With New York City entering Phase 2 of the state’s Covid-19 reopening plan, co-op and condo boards need to be aware of the Phase 2 reopening guidelines that include both mandatory and recommended best practices that affect:
- On-site management offices
- Apartment showings
- Doctors’ offices
- Employee break rooms
Similar guidelines have been released for the real estate industry and other workplaces.
For more on which types of businesses are included in the Phase 2 reopening, New York Forward offers a Business Re-opening tool.
What Phase 2 Guidelines Mean
Physical Distancing Guidelines
- Businesses must limit occupancy to no more than 50% of the maximum listed on the Certificate of Occupancy.
- People must be at least six feet apart or wear face coverings if closer than six feet.
- Contact should be limited by staggering workplace hours, adjusting arrival/departure times, and limiting in-person presence.
- Social distance should also be maintained in small areas, such as break areas and rest rooms.
Though not required, best practices include erecting physical barriers, such as Plexiglas shields to protect employees from contact with guests, delivery personnel and vendors.
Personal Protective Equipment Requirements
Phase 2 reopening guidelines for workers:
- Workers must be provided with face coverings at no cost, and employers must train workers on how to properly use the equipment.
- Face coverings may include cloth masks, bandanas, surgical masks or face shields.
- Workers are required to wear gloves when in contact with shared objects or surfaces, and they should perform hand hygiene before and after such contact.
Hygiene and Disinfection
- Employers must provide hand hygiene stations in the workplace.
- Those stations must include handwashing facilities with soap and disposable paper towels, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol where handwashing is not feasible. Work areas must be rigorously cleaned and disinfected before and after every shift. Shared food and beverages should be prohibited.
- Real estate salespeople should provide hand sanitizer to clients before and after visiting a property.
- New York also recommends opening windows and doors to increase ventilation
Employee Screening Guidelines
- Sick employees must stay at home.
- Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 should not be allowed to enter the building and should be sent home.
- Health screenings are mandatory, including temperature checks and questionnaires for employees returning to work.
- Employees should be asked if they’ve experienced any Covid-19 symptoms, tested positive for the disease, or been in contact with anyone who tested positive within the past 14 days.
Guidelines for Residential Property Showings
- Only vacant or unoccupied properties can be shown.
- Anyone visiting a property, including brokers, must wear face coverings.
- Showings should be staggered to minimize crowds and contact.
- Showings of common building amenities, such as pools, roof decks, parking garages and gyms, should be limited.
- Prospective buyers should be told not to touch surfaces when visiting the property.
- Children should not be brought to a showing.
- All high-touch surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after every showing.
Remote walkthroughs via video are encouraged. Though not mandatory, the state recommends screening prospective buyers/renters using a health questionnaire similar to above as part of its phase 2 reopening guidelines for showing properties.