HOA/Condo Gyms/Fitness Centers in Maricopa and Pima Counties Can Reopen…with Restrictions!
Don’t Everyone RUN at Once…
Earlier this morning, the Arizona Department of Health and Safety (“DHS”) announced that Maricopa and Pima Counties have moved into the “moderate” category of COVID-19 community spread. Hooray! Please note that despite reports from earlier this week expecting Pinal County to also move categories, Pinal remains in the “substantial” category.
Back to the GYM We Go…
According to DHS, gyms and fitness centers in Maricopa and Pima County, are permitted to reopen if they attest to complying with all requirements and guidelines set forth by DHS. Arizona Department Health Services Requirements for indoor gyms and fitness centers include:
- Limited Occupancy (25% Maximum Capacity while in “Moderate”)
- Hand Hygiene & Respiratory Etiquette
- Enhanced Cleaning
- Proper Ventilation
- Symptom Screening
- Physical Distancing (6 feet)
- Communal Spaces Closed
It is our law firm’s position that before associations can re-open the doors of gyms and fitness centers, associations need to complete the Attestation Form with DHS asserting that they will comply with the safe-operating guidelines. Additionally, that document must be posted at the facility (i.e. at the gym). We understand that other HOA law firms in Arizona are advising that these steps are not necessary for condos and HOAs. However, we are taking a conservative approach on this since there has been no official, public statement by the Governor’s Office or DHS on this matter. As such, we suggest that all condos and HOAs who want to reopen their gyms and fitness centers complete and file the attestation form and comply with all DHS requirements. The worst thing that can happen is that DHS rejects the attestation form and says it is not necessary for an HOA or condo to file it! And, truly, best practices dictate that all HOAs/condos should comply with all requirements and guidelines set forth by DHS to limit liability in these uncertain times..
Go the EXTRA MILE…No Excuses
Protect your visitors and protect yourselves. DHS has warned that establishments that fail to comply with the required mitigation measures will be subject to strict enforcement. The state has partnered with local authorities, county health departments, and other state agencies to ensure proper compliance to protect the health and safety of customers and employees.
How’d we get here?
On June 29, 2020, Governor Ducey issued an executive order closing all gyms in the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Ducey stated that his office would evaluate the state’s progress every two weeks to determine when reopening of the gyms and other businesses would become feasible. On August 10, 2020 the Governor’s office issued a press release with the Arizona Department of Health Services’ plan for phased reopening of paused businesses. The plan monitors the state and counties COVID-19 infection rates using a benchmark system created by the CDC.
The benchmark system is broken down into three categories, substantial (we were there), moderate (we’re now here) and minimal (we want to be here), based upon the number of new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents, the number of COVID-19 related hospital admissions and other criteria. In order for a state or county to progress to the next category they must meet certain benchmarks, such as reporting a continual decline in new cases for 14 days.
Associations must take measures to ensure that its practices and policies, at a minimum, meet (with the goal of exceeding), the state’s safety requirements outlined here. If associations cannot meet the safety requirements, gyms and fitness centers should not reopen.
Working-out is more fun with a TEAM…
Mulcahy Law Firm, P.C. wants to be on your team and stands ready to answer questions and assist with the reopening of association facilities. Associations should consider creating a Reopening Policy, we can help. Lastly, we strongly encourage you to review and share our Cheat Sheet entitled Associations and Covid-19: A Plan for Reopening of HOA and Condo Common Areas.
Stay Safe & Healthy…
We’re in this together. Ready, Set, GO!!!