It’s been just over six weeks since Australia went into full coronavirus lockdown.
Life changed in an instant, and it has raised countless questions from our concerned clients and the wider strata community.
Responsibility has been thrust on each and every individual to ‘play their role’ to stop the spread of the coronavirus, and that starts with having the right information - so we’ve put together this article for strata communities and lot owners to help bust those myths you’re hearing and answering all your burning questions.
Managing 65,000 lots nationwide means we’ve heard it all, and we’ve asked our local managers in your areas to dish up their insights.
It’s really important you have the right information to help avoid any confusion and panic about the correct way to ‘play your role’ in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. With so much disinformation out there, we wanted to help bust some common myths and misconceptions.
Myth # 1 - “We should close our elevators indefinitely as the virus can be trapped in these spaces”
Whilst doctors are still learning how the virus is spread, there is no need to panic and shutdown vital elevator systems in your communities. Elevators provide an essential means of transport for vertical strata communities, in particular for people with mobility issues. There are some common sense practices that can be taken like restricting the number of passengers in the elevator and ensuring that the elevator surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
Myth # 2 - “We need to turn off all air conditioning systems immediately as they will spread the virus in our community”
Whether or not the virus can be transmitted through air conditioning systems is a top concern, but it’s still too early to make a conclusive call. According to the most up-to-date information from experts in the field, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through air conditioning systems in houses or other buildings. However, allowing more fresh external air into buildings with heating and ventilation systems is always going to benefit your community health.
Myth #3 - “No tradesman can be let onto the premises to conduct works”
At the time of writing this article, our advice is that tradespeople may continue their standard activities on community property as long as they have not come into contact with COVID-19. When considering what works should and shouldn’t go ahead, committees should establish and consult a risk management checklist for both the residents and visiting contractors health and safety.
Myth # 4 - “Communities should suspend all package deliveries because ordering or buying products shipped from other countries can make you sick”
Researchers are studying the new coronavirus to learn more about how it infects people. Most viruses, like this one, do not stay alive on surfaces for a prolonged time period, explains Dr Bhayani. “It is not likely that you would get COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks,” he says. “The illness is most likely transmitted by droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, but more information is emerging daily.”
Myth # 5 - “my strata community is liable if I contract coronavirus on the property”
If the Owners Corporation have taken the appropriate risk management steps to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, then they are unlikely to be held liable in this instance. An integral part of adequate risk management includes routine and thorough cleaning of common property areas, from door handles and lift buttons, to gym equipment and pools. For more information on cleaning and disinfecting, please refer to the Department of Health.
For more myth busters specific to community health, visit the World Health Organisation’s website.
Still need advice?
If you wish to discuss any strata community coronavirus concerns further with an Ace Body Corporate manager, please do not hesitate to contact us via our website or undertake your own research on this matter. Please use the links above in the Covid-19 section of Ace’s website to access up to date health authority information.