Memorial Day typically kicks off the pool season in Colorado. However due to the current pandemic, Boards and homeowners are beginning to wonder when, and if, the community pool will open this summer.
Colorado is currently under Governor Polis’ Safer at Home Order, which is set to continue in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 26, 2020. The Colorado Department of Health and Public Environment has updated the FAQ section of its website regarding the current Safer at Home Public Order to provide guidance specific to HOA pools. The website clarifies that indoor and outdoor public pools, HOA pools and apartment pools are not allowed to open during the existing Safer at Home Order.
So what is an Association to do? Many Associations are currently readying their pools for possible openings and waiting for additional guidance that is expected to be issued by State and County Health Departments. Assuming pools are permitted to open at some point, Boards will then need to consider if, when, and under what circumstances the pool might open.
At a minimum, considerations regarding pool openings should include:
- Public Health Orders and requirements issued by the State and County
- The Association’s general liability Insurance coverage and possible exclusions pertaining to viruses and communicable diseases
- Enhanced and robust cleaning procedures for recreational facilities
- The use of liability waivers
- Rules requiring social distancing and the use of masks
- The removal of some or all pool furniture and chairs and appropriate group spacing
- Reservation systems to reduce density and the number of users within the facility
- Closing ancillary facilities or keeping portions of the facility closed
- Revising rules to restrict or prohibit guests and only allow use by residents
- Best practice and guidance issued by qualified sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pool vendors/professionals, and relevant trade organizations
- Posting appropriate signage regarding rules, safety protocols, and disclaimers of liability
Whether the pool opens or not it is prudent to ensure that the Board’s considerations and decisions are well documented including the source of the information relied upon by the Board in making its decisions. Making informed decisions that the Board believes to be in the best interests of the community along with the implementation of reasonable safety protocols will help reduce risk should the Board elect to open the pool once opening is permitted.
If you have any questions on the above, please feel free to consult any of our Altitude Community Law attorneys at 303.432.9999.