An article authored by firm partner Evonne Andris was featured as the “Board of Contributors” expert guest commentary column in today’s edition of the Daily Business Review, South Florida’s exclusive business daily and official court newspaper. The article, which is titled “Considerations for Community Associations Reopening Their Amenities,” notes that community associations have generally done an admirable job of implementing and maintaining measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 among their residents and staff. Evonne writes that with the new vaccines rolling out across the country and the entire world, associations are now reassessing their options regarding the use of their amenities. Her article reads:
. . .While the vaccines hold the promise of moving toward herd immunity, that remains to be months away based on the expected supply and vaccination levels. Also, it remains unclear whether vaccinated individuals may be able to become carriers and spreaders, so masking and social distancing are likely to remain the generally accepted protocols for anywhere people congregate and interact.
Therefore, for the time being, community associations would be well advised to remember that most insurance policies do not cover virus-related claims, and there is currently no federal or state law that shields associations from litigation for alleged on-site virus infections.
While infection-based litigation is a greater concern for businesses in the health care sector, Florida lawmakers are now considering a bill that would create COVID-19 liability protections for the state’s businesses and nonprofit organizations, including community associations. The proposed bill (House Bill 7) provides several COVID-related liability protections for businesses, educational institutions, government entities, religious organizations and other entities.