Should we pay for an attendant at our pool and gym?
QUESTION: We have two swimming pools and hot tubs and two tennis courts. The board is citing excessive liability because of COVID-19 and wants to charge us for an attendant and a large extra insurance policy. They are citing Los Angeles County regulations as their justification. I believe it’s unreasonable. –Tamra T.
RESPONSE: The mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco got together with Governor Newsom to discuss reopening community association facilities. They decided not to risk anyone dying from the coronavirus and imposed stringent restrictions on reopening facilities until science could find a cure for death. Following is one of the many requirements for reopening gyms in San Francisco:
If the gym…is unattended by staff at any time during hours of operation, it must remain closed… Indoor gyms may operate if they meet strict conditions that include daily screening of patrons, enhanced personal and equipment sanitation measures, enhanced ventilation requirements, and strict rules on face covering, distancing and [10%] capacity limits. Gyms without full-time staff cannot meet these critical risk-reduction standards and must stay closed.
It means unstaffed associations (small to mid-size and some large) cannot open without hiring extra help
Risk Tolerance. Boards have different levels of tolerance to risk. Some are risk-averse and unwilling to chance fines and potential litigation. As a result, they are keeping their facilities closed.
Associations that can afford it are hiring personnel to comply with health department requirements. If it’s not in their budget, some are willing to open if users pay for the extra attendants.
Boards that are less risk averse have already opened their facilities after posting warning signs, installing hand sanitizers, and requiring members to sign hold harmless agreements. They might not be fully compliant with State/County requirements, but they decided the lack of regular exercise is too detrimental to their members to keep them closed.
RECOMMENDATION: Health Officers are doing the best they can to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Some think they are being too lenient and want the State to go back into full lockdown, while others believe their requirements are too strict and should be loosened. Since it may take a while for science to find a cure for death, associations that want to reopen facilities should consult with legal counsel and decide which is the best course of action for their association.
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DISCLAIMER. The Davis-Stirling.com Newsletter by ADAMS | STIRLING PLC provides commentary only, not legal advice. For legal advice, you’ll need to hire legal counsel. You can hire ADAMS | STIRLING PLC; Keep in mind they are considered corporate counsel to associations only.