Dial Back, Minnesota: Effects on Homeowners Associations

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that he was dialing back Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. The updated plan is a reaction to a continued rise in all relevant metrics, including number of cases, rate of positive tests, and use of hospital capacity.

The Minnesota Department of Health categorizes the updated plan, called “Dial Back, Minnesota” as a “temporary pause of most social activities, in-person dining, sports, and indoor fitness activity.” The Dial Back plan is in effect from November 20, 2020 until at least December 18, 2020, at which time the Governor will re-evaluate the situation and issue an updated plan.

There are a number of important requirements that homeowners association board members, property managers, and others should make sure to consider. First, and perhaps most importantly, the Dial Back plan extends the requirement of facial coverings in all public indoor settings. This includes all common areas at HOAs, such as elevators, hallways, community rooms, and laundry facilities.

Next, the Dial Back plan prohibits social gatherings with those from other households, including all indoor and outdoor gatherings. At HOAs, this means that all in-person meetings, including Board meetings, annual meetings, committee meetings, and any other gathering of people from separate households, must be either conducted remotely if the governing documents allow it, or must be delayed until the Governor’s order changes.

Finally, the Dial Back plan prohibits public gyms and other personal fitness areas from opening at all. The restriction includes aquatic facilities and workout rooms at HOAs, even if the amenities are only available for use by the members. That means that until at least December 18, 2020, areas such as pools, hot tubs, workout rooms, and tennis courts must be completely closed for use, and may not reopen until the Governor updates his order..

The attorneys at Smith Jadin Johnson, PLLC have worked extensively with associations and communities in order to ensure that they fully understand and comply with the safety measures and legal requirements during this unprecedented time. If you or your association have any questions about the current COVID-19 requirements, please contact our office today.

-Karly Kauf, Attorney @ Smith Jadin Johnson, PLLC