On March 23, 2020 the City of Toronto declared a State of Emergency in an effort to slow the infection rate of COVID-19. Furthermore, the Province of Ontario ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
The Ontario Government has included co-operative housing providers in their list of essential services.
On Friday April 3rd, the Ontario Government revised the essential services listing which took effect on April 4th:
20. Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.
Furthermore, on Tuesday April 14 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, the Ontario government extended the State of Emergency for a further 28 days until May 12, 2020.
The question is: “What is truly an essential service?”
How has your co-op responded to COVID-19 and the City of Toronto State of Emergency?
Some practices and measures co-op staff and boards have put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are:
- Co-op office closures
- Cancellation of in person board and committee meetings
- Board meetings held by conference calls
- Staggered staff hours
- Payment of housing charges by pre-authorized payments
- Co-op staff working from home whenever possible
- Monitoring of voice messages and emails
- Performance of emergency maintenance only
- No routine maintenance or repairs in residential units
- Regular sanitizing of multi-residential common areas
- Closure of Social Rooms and common washrooms
- Limiting the number of people in enclosed areas like laundry rooms and elevators
- Avoiding travel on public transit, taxis and ride shares
At the end of this post is a list of links to various tools and protocols that co-ops have implemented. If your co-op has any documentation that you would like to share with other staff, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s face it, this isn’t going to be over soon.
Please stay home whenever you can to help stop the spread of the virus.
To all of our members and supporters, we wish you and your family members and friends continued good health.