The Challenge of Open Amenities during COVID

July 2021

In the summer of 2020 city parks, patios and public areas were open and filled with people.  High-rise community swimming pools and common areas remained closed; not because of public health directives but due to decisions by condo boards.  If confused by this, you are not alone.  Perhaps another approach is needed.

High-rise communities have removed back yards from the equation.  In their place are patios, sundecks, swimming pools, putting greens and other outdoor spaces along with the many indoor areas utilized year-round.  Condominium units were purchased on the promise of access to these common areas.

Common area spaces are needed more than ever yet many remain inaccessible.  Public spaces quickly become over-crowded.  Mental and physical health continues to deteriorate among those trapped at home because of restrictions on access to these spaces.

Closure of common areas is decided by condo boards.  Younger residents generally support the safe opening of amenities.  Older residents, which frequently includes condo boards, tend to prefer complete closure of amenities out of what tends to be justified as an “abundance of caution”.

Opening common area spaces, with proper and reasonable precautions, means fewer people flocking to city parks and public spaces.  It may be the safest approach for everyone.