Advantage Clients, we would like to update you on the new Covid-19 restrictions starting today. We would like to share an article written by the Law Firm, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC on the new Government restrictions.
On Tuesday, November 17th Governor Pritzker announced new restrictions as part of the Tier 3 of the Resurgence Mitigation Plan (“Tier 3 Restrictions”) which are in addition to the existing restrictions, including the City of Chicago mask mandate for community association common areas. Below is a summary of what community associations need to know about the statewide Tier 3 Restrictions and enforcement of the Chicago mask mandate.
Are Masks Required in Common Areas of Chicago Community Associations?
Yes. The City of Chicago Commissioner of Health amended and re-issued Executive Order 2020-9 per statutory authority (which Order became effective on October 1, 2020) to require that persons over age two who are able to medically tolerate it wear a mask in “any common or shared space” in “a residential multi-unit building[.]” Click here for the text of the amended and re-issued Executive Order 2020-9.
For context, the original text of Executive Order 2020-9 (issued and effective on June 3, 2020) required wearing of masks “when in a public place” but did not extend the requirement to common or shared space in residential multi-unit buildings. Click here for the text of the original Executive Order 2020-9.
How Can the Mask Mandate Be Enforced by Chicago Condominium and Community Associations?
In order to compel voluntary compliance with the Chicago mask mandate, it is recommended that:
- a copy of amended and re-issued Executive Order 2020-9 be made available to all owners and residents;
- a sign be posted in the common elements/ areas stating that masks are mandatory in the common
elements/ areas per Executive Order 2020-9 of the City of Chicago Commissioner of Health.
In addition, issuing courtesy warnings and directing offending owners to comply with the mask mandate is also recommended (but not required), as appropriate under the particular facts and circumstances.
In the event an owner (or resident or guest) violates the mask mandate in amended and re-issued Executive Order 2020-9, the Board can issue a formal violation notice and, after an opportunity for a hearing, levy a reasonable fine. Note: any incidents of non-compliance with the mask mandate should be documented (just as any violation of the community association’s governing documents would be).
When Do the Tier 3 Restrictions Take Effect?
The Tier 3 Restrictions take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20th.
When Will the Tier 3 Restrictions End?
To move back into Tier 2 of the Resurgence Mitigation Plan, a region must experience:
- less than 12% test positivity for three consecutive days;
- greater than 20% available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability; and
- declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.
What Regions are Affected by the New Tier 3 Restrictions?
The Tier 3 Restrictions currently apply statewide (i.e. to all regions).
Where Can I Find the Full Text of the Tier 3 Restrictions for all the Categories Covered?
Topics covered include:
- Health and Fitness Centers,
- Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings,
- Organized group recreational activities,
- Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural institutions,
- Bars and restaurants,
- Retail (including service counters),
- Personal care service,
- Office, and
What Are the New Tier 3 Restrictions that Community Associations Should be Aware of?
Health and Fitness Centers:
- Capacity limit: 25% (same as Phase 4 Guidelines)
- Indoor classes: not permitted.
- Face coverings: required at all times, “including while engaged in individual exercise regardless of person or machine spacing.”
- Reservations: required.
- Locker rooms: should be closed.
Meetings, Social Events and Gatherings:
- In-home (i.e. Unit): limited to household members.
- Meeting / private party rooms: no gatherings.
Do the Phase 4 Guidelines Still Apply?
Yes. Click here for our summary of the Phase 4 Guidelines for community associations.
Can Community Association Boards Adopt Stricter Restrictions?
Yes. Boards may adopt stricter restrictions. Regarding fitness centers, pools, and/or community rooms, Boards are free to close those areas rather than keeping them open and spending the resources and money for staff to sanitize the area regularly and enforce social distance policies. Temporarily closing common element amenities also has the benefit of reducing potential risk and liability for the spread of COVID-19.