On Thursday, March 11th, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery evaluation process would individually assess each County to determine its appropriate Phase. It was also announced that all Counties would enter into Phase 3 on March 22nd. Under the revised plan, Counties will be evaluated every three weeks with evaluations taking place on Mondays and changes going into effect on Fridays. The first evaluation took place today, Monday, April 12th.
In addition to moving to a County review plan, evaluation metrics are now population-based. In order to move down one phase, a County must fail the established metrics for both case counts and hospitalizations. For Counties with more than 50,000 residents to remain in Phase 3, they must maintain a 14-day average of new COVID cases below 200 per 100,000 residents and a 7-day new hospitalization average of fewer than 5 residents per 100,000. Counties with fewer than 50,000 residents must maintain a 14-day average of new cases below 100 and a new 7-day hospitalization rate below three. Should the statewide ICU capacity exceed 90%, all Counties will be moved to Phase 1.
Following the review on Monday, April 12th it was determined that Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman Counties would be downgraded to Phase 2 as they failed to meet their respective metrics.
Several aspects of the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery guidance affect Community Associations and therefore, we have included below general recommendations for those Communities in Phase 3 Counties and those in Phase 2 Counties. For more specific information, Board Members are encouraged to contact their Community Association Manager.
Community Gatherings in Phase 3 Counties (all Washington Counties but Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman)
For the purposes of gatherings, indoor events may include up to 10 people from outside the household and outdoor events may include up to 50 people total. Additionally, indoor fitness establishments, including pools, may operate at 50% capacity.
Community Gatherings in Phase 2 Counties (Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman Counties)
For the purposes of gatherings, indoor events may include up to 5 people from outside the household with a limit of 2 households intermingling and outdoor events may include up to 15 people from no more than 2 households. Additionally, indoor fitness establishments, including pools, may operate at 25% capacity.
Reopening of Water Recreation Facilities
As mentioned in Trestle’s June 11, 2020 post, the Board is responsible for the administration of the Association and as such, it is within the Board’s authority to keep water recreation facilities closed if deemed necessary. Trestle encourages Associations to consult their attorney in advance if they plan to keep pools and similar facilities closed and the decision is expected to be particularly contentious.
The reopening requirements are lengthy, specific and subject to change at any time. Trestle has included a summary below, and encourages any Associations interested in reopening their water recreation facilities to closely review the guidance provided by Washington State and work with their Community Association Manager to ensure compliance.
Phase 3 Water Recreation Facility Requirements (all Washington Counties but Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman)
Prior to reopening, all water recreation facilities, including spas, must:
- Develop a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure, mitigation, and recovery plan, and
- Ensure the facility is safe to reopen and meets all legal requirements.
Once open, all water recreation facilities, including spas, must:
- Develop plans and strategies, including physical markers, closure of certain facilities, the installation of barriers and the relocation of furniture, in order to maintain a minimum 6-foot physical distance between all patrons and Association representatives, including staff,
- Encourage handwashing and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
- Ensure securely fitting face coverings which cover the nose and mouth are worn at all times except in outdoor public spaces where a 6-foot distance may be maintained or while swimming,
- Assure frequent cleaning and disinfection of all spaces, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as door handles, faucets, restroom facilities, pool toys and lounge furniture,
- Provide a health screening to each visitor prior to their entry and restrict access to those who are ill or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and
- Educate Association representatives, including staff, about COVID-19.
Phase 2 Water Recreation Facility Requirements (Pierce, Cowlitz, and Whitman Counties)
In Phases 1 and 2, water recreation facilities, including spas, may remain open if they meet the above requirements outlined in the Phase 3 guidance and:
- Limit access to residents only,
- Require residents to make advanced appointments prior to visiting the water recreation facility,
- If an appointment system is unavailable, the facility may only open if it meets the below requirements:
- Maximum occupancy is calculated and posted onsite, and
- A designated representative routinely monitors the facility to ensure maximum occupancy is not exceeded.
- Follow stated occupancy guidelines,
- Turn off, remove, or otherwise prevent the use of facilities, such as play features, which make physical distancing difficult,
- Prohibit water sports, and
- Follow the social gathering restrictions as outlined in Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery.
Trestle will continue to monitor the Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery and provide additional details as appropriate. For more information, Board Members should contact their Community Association Manager.