COVID-19 restrictions bring new challenges to Owners Corporations

The global Coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything experienced before in our lifetime. It is vital that Owners Corporations respond to the crisis promptly and work collaboratively with their Managers to stay informed and on top of the situation. During these times, Strata plan faces a unique set of challenges in keeping the people who live and work in our Life Spaces safe.

The imposed restrictions and expected time frame have certainly brought new challenges to Owners Corporations, requiring them to become more resourceful in managing their day-to-day operations.

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Your Owners Corporation duties during COVID-19 restrictions

During COVID-19 restrictions, there are several simple safety measures which Strata Plan strongly recommend your Owners Corporation put in place:

  • Hand sanitiser be made available for all residents on entering and leaving a building
  • An increase in the cleaning of the common property areas to ensure that all areas, such as lifts and intercoms, are sanitised as much as possible
  • Provide building managers with disposable gloves, hand sanitiser and a face mask (if available)
  • Ask residents to wear disposable gloves whilst using any common area facilities (i.e. lifts)

COVID-19 UPDATE following the Victorian Government advice.

The Victorian Premier announced the gradual easing of restrictions throughout the state effective 1st June 2020.

How your common areas are managed is up to your Owners Corporation however, Strata Plan urges committees implement these suggestions to reduce any risk of residents contracting Covid19.

When entering common areas including any swimming pool areas, BBQ/dining facilities or common gyms – from 1 June 2020

  1. Entry is not permitted if you or a member of your household:
    • Are feeling unwell;
    • Have a temperature;
    • Are awaiting COVID test results; or
    • Have been overseas in the past two weeks.
  2. Ensure appropriate physical distancing while using the common areas: 1.5m between yourself and others.
  3. All common area users should be asked to use hand sanitiser upon entry and exit of common areas such as the BBQ area or dining room.
  4. Use of the common areas and entry into all shared areas is entirely at your own risk. While every effort may have been taken to keep these facilities clean, your Owners’ Corporation cannot guarantee that any communal area is free of Covid-19 or any other risk of infection.
  5. We recommend that opening hours be aligned with the caretaker’s attendance in order to ensure complete cleaning at opening & closing time of communal areas.
  6. It’s suggested that only residents are permitted to use common areas. (Guest access may be further assessed in due course.)
  7. We recommend contact tracing requirements for all common areas: Fobs should be used to enter the area / sign-in / book at entry.
  8. Entry to communal areas should be limited, if you see there is already 10 people in the any common area, you should remove yourself.
  9. Time limits: to ensure fair usage, we ask that visits be limited to a time restriction and only one visit per day per resident.
  10. The Owners Corporation urges the use of common sense to enable the safe operation for everyone.
  11. Strata Plan encourages that all residents use the Australian Government COVID Safe app.

Communication is key to maintaining safety

While we as Managers are not expected to supervise residents, especially those who are self-isolating
or in lockdown, Strata Plan can provide guidance to residents through communications on how to maintain well-being and safety.
If Strata Plan become aware of a resident that has contracted COVID-19 in an Owners Corporation that we manage, we’ll contact the resident by phone or email and direct them to the relevant government websites that provide guidance on self-isolation—in addition to taking all the necessary measures to enhance the cleaning of the common areas in the vicinity of that resident’s lot and other areas.
Whilst Owners Corporations may not be required to advise residents in the case of an infection that has occurred, or of people isolating in a building, they may wish to notify all (or, depending on the circumstances, some) residents when an infection has occurred—to ensure that those residents remain vigilant about practising the necessary safety measures.
In this situation an Owners Corporation must be mindful of the privacy of any individual and not, unless necessary in the circumstances to protect health and safety and as permitted under the Privacy Act, disclose any personal information about the individuals who are infected or are isolating.
Strata Plan will be seeking instructions from Committees on a case-by-case basis in these circumstances.

For more information, or assistance with regards to the COVID-19 crisis and what your Owners Corporation can do, contact info@strataplan.com.au

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