May 1st, 2020 Update:
As you are likely aware, the State of Illinois plans to extend the current Executive Order requiring all Illinoisans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 until May 30. The new and modified order will take effect May 1. We have summarized the anticipated provisions below for your reference.
Individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as grocery stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask. In an abundance of caution associations should consider this applicable to the use of common areas of the association (ex. hallways, lobbies, elevators).
In addition, some surgi-centers and hospitals will begin scheduling previously delayed/non-life-threatening surgeries and some elective procedures will resume. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria set forth by The Illinois Department of Public Health.
For essential businesses there will be new requirements on social distancing and new caps on occupancy. Retail stores not currently listed as an essential business will be allowed to take orders online and over the phone, as well as offer pick-up and delivery.
Greenhouses and garden centers may remain open with specified social distancing measures in place. There will be a phased re-opening of some state parks under the guidance of the Department of Natural Resources for activities, such as hiking and fishing, and boating with no more than two people.
Social distancing must be maintained in all activities. Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
COVID-19 continues to impact us all, and we realize this is a stressful time for most.
As a management company, our job is to do everything within our power to stay on top of the outbreak, keep our staff, vendors and residents informed and safe, and ensure we limit service interruptions as much as possible.
In addition, we wanted to take a moment to share some helpful and practical information. Please keep the following in mind as we all continue to fight through this pandemic.
1. Stay Positive.
This may seem like an impossible feat given the circumstances, but staying as positive as possible is critical during these challenging times. Here are a few tips for maintaining a sense of balance and getting through the day.
- Limit your news intake. Staying up to date is important but watching the news for long periods of time can serve to further deepen any fears or sadness you may be experiencing. Instead, limit your daily intake to only what is necessary and shift your focus to uplifting television shows, podcasts, music, etc.
- Accomplish 1 positive thing each day. Even the smallest accomplishments can serve as milestones with regards to improving our overall mood and making us feel good. Commit to accomplishing 1 thing per day that you may not have done otherwise (i.e. clean out a drawer, stretch or make a healthy meal) to keep a small amount of positive momentum going.
- Breathe. The personal, emotional, professional and financial stresses you’re feeling may seem insurmountable at times. Unfortunately, too many people are experiencing these same stress points. Worrying about things outside of your control likely will not benefit you. Instead, take a moment to breathe deeply and clear your mind as much as possible.
2. How can I protect myself?
Avoiding public places is the best way to protect yourself from infection. Workplaces, public transportation, stores, and other gathering places are best avoided if possible.
- Many places around the USA are implementing work from home arrangements, which also alleviates the need to take public transportation.
- Many people are stocking up on groceries to minimize the number of times they have to go to the stores. Grocery delivery options are also available from a range of services like Amazon/Whole Foods, Instacart, Target, Costco, and others.
Important Note: The State of Illinois has issued an Executive Order requiring all Illinoisans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. This order is effective as of Saturday, March 21st and currently lasts through April 7th. Remember that you are not only risking exposure to yourself, but also the health of all the people you would potentially expose if you were to get sick.
If you must go out in public, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and consider wearing a mask, though the effectiveness of these has been called into question. The best defense is staying at home and social distancing when it’s necessary to go outside.
3. What if someone in my building gets the virus?
Please notify your Board of Directors and management company immediately if you receive confirmation of anyone in your building having exposure or testing positive for the virus. Your management company should then be informing all residents of this within HIPAA guidelines.
The best thing residents can do in this scenario is to practice extra social distancing and to wash their hands after touching any surface in the common areas of the building (which is a precaution that should be practiced anyway). In addition, management companies should be instructing all cleaning personnel to continue to wipe down high touch point areas (elevator buttons, door knobs/handles, keypads, etc.) as thoroughly as possible.
4. What if I myself have symptoms or am diagnosed with the virus?
If you have symptoms you should call your doctor ahead of time and take his or her advice. You will likely be instructed to self-quarantine in your residence. For the good of your fellow residents, please minimize as much as possible any venturing into the outdoors.
If you have more questions about the virus you can reach the State of Illinois’ coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931.
The City of Chicago has an additional hotline operating Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can reach them for local questions as well at 312-746-7425 (SICK).
5. What will happen to HOA meetings, elections, etc.?
We highly suggest moving these meetings to electronic communication to avoid gathering everyone in the building together and to decrease the chance of contagion.
There are a variety of free options you can use to hold meetings including:
We hope everyone remains healthy and calm during this time, and if you have any questions related specifically to service with Hales and the current situation please feel free to contact our team.