IREM® statement on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
February 28, 2020
IREM acknowledges that property managers around the world are concerned about the health and well-being of their tenants and residents, as well as operational and business implications, related to the spread of the Coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are monitoring the situation in real-time, and while much is still unknown about how the virus spreads, both organizations have issued guidance for preventing exposure to respiratory illnesses, as well as planning considerations for places of business.
It is IREM’s position that these organizations are the best resources for up-to-date, science-based information about the Coronavirus disease. We’ve shared links to some of this information below. IREM is being proactive in reaching out to both the WHO and the CDC to ask them to issue specific guidance for real estate managers to prepare for and respond to an instance of COVID-19 should it occur at one of their properties, as they have done for other industries serving concentrated populations such as airlines and cruise ships. In the meantime, please consider the following general best practices:
- Prepare a continuity plan for your business if you don’t already have one in place, and make sure your employees have reviewed and understand the plan.
- Thoroughly review all your leases to make sure they address potential business disruptions in a pandemic.
- Keep your working environment healthy by establishing hygiene protocols such as providing easily accessible hand sanitizers, ensuring adequate air circulation and encouraging the use of sick leave as necessary.
- Provide information to residents and tenants about the common sense actions they can take to prevent the spread of infection (IREM has prepared these customizable templates property managers can use to post at their properties.)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resources:
- World Health Organization
- Find rolling updates on the virus, workplace readiness, basic protective measures, and press briefings.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Find information for businesses, interim guidance, and frequently asked questions about the virus.
If a property manager becomes aware of a tenant or resident with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they should contact the WHO, CDC, or local health department. Questions from tenants, residents, or the media should also be directed to the local health department or CDC resources. We encourage everyone to regularly check these resources for the latest information. While this is an evolving situation and concern is reasonable, we can all take an active role in preventing the spread of infection by following the expert guidance from these organizations.