Steps being taken by Residential Communities to fight COVID-19

Steps being taken by Residential Communities to fight COVID-19

With Schools closed, Malls shuttered, and most offices declaring Work-From-Home, everyone is at home! This means the onus on Apartment Communities is greater to keep everyone safe and contain the spread of CoronaVirus or COVID-19.

Below are the steps communities are taking to fight against COVID-19 or Coronavirus. Please adapt the same as relevant to your community.

This Blog is being updated in Real Time, as and when we get more inputs from Communities. If your Community has put in measures, please do share text / pictures which can help others implement. Send your info to Twitter & Facebook.

16. Salary for Domestic Help

Update on 01-Apr-2020

It is time to pay salaries to Domestic Staff. Many Residential Communities in India had stopped the entry of Domestic Staff starting from middle of March, and the lockdown have stopped Domestic Staff altogether from attending to work.

However, they need their wages for running their household.

Many residents are continuing to pay full wages to their domestic help, some are paying a couple of months in advance. It is time we help those who help us everyday round the year.

2 methods being adopted for payment:

  1. UPI. Being contact-less payment, this is the best option currently. If your domestic help is not introduced to UPI yet, this is the best opportunity to set them up on it. Please check this link for instructions: https://www.bhimupi.org.in/what-we-do
  2. Some communities are asking Domestic helpers to report at the gate where the resident can meet them and pay cash. Necessary arrangement for social distancing is maintained. The Resident as well as Domestic helpers must have their face covered, in case there are multiple helpers at a time, then position markers are drawn to ensure there is no crowding.
Domestic Staff Salary during Lockdown

15. Advisory For Owners

Update on 31-March-2020

In light of the eviction of doctors, nurses and medical personnel from their rented homes, the Delhi Government has issued a circular preventing such evictions, terming it as illegal and a punishable offence. More details of the circular can be read here.

Coronavirus Advisory For Tenant Doctors, Nurses and Medical Personnel

14. Ready List of Doctors in your community

Update on 26-March-2020

Having a ready list of Doctors and Healthworkers in your community can be very handy – to build a Emergency Response Team, or for confused Residents to have a chat with them on phone.

You can do this very easily if you have ADDA

Just ask all Residents to update the “Occupation” field on their Profile on ADDA app.

Then search in the Directory on ADDA app!

List of Doctors among Neighbors

13. Designated Apartments for Home Quarantine

Update on 26-March-2020

We hope this never has to come in use but now is the time to prepare for this contingency.

In few Communities, Owners of multiple properties are offering their vacant flats/units for effective Home Quarantine.

The Association keeps a list of these flats and facilitates the usage / rent Collection / vacating.

The resident who has to Home Quarantine can rent such a Flat for half/full month. This makes it easy for them to live separate from his/her family, at the same time one person from the family can visit to supply food and other essentials.

This makes sure the Quarantined person is comfortable with more space than a single room, and the Family and Community are avoiding infection.

Since many such vacant flats are owned by Non Resident Owners outside India, Association can collect the rent from the Quarantining family and provide a credit note to the Owner to reimburse the rent.

12. Security and Sanitation workers – hosting inhouse

Update on 26-March-2012

During lockdown period food and commute becomes an issue for the Security and sanitation personnel of the Community.

Multiple communities are hosting these personnel in makeshift setup in the Community Hall and other such facilities. While some communities are supplying them food cooked by Residents, many others are setting up Kitchen arrangements so these workers can cook their own food.

Care for Wokers
Essential Community Staff. PC: Oasis Breeze

11. Lockdown of the Apartment Complex upon detection of COVID-19 Infection

Update on 19-March-2020

If you are wondering what happens when someone is infected in the Community, please find an actual lockdown that happened on 18-March-2020 in Bangalore:

Lockdown of an Apartment Complex due to Covid19

Our favorite part from the above article:

For all members of the community who do not have a live-in cook, and are unable to cook themselves, we are arranging for meals internally. These will be prepared by volunteers who have kindly offered to help during this period. Please reach out to us should you require assistance on this.

That’s community spirit!

10.Check-Points at the Entrance

Check vendors, helpers, and visitors at the main gate and tower entry points. Anyone found to have fever, cold and cough should be politely told that they cannot be allowed inside the premises.

Use non-contact thermometers such as infra-red thermometers to measure body temperature. If temperature is greater than 38 degree celcius (100.4 degree Fahrenheit) the person may not be allowed inside.

Guards measuring body temperature of the staff at the main gate to avoid COVID-19
Temperature check at Gate. PC: Park West
Infrared Thermometer
InfraRed Thermometer. PC: Park West

9. Collect Deliveries At Gate

To reduce the number of outsiders who enter the Apartment Community, deliveries are being kept at the Gate and the Residents are informed.

Residents walk to the Gate and collect their parcel. A bit of inconvenience but if it can save lives, it is our duty!

If you are using ADDA GateKeeper at the Gate, then the Resident can choose the “leave at gate” option. Or the Guard can call the Resident right from his GateKeeper mobile phone to inform of the Delivery to be collected.

Collect Delivery at Gate
"Leave At Gate" Option from ADDA App as a preventive tool for COVID-19

Update on 17-March-2020:

ADDA has just launched the new feature “Collect-Delivery-At-Gate”. Just enable the setting in your ADDA GateKeeper configuration. Details here.

8. Encourage Residents to stay at Home

Public gatherings are paused until things get normal. Avoid conducting festivals, meetings, get-togethers inside the apartment community. Private functions are discouraged. Party hall booking cancellations to be refunded without any deductions.

Play areas are also closed and Children are discouraged to play outside / mingle. As they say “A bored child is better than a sick child!”

If there are Homes that require assisted Quarantine, now there’s a service on your ADDA app, powered by healthcare leader Portea!

This is currently available in Bangalore only.

Find more here: Assisted Quarantine at Home

Assisted Quarantine at Home to fight COVID-19

7. Sanitize the Common Areas

Management team will ensure that elevators, handrails, and equipment in the children’s play area and gym are sanitized on a 2-hourly basis. Close down the swimming pool, gym, and other common amenities for a few weeks until there is no infection threat.

Elevators are the most used by outsiders as well as residents equally. Strict routine to sanitise the Elevators is a must.

Utilise Disinfectant that is Virucide, with high alcohol content.

Use the below Ready-to-Print checklist for each elevator.

Lift Sanitising Checklist
Lift Sanitising Checklist. PC: ADDA

6. Install Handwash at Entrance

Hand Wash Facility or sanitizers to be placed at the main gate and the reception area. All the residents, domestic staff, helpers and visitors must be advised on hand hygiene to avoid any infections. 

Apartment taking safety measures against COVID-19
Quick Setup for Handwash at Gate. PC: Keerthi Flora

5. Consistently spread Awareness

Hold sensitization program for all staff working inside the premises. Announcements should be circulated among the residents and also be posted in common areas like elevators, reception, etc. to remind everyone twice to follow the safety measures.

Remember, FREQUENT awareness is needed for Staff, specially at the gate. They may become relaxed unless the impending danger is reminded to them frequently.

Here is an easy to remember poster for #DabtoSneeze #DabtoCough.

Ask your Kid to Dab to Sneeze. No better preventive way for COVID-19 among kids
Poster for Sneeze/Cough hygiene to keep safe from Covid-19. PC: ADDA

Do not assume your security staff, housekeeping staff or helpers are aware of the right way to wash their hands or maintain distance. Provide explicit instructions and clarify questions.

COVID-19 awareness for Staff of Apartment Community

Awareness Session for Guards and Housekeeping Staff. PC: Oasis Breeze

Posters to be printed and put around the common areas, specially at the entrance.

Posters from Ministry of Health – India

Ministry of Health India - Covid19 poster
Click to download printable poster
Ministry of Health India - Hindi poster
Click to download printable poster

Posters from Ministry of Health – Singapore (multiple)

Click to download printable posters (multiple)

4. Self-Quarantine

Residents who have recently travelled abroad are requested to declare the same to the Association office and self-quarantine themselves for 2 weeks and get themselves checked in case of symptoms of COVID-19. 

3. Medical Help

Circulate notices that have the address and contact number of the Medical Centres in your city where COVID-19 testing is done and isolation beds are available. Form an emergency response team with residents who are Doctors and Paramedic staff in case anybody needs medical help.

Covid19 HelpLine numbers
Covid-19 HelpLine numbers – Central and State

2. Proactive Help to Senior Citizens

Check if there are Homes where Senior Citizens live by themselves. Since they are in COVID-19 high risk group, they may not be venturing outside. See if a volunteer group can be created to purchase essentials for them.

Below is the screenshot of a social media post where an apartment resident has taken an initiative to help the senior citizens in their society in this hour of need.

Apartments taking initiatives to help senior citizens

You can also arrange for vegetables / essentials van to visit the community at regular intervals so senior citizens can purchase without having to step out.

Essentials Van in Apartment Community
Vegetable Van brought into Community. PC: Park West

1. Keep Residents informed on an Official platform

Consider an Official platform like ADDA with verified Owners and Tenants to share Official information. Avoid the clutter of whatsapp groups or wechat groups for such important information.

Also utilise the features of Email Broadcast / App Notification / SMS Notification where needed.

Communication for Real Estate Communities

Other Useful Articles

Also read Guest Article by Prasanna Krishnamurthy on Covid19 precautions for Apartment/Villa Communities

CitizenMatters: Covid19 Risk: What can Apartments and PGs Do

4 Tools in your ADDA to help fight CoronaVirus

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About the Author: Kiru