Swimming Pools & Hot Tubs
Adams Stirling PLC
  California's Leader in Community Association Law March 24, 2020

I received a number of questions about closing swimming pools and hot tubs.

CDC Guidelines. According to the CDC website: "There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19."

US Masters. U.S. Masters Swimming is a national membership-operated nonprofit that provides membership benefits to nearly 65,000 swimmers across the country published information about swimming and the coronavirus. According to their website, the average amount of chlorine that’s in a pool will kill the virus--assuming the pool is properly maintained. The problem, however, is that people can become infected before they ever reach the chlorinated water.

Infecting Other Areas. If someone is infected, how many surfaces will they touch on a normal visit to and from the pool? Anything they touch will be contaminated. Others who are not infected will then touch those same surfaces and become infected. As the website noted, "You’re reaching for a door handle and using the card scanner or otherwise signing in. You’re getting changed and putting your clothes in a locker or on a bench. You’re touching a communal shower tap. If you use the restroom, that’s a whole other series of doors and surfaces to navigate. There’s plenty of places for a tiny, invisible virus to cling to and follow you home where it might infect you or a loved one."

Board Decision. According to news reports this morning, the virus is continuing to spread. Most associations have temporarily closed all recreational facilities, including pools, hot tubs and saunas. Before a board decides to reopen facilities, they should carefully consider how they can prevent the spread of the virus to residents who use the facilities.


Reserve Studies. Can you please provide your opinion on reserve study site visits? Do you think it is appropriate for a board to allow them at this time? -Steve J.

RESPONSE: Reserve study site visits are normally done by a single individual. The report they prepare is pursuant to statutory requirements so boards can prepare the association's budget and make disclosures as required by the Davis-Stirling Act. I see that as an essential service. If the reserve study professional follows health guidelines and maintains social distancing, I don't see a problem.

Painting Contractors. We are a large commercial paint contractor up in the Bay Area. Have you had any questions or found any information, specifically about painting contractors working on HOAs? -Jeff U.

RESPONSE: I have not found anything in any of the guidelines. If the painting is purely cosmetic, it can be rescheduled. If it's exterior work to make surfaces watertight to avoid leaks and dry rot, the work could be deemed essential. Boards should talk to their legal counsel about how best to proceed.

Street Sweeping. With California's Stay at Home order, we have many more cars in our community during the daytime. With street sweeping, our community tends to tow cars. Can the board suspend towing as an executive decision or do they need a board meeting? -John P.

RESPONSE: Associations should suspend towing and fines related to street sweeping while stay at home orders are in place. The suspension can be done by the association's president in consultation with fellow directors without the need for a board meeting.

Package Deliveries. USPS, UPS, and FedEx drivers have keys to our package room to drop off packages in our gated community. The manager & assistant have an app to scan the packages and notify residents to pick them up during daily office hours. In light of the pandemic, should the board suspend package deliveries? -T.

RESPONSE: Boards should not suspend package deliveries since may people receive medicines and other necessities via UPS and FedEx. If everyone maintains social distancing and regularly wipe down surfaces in the package room, it can be done safely.
Thank you Adrian. You are the voice of reason! -Susan D.
So grateful your newsletter. A voice of insight in chaos. Thank u!!! -Melinda J.
Thanks for the contractor info, Adrian! Stay healthy! -Elyse E.
Thanks for keeping our HOA and us informed. -Mary L.

Boards can contact us for friendly, professional advice.

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Founder & Managing Partner
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