What Steps Are Condos Taking To Managing COVID-19 In Buildings?
Wednesday Jul 29th, 2020
Living in a condo building amidst tight spaces and shared facilities in the time of COVID-19 pandemic presents its own set of challenges. While social distancing protocols dictate that we keep at least a 2 meter distance from each other so as to mitigate the spread of the virus, how exactly does one do that in a gigantic condo building with literally hundreds of occupants using the same shared spaces, elevators, and doors. We scoured the best condo buildings to see what measures their condo associations are taking to curb the spread and keep residents informed and safe. Here are the most common steps that condo buildings are taking amidst the COVID-19.
Taking Hygiene Up A notch
Most condo buildings that we have surveyed are distributing sanitizers, gloves and masks at front desks, and are drawing up elongated decontamination checklists for their cleaning staff to incorporate more frequent and intense cleaning of high-usage doors, shared appliances, communal areas, and elevator buttons. Not to mention, all employees, staff and contractors are instructed to disinfect their own hands frequently and take further protections, such as wearing and frequently replacing disposable gloves, maintaining appropriate distance, and wear a face mask.
Managing Traffic In Shared Spaces
Most condo buildings are putting up signs asking people not to occupy the elevator more than 3 at a time, and to wait for the next one if there are three people in any elevator. For high traffic doors, most condo buildings are strictly overlooking the cleaning of the handles and glass areas that may be touched, in addition to exit buttons, elevator buttons, handicap buttons, light switches, reception desks, hopper doors, push and pull plates, mailboxes and equipment.
Managing Surges In Homes Deliveries
Many condo buildings are debating to what extent, if any, home deliveries and couriers should be allowed inside of the building. Most buildings are requesting deliveries to be left with the concierge or requesting healthy residents to meet couriers at the main entrance door to the building. Condo buildings are also posting signs asking delivery people to wear gloves and mask and keeping sanitizers next to the pickup and drop off areas. However, if a resident is in isolation or not physically fit, some flexibility may be afforded in the form of concierge accepting a package and leaving outside the unit door. After handling mail, all building occupants should practice healthy hand hygiene.
Managing Visitors In The Building
Condo buildings cannot restrict visitors since these are still people’s homes and it is difficult to keep out family and friends. While visitor traffic has decreased subsequentially due to people self-isolating, condo buildings cannot restrict who comes to visit you in your unit.
Accessing Building Outdoor Amenities (E.G. Communal Gardens, BBQ/Picnic Areas)
Condo buildings that are reopening amenities are implementing a scheduling system for use of amenities, as appropriate, so that only a limited of people are using a shared space at a time. Condo buildings are also ensuring extra time between timeslots to allow for necessary cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and equipment. Keep doors and windows open in shared spaces, if possible, to increase ventilation and minimize the touching of door handles, while maintaining the appropriate security.
Managing Positive COVID-19 Cases In The Building
Most condo buildings residents to disclose if they have tested positive, so that the people around them can take the necessary precaution and also to garner increased support from the condo management. Condo buildings are increasing the cleaning near their units and offering deliveries right to their units if they are in isolation. Even those who are at high risk, especially pregnant and elderly residents, and those with debilitating chronic illnesses, are encouraged to come forward. Not to mention, if someone from the condo staff tests positive, they are asked to stay at home for at least 14 days since their symptoms started, or if no symptoms develop, 14 days after their first positive test.