The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unique and challenging situations to each of us. Our cooperative and condominium clients, and their managing agents, have been working diligently to keep pace as this crisis unfolds. First and foremost, we hope that you and all of your families are safe and well. We have been advising our clients on particular situations as they arise and will continue to be available to do so. Below are our thoughts on issues which have arisen repeatedly over the past few days. Of course, boards need to use their best judgment for their particular building.
Q. If a resident tests positive for COVID-19, or is self-quarantined, should we tell the other residents and staff?
A. Residents should be notified if the board or management receives notification that someone tests positive for COVID-19 in the building. However the name and apartment number of the resident should not be disclosed to the other residents. If a board learns someone has decided to self-quarantine, the board should not disclose this. People self-quarantine for many reasons, and may not pose an immediate or imminent danger. Regardless of what the residents are told, they must continue to act appropriately: wash hands with soap often, use disinfectant on surfaces, and keep hands away from their mouth, nose and eyes.
Q. Should employees make service calls inside apartments?
A. Before making a service call, staff is permitted to ask residents if they are sick or have been exposed to the virus. We believe that, rather than put staff in that position, the board may want to direct that all service calls be suspended. Emergencies must be dealt with individually.