Q: “Phase 4 starts June 26 – does this mean Condominiums in Chicago can re-open their pools, fitness centers, sundecks, etc.?”

June 25, 2020

Answered by Adam Kahn

Many condominium associations continue to grapple with the issue of when to re-open their amenities, such as fitness centers, pools, and sundecks during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. While associations are not prohibited from re-opening, many will refrain from doing so given the potential health and liability risks. However, and as we are on the cusp of “Phase 4” of the Governor’s re-opening plan here in Illinois (scheduled for June 26, 2020), some of our clients are planning to re-open their amenities with social distancing and sanitizing protocols. 

The City of Chicago recently put out suggested, but not mandatory, guidelines for residential buildings for “Phase IV” (available here) that recommend:

  1. Indoor/Outdoor Amenities. Limiting gatherings in indoor and outdoor common areas to no more than 50 people and no more than 25% of capacity for indoor common areas while ensuring social distancing (page 3); 
  2. Face Coverings/Masks. Wearing appropriate face coverings/masks in common areas “with exceptions for people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering (page 4); 
  3. Fitness Centers. Operating fitness centers in accordance with the City’s Phase IV fitness center guidelines (available here), which limit capacity to no more than 25% with face coverings worn during indoor fitness activities and social distancing (available here for a list of relevant considerations for re-opening fitness centers); and 
  4. Swimming Pools (Indoor and Outdoor). Limiting outdoor pools to 50% of capacity (see page 5 of the Phase IV guidelines for parks and outdoor attractions – available here) but not more than 50 people and indoor pools to 25% of capacity. 

As noted, the foregoing recommendations are not mandatory. Boards can adopt stricter restrictions or keep amenities closed rather than opening and burdening staff with sanitizing and enforcing social distancing and worrying about potential liability issues. Ultimately, each association will need to determine whether (and under what protocols) they are comfortable re-opening common amenities, as health and safety come first. 

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