A Mississauga condo has reported five cases of the coronavirus South African variant. Public health attended onsite on Monday to conduct voluntary individual testing of the close to 1,000 residents by going door to door within the highrise property. This type of outside involvement by public health is something that we have not seen to date. The concern of public health, of course, is to stop the potential for community transmission of the variant of concern within the building.
One of the many challenges that boards and managers have been faced with, is getting residents and visitors to comply with public health protocols in addition to policies that corporations have put into place for social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing and elevator occupancy levels among others. Having a resource that is available to answer resident questions and to help to convey important information contained in the corporation’s COVID-19 policies is important whether it be through on going online communication, direct notices, by newsletter and/or with signage.
We continually stress the importance of following public health’s guidelines -making residents’ health and safety the number one priority during these difficult times. This means taking steps where owners and their tenants or guests fail to abide by the policies and procedures corporations have put in place for the safety of all residents. These steps include legal notices and possibly court proceedings pursuant to Section 117 of the Condominium Act.
Communication between boards of directors and residents is of vital importance during the pandemic. We recommend that owners be kept up to date and advised of active COVID-19 cases in their corporation and details as to what steps the corporation is taking, so that those residents can rest assured that their corporation is doing what it can to protect its residents.
For guidance on what restrictions corporations should put into place, Rod Escayola, of Gowling WLG, has developed a very useful chart for corporations to follow.