools
  • Installing hand sanitizer dispensers or wipes on common areas for owner and guest use

Community association board members should consult with their professional partners, including community manager and attorney, on how best to handle preparing for and reacting to COVID-19 within their community.

Fair housing and COVID-19.  Community associations are reminded that their responses to residents regarding the coronavirus must be compliant under the Fair Housing Act and related regulations.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is encouraging housing providers, including community associations, to share relevant CDC fact sheets with individuals, families, and staff members. Read more from HUD​.

Remember: CAI-NJ is offering general, precautionary guidance from officials and adding some common-sense guidelines for our industry.  It is published with the understanding that CAI-NJ is not a health care organization, its staff members are not healthcare professionals, and we are not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, medical, or other professional services. The CDC and other qualified health officials should continue to be the primary source of current information and guidance.