How to Reopen Building Gyms and Pools?

The Four Percent


Buildings with pools are also trying to figure out a way forward. “There is no evidence that the virus that causes Covid-19 can be transmitted through the water in pools,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, proper operation and maintenance, including the use of disinfectants like chlorine or bromine, “should inactivate the virus.”

“The co-op and condo boards we’re working with are talking about having sign-up sheets, limiting the number of people in the pool and how long they can be in the pool,” said Adam Stern, the senior vice president of management at the property management company AKAM Associates.

An added complication is the pool deck. “We’re going to have disinfecting guidelines for the pool chairs and the access area to the pool,” Mr. Stern said.

Craig L. Price, a partner at the law firm Belkin Burden Goldman, suggested that the coronavirus could serve as a catalyst for co-ops and condos to take a good, hard look at their amenities and the risks they pose. “It may be that they’ll want to come up with different uses for some spaces,” he said.

Residents may be doing some risk assessments of their own. “There will likely be some people who will say, ‘I’d rather get a Peloton in my apartment and not pay part of my common charges for a gym,’” Mr. Price said.

In any case, the spontaneous trip to the building gym to work off the tension of the day is off the table, at least for the foreseeable future. So is possessiveness about the third treadmill in the row (that treadmill may be unplugged) or that special recumbent bike (it’s been an hour — time’s up).

“Some people aren’t going to be happy,” Mr. Janangelo said. “But we’re going to be living in a different world, and they’re going to have to get used to it.”

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