CAI Report: Only 7% of Pools Opened as Scheduled Health Concerns, Differing Opinions, & Cost Are All Factors

As the COVID crisis has evolved, and states have moved into different phases of reopening, swimming pools and other aquatic amenities have been flashpoints for some of the biggest, most contentious questions around reopening (or not) common areas in multifamily communities, including condos, HOAs, and co-op buildings. To get a better sense of how boards in different regions of the country are handling their own pool processes, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) conducted a survey on the topic from late June to early July, collecting data from more than 1,000 respondents, including board members, managers, and other stakeholders representing more than 2,200 communities from 39 states. 

According to the report (a printable PDF of the full report can be found here: https://www.caionline.org/Documents/CAs%26Covid19ImpactSurveyPools070820.pdf) “Some of the biggest questions community association board members and managers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening phases have centered around pools. Is it (or will it) open? Why isn’t it open? Why haven’t my assessments decreased if the pool is closed? What practices do I need to follow if the pool is open? How is the community keeping residents who use the pool safe?” 

Like the pandemic itself, the pool issue is complicated, and there is no one-size-fits-all - or even fits-most - answer to these questions. According to CAI, “Community associations have to consider guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local requirements, their ability to set and enforce rules, liability, resident sentiment, safety, expenses, and more. The decisions should be tailored to each community and specific to their unique circumstances.” 

Highlights of the Findings

According to CAI’s survey results, a significant portion (41%) of community association pools have not opened this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while 30% of communities have opened their pools following a delay.

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