At the April 23, 2020 daily briefing, Governor J.B. Pritzker indicated that, on May 1, 2020, he will sign an executive order extending Illinois’ stay-at-home mandate for another month, through Saturday, May 30, 2020.
Changes to the Order:
When the new order is signed next week, it will include the following changes to existing restrictions:
- Everyone over 2 years of age, who can medically tolerate it, will be required to wear a mask in public when social distancing is not possible or practical
- Loosening of retail restrictions, including that non-essential retail stores can begin accepting phone and email orders for pick-up and delivery
- Designation of new “essential businesses” including that garden centers and greenhouses may open for in-person shopping so long as a safe social-distancing can be maintained, and pet grooming services may resume
- State parks will be re-opened on a limited basis for hiking and other activities that can be undertaken at a safe social distance
As it most directly impacts associations, essential businesses will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing. This means that associations must provide masks for door staff, maintenance staff, and others that have continued to work as “essential.”
Current Board Practices Should Remain in Place:
In light of the extension of stay-at-home and social distancing requirements boards should continue to keep non-essential common facilities closed. This includes fitness centers, party rooms, and the like, which have already been closed. In addition, boards should prepare to forego opening of outdoor amenities such as swimming pools, sun decks, and other outdoor gathering places. In some cases, this may require giving notices to contractors such as pool attendants that services must be suspended or cancelled altogether. These notices should go out sooner rather than later to avoid late notice penalties. These closures can be reviewed as executive orders as health department guidelines change.
Keep Association Business Going:
By now, boards may be getting used to conducting meetings by Zoom, conference call, or other remote access. Some associations have delayed certain association business, such as holding elections, in hopes that things will return to normal sooner rather than later. In light of the extension of the order, all associations should consider promptly implementing rules, policies and procedures to allow them to conduct all association business – including owner meetings and elections – remotely. This may include electronic notice, mail-in and/or electronic balloting, and other similar measures.
Boards must be flexible as directives change, and should adopt policies and procedures that enhance the safety of all residents. Boards are not, however, nor should they hold themselves out to be, an enforcement arm of local, state, or federal government. Owners and residents should be reminded to conduct themselves in accordance with CDC and other suggestions, but boards should defer to law enforcement and health departments when it comes to enforcement of social distancing and other directives.
During these difficult times, Keough & Moody will continue to do all we can to assist members of the Board and management. We will also continue to keep you advised of new developments and recommendations on how to address COVID-19 situations. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions.