Be the leader your building needs

A practical guide for buildings to take on Covid-19

Little things you can do to make a big impact 

Top priorities

  • Set whatever rules you need to keep your residents safe - health and safety is #1. 
  • Make your building as welcoming and happy as can be so staying inside doesn't seem so bad.
  • Keep the building super clean.
  • Familiarize your staff and residents with this health measures guide
  • Understand your building’s Covid-related legal obligations

Visitors

  • Strongly suggest that residents limit gatherings, even inside their individual condos.
  • Screen visitors by asking if they’re sick and taking their temperature.
  • Skip the sign-in sheet and unnecessary contact with outsiders, or at least have hand sanitizer handy for after they sign in.
  • Suggest that dog walkers are met outside the building. 

Packages

  • Bring boxes to doors of sick or quarantined residents.
  • Request that residents receive deliveries outside. 
  • Ask residents to pick up their packages ASAP, and restrict mailrooms to 1 person at a time.
  • Check out more tips on safely handling packages here

Elevators

  • Restrict elevator use to one at a time.
  • Encourage use of elbows to push elevator buttons. 
  • Provide wipes and hand sanitizer for residents, and assign staff to wipe down buttons frequently.
  • Suggest that residents take the stairs instead when possible while avoiding touching rails and door handles.
  • Read this article about corona-era elevator etiquette.

Doorman & staff

  • Make sure staff always wear masks.
  • Instead of convos in the lobby, stick to texts, emails or app chats.
  • Tell staff to do the following when entering a condo for urgent repairs: verify that residents aren't sick; keep distance; open windows; remove shoes; disinfect before and after repairs.
  • Mark a 6-foot area around the front desk in tape so people keep distance.
  • Make sure staff sticks to the service elevator or takes the stairs.
  • Send your staff their Covid-19 rights.
  • See what NYC doormen are saying.

Laundry & utilities

  • Limit laundry room to one person at a time; remove tables/seating so people don’t stick around for long.
  • Be proactive - check all building systems to avoid plumbing clogs and other major issues.
  • Make sure repair construction is available if needed - call your vendors and make sure they’re okay.

Hygiene

  • Place CDC approved 70% alcohol sanitizer in common areas and hallways.
  • Assign a checklist for cleaning door handles and elevators at least 3x a day.
  • Schedule cleaning staff to focus on continuous disinfection and cleaning.
  • Hire an outside team of sanitizing experts to perform a systematic deep clean once a week and demonstrate best practices for your staff.
  • Check out this disinfection guide.

Sick residents

  • Let neighbors know about sick residents - but maintain privacy.
  • Take safe, responsible steps to help out.
  • Have deliveries and mail be brought up to them.
  • Assign staff to take out their trash so they don't leave their apartment.
  • Avoid going inside condos; keep distance.
  • Read this advice on disclosure to residents.

Amenities & common areas

  • Make sure everyone wears masks when in common areas.
  • Consider closing gyms, but keep outdoor spaces open.
  • Put wipes and sanitizer in all common areas. 
  • Require residents to book private use times to minimize contact.
  • Limit the number of people in common areas and remind people to keep distance.
  • Find out how property managers are addressing amenities.

Doors

  • Leave the front door open and lock any revolving doors.
  • Put up a sign at each door handle to suggest using elbows.
  • Disinfect door handles frequently.
  • Read these tips for cleaning doors and other high contact areas.

Communication

  • Slip paper notices under doors for elderly residents who don’t check email.
  • Check in with your residents regularly via email and text - show you care.
  • Organize resident task forces and volunteers to show support and keep everyone informed.

Grocery, pharmacy & takeout deliveries

  • Suggest that residents request pickup outside.
  • Advise neighbors to store reusable bags and containers in a hygienic way until they're collected.
  • Make sure pharmacy and takeout deliveries that go to the concierge are picked up ASAP or brought upstairs by a porter/volunteer.
  • Check out these great NYC delivery services.

Take a moment to say thanks to your staff for all their hard work. And go ahead and smile at your neighbors - masks can't hide that sparkle in your eyes!

Better together

Tips to bring a community feel to your building during these stressful times

Communication
Don't be shy - talk to your neighbors. You never know who needs a pick-me-up. 
Organize a building group text or social media group.

Learn how to run a successful WhatsApp group.
Knock on doors and ask if anyone needs help.

Print this help-card for self-isolating neighbors.
Post a list for residents to sign up and volunteer.

Send a digital sign-up sheet to residents.
Open your window and say "Hi neighbor!" to others stuck at home.

Find out why knowing your neighbors can impact happiness.
All for one
Encourage residents to pitch in and help each other out. 
Share a building shopping list and offer to pick up essentials for others.

Use this grocery list and quarantine shopping guide
Pick up urgent medications from the pharmacy for those stuck inside.

Read this list of recommended things to stock up on.
Share leftover supplies with neighbors in need.

Check out these tips on being a good neighbor while social-distancing.
Suggest that neighbors fill in for sick staff members. 

Hang up this volunteer sign-up sheet.

Creative outlet
Remind residents that it’s important to have fun, even during a pandemic.
Order and distribute games, puzzles, art supplies and activities for the kids.

Browse Amazon for craft ideas.
Hang up positive posters in the hallways to cheer up neighbors. 

Check out these fun and happy posters.
Suggest that residents play music from their open windows (while being considerate of neighbors).

Get them to join the global balcony singing movement.
Organize a building-wide virtual yoga or workout session - Nah-amma-stay ...at home!

Look into different virtual yoga classes.

Elderly care
Our most vulnerable residents are relying on us for help - be proactive and lend a hand.
Distribute emergency phone numbers and contacts in case they need help.

Give them this useful emergency reference card.
Give your older neighbors a call - remember, their family and friends can't visit.

See how New Yorkers are helping their older neighbors.
Offer to do the heavy lifting and go shopping for them. 

Find out why grocery shopping for elderly neighbors can save lives.
Suggest that residents offer to walk their older neighbors’ dogs, water their plants and pick up their mail.

Don’t forget that dogs need help too

A close neighbor is better than a distant relative.

Board practices

Management changes to implement during Covid

Meetings
  • Meet weekly to keep up with covid-related developments.
  • Meet remotely through video tools or conference calls.
  • Be transparent, inclusive and patient when calling for votes. 
  • Record your meetings and votes for review.
  • Postpone non-essential discussions for later.
  • Read tips on conducting business virtually.
Budget
Staying prepared
  • Be clear to residents about new plans, operations and rules.
  • Be transparent about what the board is doing to protect residents.
  • Have a backup plan, and make sure your staff has contact numbers ready in case of emergency. 
  • Consider stocking a shared emergency resource closet with essentials.
  • Postpone non-essential discussions for later.
  • Go over this NYC apartment building emergency prep guide.

Let’s work together to stay positive and get through this!