The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. Prevention measures include:
- Practise physical distancing
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- Stay home when you are ill
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
For general, day-to-day activities, there is no need to wear a surgical or N95 mask.
The attached COVID-19 Fact Sheet from Toronto Public Health provides instructions on how to properly self-isolate if you have no symptoms.
The World Health Organization states that regular washing bare hands offers more protection against catch COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves. You can still pick up COVID-19 contamination on rubber gloves. If you then touch your face, the contamination goes from your glove to your face and can infect you.
The World Health Organization recommends the use of masks in specific cases:
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection while in the same room.
- If you have a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing, wear a mask and seek medical care.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use and dispose of it properly.
Condominium corporations are subject to the provisions of the Condominium Act, 1998 that restrict the use of reserve funds to major repairs and replacements of the common elements and the assets of the Corporation only. As such, reserve funds cannot be used to pay for operating expenses.
The Ontario government issued a new emergency order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to prohibit organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people effective March 28, 2020. The prohibition was based on the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to stop the spread of COVID-19. As such all Annual General Meetings have been postponed.
All non-essential common areas should be closed such as the fitness rooms, guest suites, party rooms, swimming pools, washrooms, playgrounds and other high traffic areas.
Health authorities have provided important guidance to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, directing that people minimize opportunities for transmission of the virus through direct physical interaction. Conventional open houses, which involve in-person viewing of the property and direct physical interaction with salespeople and other prospective buyers, are the types of activity health authorities are directing be ceased.
The Real Estate Council of Ontario strongly recommends that brokerages and salespeople follow the direction of health officials by declining to facilitate or participate in open houses, and by limiting showings to where they are absolutely necessary. If a showing is necessary, everyone should practice physical distancing and follow recommendations of health authorities about hand-washing and sanitizing to reduce the risk.
All Condominium Corporations should refrain from holdings Board meetings in person. Boards can resolve to hold meetings by teleconference or videoconference, suspend meetings, and/or make decisions by email (with such decisions to be ratified at a future Board meeting to be held when this is practically possible).
The Government of Ontario has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces, effective March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., as a temporary measure.
The attached interim guidance are recommendations to help reduce the risk of workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in workplaces that are authorized by the Government of Ontario to remain open such as businesses that provide support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.
All in-suite repairs and maintenance have been suspended until further notice.
All emergencies such as no heat, water leaks, etc., will be dealt with urgently with all reasonable precautions being observed.
Tarion has issued the attached Advisory confirming that effectively all applicable Tarion deadlines are suspended during the application of the government’s Emergency Order. That Order is retroactive to March 16, 2020 and will apply for a period of 90 days, unless extended, or otherwise lifted by the government.
Am I entitled to reimbursement of my monthly common element fees if the use of amenity areas is restricted or prohibited?
No, there are no reimbursements for restricted access to common elements.