Protecting the residents and management staff should be a priority for condominium association board members and property managers during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Most management companies have already implemented their business continuity plan to ensure there are no disruptions in services provided by associations and management. While it is important for management to be prepared to deal with the possible impact of this pandemic, it is also imperative that board members stay involved and consider having a preparedness plan in place for the association at large.
The first step a board of directors should take — and one that is often overlooked — is to designate an individual to stay informed on governmental updates by consulting reliable resources and signing up to receive alerts. Government and health department websites dedicated to providing COVID-19 updates, such as the Centers for Disease Control website, are typically the most reliable sources of information. In this ever-changing environment, guidelines and orders issued by local and state governments are continually updated, and it is important to ensure that the information which is being relied upon for vital decisions is the latest and most accurate available.
The next order of business is to have a clear communications plan in place. Effective communication allows both residents and management staff to stay informed about coronavirus updates, safety practices, amenity closures, and possible infections in the building. Boards should ensure that rosters are updated with the most current contact information for residents and building staff. They should also consider contracting with a third-party platform that enables secure communication between owners and management via email, texts or an app, should these capabilities not already be in use.