COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #21

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Dear Strata Councils,

We are now into Phase 2 of the Province’s Restart Plan.  We know that you are as excited as we are to see friends, family and to re-engage in activities we have all missed.  We’d like to help support your efforts by providing the latest updates we have on various matters impacting your Strata Corporation:

Gyms/Fitness Facilities – Under Phase 2 of the Restart Plan, the Province is once again allowing group fitness activities and the relaxation of some restrictions relating to gyms and fitness facilities.  We know from our conversations with you all that gyms (and other amenities) are being reopened more widely now.  Here, you will find guidance from the Ministry of Health on the requirements associated with operating a facility that offers individual or group exercise.  They emphasize the importance of contact tracing, active supervision (something that we know many of you struggle with, as you can’t realistically allocate full time staff members to monitor the facilities), ventilation and more.  No one knows better than we do how challenging the subject of gyms has been for some of you- with Owners simultaneously demanding that they reopen and that they stay closed. We are hopeful that with this new guidance more of you will be able to facilitate a safe and practical reopening of your fitness facilities.

Safety Plans – There has been increased emphasis on the importance of WorkSafeBC Safety Plans in recent guidance from the Ministry of Health.  Those of you who watch the twice-weekly press conferences with Minister Dix and Dr. Henry will have heard the phrase “with a valid Safety Plan” in place repeatedly.  The Province has been clear- reopening/relaxation of restrictions must be supported by comprehensive Safety Plans to mitigate the risk of transmission that comes with increased activity.  We cannot prepare these for you, but in a previous post we provided resources to help you to do so.  It’s important that if you haven’t already, that your Strata Council implement a committee to prepare these plans.

Stratawest Safety Plan – We have been asked by some of you whether or not our Safety Plan has been amended.  The short answer is “no”.  Like many employers, we are waiting for more guidance from the Province before we consider any loosening of restrictions that could put our team, their families and other connections at risk.  A number of our staff are immune-compromised themselves, and nearly all have family members or close contacts who are.  We have committed to them that for the time being we will continue to operate under our existing protocols, to ensure the mitigation of risk until widespread vaccination has been completed (which fortunately looks to be coming soon!). For the time being, our office will remain closed to the public but people are welcome to come and knock and we will do whatever we can to assist. Please do call ahead if you require a fob, remote or key or would like help with something specific that may require some research or preparation.

Other Amenities – You may also wish to start to consider reopening your other amenities that may have remained closed throughout COVID.  Meeting rooms, libraries, party rooms, guest suites and other spaces can likely reopen while some (hot tubs and saunas in particular) may remain challenging.  Again, if you are going to reopen an amenity space that practice should be supported by a Safety Plan and consideration should be given to appropriate bookings, ensuring physical distancing and that occupancy limits are met.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read our latest update.