COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Update #22
Dear Strata Councils,
It has been an eventful few days with important developments in the fight against COVID-19. We hope this message finds you safe and sound in this challenging summer season, which has seen multiple crises facing British Columbians and others around the world.
We understand that you all will have many questions about the new announcements from the Province, and would like to offer the following regarding the latest announcements:
Masks – A mask mandate has been reintroduced by the Province, and will be effective tomorrow August 25th, 2021. Though the Order itself has not yet been posted, during her press conference on August 24th Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that the rules will be very similar if not identical to the pre-July 1st lifting of the previous provincial mask mandate. We expect this to immediately impact your fitness areas/amenities in particular, where masks were previously required for a time. Outside of your gyms, please recall that while the Province initially suggested that the mask mandate would apply to all Strata common areas, the Order itself never reflected that and Strata Corporations (outside of amenities/gyms) were not subject to a formal mask mandate, though many clients chose to adopt their own Rule requiring facial coverings. This leaves it to each Strata Corporation to once again determine their own policies with respect to masks in elevators, lobbies, stairwells and other indoor common areas. If you wish to change any of your Rules or policies regarding masks in common areas, please notify your Property Manager and we can assist with updated signage. Below is a list of locations confirmed to require masks, noticeably absent is any reference to Strata or Apartment common areas:
Vaccine “Passports” – On August 23rd, 2021 the Province announced that proof of vaccination would be a requirement to attend certain non-essential settings starting on September 13, including fitness centres and business meetings. The implications of this announcement are very far reaching and it is too early to fully understand how they may impact your Strata Corporation’s operations. It seems likely that proof of vaccination will be required to access gyms beginning in September, which may apply to Strata run facilities. Separately, because proof of vaccination will be required to attend “meetings” as announced, it also seems likely that this will become necessary for any in-person regular Council, Annual or Special General Meetings. We will better understand what changes may be required to your operations in the coming days and weeks as the industry learns more about the order and how it will be applied to Strata Corporations. We do not know, for example, whether a Strata Council would become responsible for ensuring proof of vaccination is checked at an in-person General Meeting. We appreciate that you will have many questions and will work to provide timely answers to each as we adjust to the new reality of a vaccine passport.
We will of course be in touch when we know and understand all of these changes better. Thank you and stay tuned!