Please Note

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Individuals and families across the nation are acting to protect their communities and working to prevent the spread of covid-19. We must all come together to slow the spread of the pandemic.

For those living in apartments, it’s important to consider ways to protect yourself and your neighbors. While everyone is learning new information about the novel coronavirus and protective measures daily, there are steps you can take as residents to slow the spread.

Look for updates from your property manager

Many apartment communities are sharing regular updates with residents, urging them to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance and reduce contact with others. Based on risk assessments and guidance from local health authorities, many properties are closing common areas and taking other measures to limit interaction between residents and staff.

Be sure to check your email, community websites and apps for updates about leasing hours, fitness center use, package deliveries and maintenance requests. Keep in mind maintenance requests may be prioritized depending on urgency and effects on daily living.

Think before you touch

Even for those who haven’t been exposed to or tested positive for the virus, limiting contact with others can benefit you, your neighbors and community. If possible, working remotely can help contain the potential spread through public transportation, face-to-face meetings and close contact. Avoiding communal areas as much as possible and washing hands immediately before and after leaving home or work also can reduce the spread of germs. Try to limit contact with high-touch surfaces as much as possible and wash your hands immediately before and after touching doorknobs, keypads, mailbox handles, elevator buttons and the like.

Stay connected

Take advantage of Facebook community groups, a helpful resource for sharing questions and ideas with your neighbors for keeping children occupied, engaging students in virtual learning, staying active and maintaining routine. You can also swap book suggestions, music playlists, podcasts and more to help fill the time. Some communities are launching Facebook Live events and other digital experiences to help residents connect with one another. Check to see what your community is doing and how you can participate.

Be proactive

As information concerning the spread of the coronavirus evolves, it is essential to stay informed through reliable sources. We’re encouraging all apartment community members, including staff and residents, to stay up-to-date on the latest guidance from the CDC and the World Health Organization. These websites provide regular updates about where outbreaks are happening, as well as guidance about prevention.

Because of the contagious nature of the virus, it’s important community members work together to reduce the risk of spreading. This includes proactively communicating with key parties and authorities about potential exposure. Community staff or residents who believe they have been exposed to covid-19 or have tested positive for the virus should immediately seek medical care.

We also encourage everyone to follow the self-quarantine guidance provided by the CDC, including when to stop self-isolation practices, and to make sure your local health department and property management team are aware of your status.

Keep in mind privacy laws apply to information regarding covid-19 status. An apartment management team cannot share information about specific individuals who may have been exposed to or tested positive for the virus.

Putting these practices into place reduces the chances of getting or sharing covid-19. By working together, we can flatten the curve and slow the spread of the virus within our communities.

For other tips on staying educated and communicating with your property manager in a time of crisis, click here.

Robert Pinnegar is the president and chief executive of the National Apartment Association (NAA).