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California is Back! What does this mean for your association?

Published: June, 2021

Governor Newsom has lifted the vast majority of the COVID-19 restrictions in place the past 15 months. Boards and managers are asking questions on what this all means. Berding I Weil has answers and is here to help guide your Board as you weigh your options and move forward.

What Is California Changing on June 15th?

While most safety restrictions are now removed, the following are either required or recommended. Boards are cautioned that just because restrictions are lifted does not mean safety and liability risks have been eliminated. Boards should continue to take appropriate measures to mitigate these ongoing risks associated with COVID-19, especially because claims arising from the coronavirus are likely not covered by an association’s insurance policies. Keep in mind that County public health orders that are more restrictive will remain enforceable.

Face Coverings: Face coverings remain required for unvaccinated individuals. Associations have 3 options on how to enforce this requirement: (1) implement an honor system (with signage) that explains who must wear masks and allow people to self-attest if they qualify, (2) require proof of vaccinations, or (3) continue to require everyone wear masks.

Ventilation: Associations should implement improved ventilation inside their facilities where feasible. Boards should confer with their HVAC vendors for recommendations to help lower their risk and improve safety for all who enter their facilities.

Sanitization: The State’s Order does not address sanitization measures. Boards should work with their vendors regarding ongoing sanitizing recommendations and document their due diligence to help lower the association’s risk.

Contact us if you have questions on your County’s specific requirements and how they may impact the reopening of your common area facilities.

Are Associations Required to Reopen Their Facilities?

No, it’s a business decision so there is no right or wrong answer, but we anticipate there will be tremendous pressure to reopen. Some Boards may vote to reopen without restrictions. Others may elect to impose certain restrictions, such as requiring waivers, reservation systems, capacity limitations, or prohibiting or restricting guests, and yet, other Boards may determine that some or all facilities should remain closed a little while longer. How Should Associations Change Their Covid-19 Protocols?

Associations that previously implemented COVID-19 rules (whether through an emergency or standard rule adoption process) that now wish to rescind or amend the previously adopted rules should take the appropriate, affirmative legal steps to end or modify the COVID-19 requirements. Simply ignoring validly adopted rules because the State no longer requires those protective measures is not recommended.

Contact us for guidance on your community’s specific needs to reopen your common area facilities with lower risk.

Are There Any Requirements for Associations With Employees?

Yes. Associations with employees are subject to Cal/OSHA guidelines in addition to the State and any County Orders. These requirements are complex and will depend on numerous specifics applicable to each community and their different employees.

Contact our legal employment team if you have questions or need guidance on your responsibility to your association’s employees.

County-Specific Guidelines

We are here to help and welcome your questions!

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