Below is a synopsis of these episodes.
Good afternoon residents,
Here are the highlights from Podcasts on Tuesday regarding the Indoor pool closure given the legal requirements from the State and County.
The Indoor Pool had to close on Wednesday, December 16, because of new State and County Orders. New Guidelines were issued on December 3 regarding indoor pools. The Board missed implementing the new guidelines on December 3 because we were focused on the new outdoor dining rules and the new gathering rules. Once a resident pointed out the new rules, we had no choice but to close the Indoor Pool on 12/16.
We were informed of another resident of SCSH that contracted the COVID virus and that person has died. This brings our total number of cases reported to us at 7 and 1 death from the COVID virus. As I stated before one other person died months ago and although that person had the virus that person was being treated for a terminal illness for more than a year.
As of yesterday, Sun City Palm Desert (SCPD) has had 105 cases and 7 deaths.
Currently there are over 3,000 people dying from the COVID virus every day in the US. According to government stats over 70% of the cases are from the gatherings of family and friends during the holiday season. The State has now removed any type of gatherings so that no gatherings of any size are allowed except for people living in the same household. The previous gathering Order which allowed for 3 households to meet outdoors is no longer in effect. No gatherings of any kind indoors or outdoors are allowed except for people that live in the same household.
Residents are required to follow the State and County Orders. The next 6 weeks will be very difficult, but we must be diligent in trying to prevent the spread of this virus until the vaccine is available and that is not expected for our age group until March. Please be most careful during this time, the Board’s primary concern is your health and safety. The holiday season can wait, it is worth waiting in order to keep you healthy and alive. If you attend a gathering it is recommended you isolate for 3-5 days and then get a COVID test to be sure you are clear before having contact with any other people.
There is no perfect answer on how to proceed, but the Board is trying to find that path that is safe while allowing for certain activities to proceed. Some residents will want more restrictions, while some prefer no restrictions at all. The Board understands these different opinions and hopes all residents will respect the decisions going forward given it is not possible to make everyone happy through this crisis.
The Board wants to explain the concerns of how we reach a decision given the State and County Orders. We believe it is not our place to determine the implementation of policy based on medical information and data. We are not medical experts, so it is not our place or role to evaluate the State and County orders as right or wrong, that is for medical experts and government officials.
When 70% of all cases come from family and friends gathering, I too wonder why the need to close certain activities when there is so little evidence of the virus spreading in those activities, but like I said, that is not our role. The Board must follow the law, and that is a major reason for reaching our decision. This protects the HOA from legal claims. We must be careful not to violate the law because our governing documents require we follow the law.
The problem is there is no insurance against any claim regarding the COVID virus. Virus claims are specifically excluded in insurance policies. So, any claim for damages will not be paid for by the insurance company. This means if there was a claim for damages the HOA would have to pay for such a claim from our own funds. That could lead to special assessments depending on the amount of such claims. Our only defense against such claims is that we followed the law. Hopefully, this helps to explain why we must be careful about how we operate so that we don’t violate any State or Count regulations during this time.
The new order from the State became quite clear, Indoor pools must close, no exceptions. So, we had no choice but to close the Indoor pool. We will be discussing on Monday how to implement new procedures to try and accommodate more swimmers in the remaining two outdoor pools. Hopefully, next week we will have some answers, but if you have suggestions please let us know.
As a person who has operated and built commercial pools for 35 years and knowing there is no evidence of the virus spreading in a chlorinated pool, I too believe some of the restrictions lack logic and common sense. The problem for the Board is defending ourselves and protecting all the residents of the HOA from any claim, real or made-up.
The Board has been deciding on the side of safety and health and given the stats of SCPD all the residents here should be commended for their efforts. Given our current information SCPD has nine times more cases on a per capita basis. A tribute to all the residents here for their efforts to keep SCSH as safe as possible. No one wants to lose their family or friends, and to that end it does take effort.
It is true we are going to have a difficult 6-8 weeks ahead. But there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and it is getting brighter every day. The vaccine is on the way and people over 65 years old are projected to be getting the vaccine by next March. Hopefully by summer this will all be behind us; it is those days to look forward to and those days are coming.
Please stay the course, do not let up now, we have all come too far to let down now. We are all in the last few miles of a marathon, but it does mean we need to finish this race, and we need to finish it with everyone safe and healthy. Please be careful over the holidays and protect yourselves, your family, and all your friends.
The Board thanks every one of you for your past efforts and for your future diligence.
Take care and be safe.