On June 4th the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”) released final guidelines on pools and other recreation pursuant to the 5th amended Safer at Home Order (see Section I. H.2), which was issued on June 2nd and will expire 30 days from June 1 unless amended. 

Have you written your plan for re-opening as recommended in our prior Post Pandemic Playbook blogpost? You should tweak that plan given the new order and guidelines. Here are some highlights with respect to outdoor pools:

  • Limit the pool to 50% capacity, up to 50 people, whichever is fewer.  
  • It is strongly encouraged to establish a reservation system to space out visitor attendance, aid in contract tracing if exposures occur, and to allow for equitable use of the facility.
  • Take steps, such as closing off a series of  lockers, to promote physical distancing and reduce gatherings in restrooms, showers, and locker rooms.
  • It is strongly encouraged to limit pool activity to lap swim. If you permit open swim, make efforts to reduce in-poor interactions.
  • All frequently touched surfaces and shared objects such as handrails, chairs, and tables should be disinfected every hour between use.
  • Surfaces in restrooms and locker rooms should be routinely cleaned every hour.
  • Provide physical cues or guides (for example, lane lines in the water or chairs and tables on the deck) and visual cues (for example, tape on the decks, floors, or sidewalks) and signs to ensure that staff, patrons, and swimmers stay at least 6 feet apart from members of other households, both in and out of the water.

Additionally, while the Association’s duty is to maintain and regulate the Common Elements with the new order/guidelines in mind, residents and participants have their own responsibility to keep themselves healthy and safe. The Association does not have a duty to keep residents healthy.  As such, here are some CDPHE guidelines that participants should remember:

  • Continue to physically distance, staying at least 6 feet from members of other households.
  • Stay home other than getting tested if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Avoid recreating in public spaces if anyone in your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You are encouraged to wear a mask while recreating.
  • Bring hand sanitizer to clean hands when soap and water is not available.

If you decide to open your pool, make sure you effectively communicate to all owners and residents the above and any other regulations you might have (Are participants required to sign waivers? Are guests prohibited? Is pool activity limited to lap swim vs. merely encouraged? Are masks required vs. encouraged?). In addition to any community-wide announcements, revise your signage and rules and regulations to incorporate any new guidelines, and have your attorney review them.  

COVID-19 has certainly thrown us all for a loop, with boards struggling to keep up with the frequent changes and updates. But keep in mind that one thing remains the same: Boards are required to make informed decisions in the best interest of the Association. This includes the decision of whether to open the pool. Do you have the ability to open your facility considering the updated order and guidelines? If not, don’t open the pool. 

Feel free to contact any of our Altitude Community Law attorneys at 303-432-9999 with any questions. And keep following us for more guidance!

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