Masks required in common areas of strata buildings
Dear Tony: How can a strata corporation manage its common facilities, given recent restrictions and increased risks of COVID-19 transmission? Our strata is a high rise in the Okanagan with a number of Airbnbs that are still being used, and has several common areas, such as a gym, library and indoor pool.
Do the new health orders apply to strata corporations for common areas and gatherings as well as public spaces?
We have several owners who are refusing to wear masks and continuing to host dinners and parties that are a serious concern to our retired residents. Will the orders apply to strata corporations and multi-family buildings in the same manner as public spaces?
J.C.R. Masks are required in common areas in apartment buildings and condos. Also, all strata corporations that share common property access and facilities or engage the services of employees and contractors must provide the protection and facilities required under WorkSafe B.C. for site safety.
Until Dec. 7 at midnight, social gatherings of any size are prohibited in British Columbia and masks are required in all indoor public settings. These new health orders will impact the administration and operations of your strata corporation if you operate any commercial enterprises, are a shared-use facility with commercial space or an Air Space Parcel shared space.
If you have common/public areas in the buildings, such as hallways, exercise rooms, pools, meeting rooms, mail rooms, foyers, garbage rooms or other interior facilities, masks are mandatory and essential in reducing the risk of transmission, which is higher in enclosed spaces.
Residents, guests, service providers and employees, emergency responders and delivery persons will all use your common areas for access.
Maintain social distancing wherever possible, limit the number of people in elevators to two people or one family, install sanitization stations, post signage requiring that masks be worn in common areas at all times, and encourage hand washing and all other health safety measures for all residents.
Advise all residents and visitors of their isolation requirements if they have travelled outside of Canada, have come in contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 or has any of the symptoms.
If you have scheduled an in-person general meeting or council meeting, reschedule your meetings to a later date or convert your meeting to an electronic location, and ensure all owners have been given proper notice and the opportunity to attend the meeting or submit a proxy representing their interests.
CHOA has provided a number of operational guides for electronic meetings and emergency orders.
Go to choa.bc.ca and select COVID-19 updates.
Tony Gioventu is executive director of the Condominium Home Owners Association.
COVID-19 notice: As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, CHOA staff are working remotely and our offices are temporarily closed. We understand these are challenging times for strata corporations and we are here to help. Even though CHOA advisors are working remotely, we are only a phone call or email away and able to assist you with hosting meetings and notice preparation.
Tuesday Lunch & Learn Live with CHOA: CHOA is hosting a series of webinars once a week, for the next few months. Join us each Tuesday as we bring together industry experts to discuss the many issues affecting B.C.’s strata community.
For more information, visit our website at: choa.bc.ca/seminars.