Should Your HOA Community Pool Reopen for Summer?
As a Homeowner's Association, your board must make decisions and implement policies for the safety and protection of your community as a whole. During this COVID-19 crisis that responsibility has been magnified and even taking the HOA through many unchartered territories. With summer on the horizon, one big question looming for many Homeowner's Associations is the decision on whether the community pool should be reopened to your members. This is a complicated question and the decision should not be taken lightly; below we will highlight some considerations that should be factored when deciding whether it is time to reopen your community pool.
**In preparing to reopen amenity areas, it is recommended that the board of directors review all updated CDC Guidelines, as well as local and state orders/restrictions, additionally the board should consult with the associations legal counsel with regards to associated risks and protocols specifically necessary to reopen the pool.**
Keep a Watchful Eye on Local Ordinances & Regulations
Before making any decisions regarding your HOA community pool it is vital that you remain informed on current regulations and ordinances by local governments regarding these amenities. While some states have begun to loosen restrictions and allow for the reopening of certain amenities in HOA communities such as the pool, not all states have allowed for reopening at this time. Reopening before it is allowed by local government can put your HOA at high risk for liability issues as well as possible fines.
Creative Solutions for Unprecedented Problems
The reality is that this is a decision that no HOA has had to make before under these unique circumstances. The act of swimming or wading in the water itself does not appear to pose a risk to contracting coronavirus, however; the social aspect of a community pool can pose a great risk to members and their guests if proper social distancing measures are not followed. If your HOA is inclined to reopening the community pool to your members it is essential that you do so by developing clear guidelines and restrictions that will be in place to make sure the community is enjoying this amenity as safely as possible.
Consider the possibility of implementing creative solutions to keep your members safe such as:
- Reserving pool time by appointments
- Restricting pool use to only members and their families for the time being
- Encouraging social distancing measures while in the pool and surrounding area
- Ensure lounge chairs, tables, or umbrellas are distanced according to social distance requirements
- Enacting a ban on gatherings or parties in the pool area for the foreseeable future
- Extended pool hours to accommodate members during days of peak demand such as weekends and holidays
Increased Pool Maintenance & Common Area Cleaning
When weighing the factors to reopen your HOA's community pool you must also consider the added responsibility of ensuring that your pool and surrounding areas are frequently cleaned and disinfected. Pool maintenance must be strictly followed to keep water safe and clean for all pool-goers. Common areas must be cleaned and sanitized several times throughout the day. You may need to consider hiring additional cleaning staff to keep the area properly maintained throughout each day.
Security Measures for the Safety of the Community
During these uncertain times when restrictions are in place and new procedures are introduced it would be beneficial to have a security plan to help members enjoy the community pool as safe as possible. Security can ensure pool guests are abiding by the posted rules, limit occupancy during peak times, and remind guests to practice social distancing for the safety of everyone enjoying the community pool.
The decision to reopen your HOA community pool is one that can potentially impact the lives of your members and their families. Before making a final decision ensure the HOA has consulted the advice of your management team and your HOA attorneys to consider any and all possible issues or implications of reopening your community pool and how to best prepare and protect the community as a whole from the remaining risk of Covid-19.
To discuss how we can help with the successful management of your HOA community contact our Real Manage team.
*It is important to note that RealManage, LLC is not a primary source of information and guidelines related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Our goal is to provide information as it relates to Community Associations and we attempt to provide the most accurate data possible at the time of posting, but for more up-to-date and primary resources we recommend you visit Centers For Disease Control or World Health Organization.