Dear Snowden Overlook Residents:
Good news! Given the high rate of vaccination in the U.S., the changes in federal, MD and County guidance, and the continuing decline in virus infection case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths, SOCA, in consultation with legal counsel, has scheduled the beginning of the gradual reopening of our clubhouse for Thursday, May 20 at 9 AM. The ultimate goal, of course, is the complete reopening of the clubhouse as requirements, conditions and experience allow.
For the foreseeable future, we will be requiring a signed liability waiver for every resident wishing to enter the clubhouse for anything other than briefly transacting business at the office. An ORANGE WRISTBAND indicating that you have signed the waiver will be issued and MUST BE WORN TO USE THE CLUBHOUSE. This has been a requirement for use of the pool since last summer and, more recently, to use the upper deck. Those of you who have already signed the waiver and received an orange wristband need do nothing further. But if you have not signed a waiver and wish to use the pool, attend clubhouse events, or even enter the clubhouse, please visit the office to sign the waiver and receive a wristband. (The office is open 9 to 5 on non-holiday weekdays.) A supply of the waiver forms is available outside and to the left of the clubhouse front door. It is also available at snowdenoverlook.com by clicking on “ASSUMPTION OF RISK LIABILITY WAIVER RELEASE COVID-19” in the blue box on the left of the home screen. NO GUESTS will be permitted in the clubhouse without special authorization by the board. These requirements are intended to protect SOCA, and, by extension, all unit owners in Snowden Overlook.
We will start with a trial period of restoring most clubhouse activities. We will use this period to learn which approaches work best in protecting all of our residents and to work out procedures for activities not yet restarted. In preparation, we are working now to increase the clubhouse cleaning schedule to help protect all users and staff. In addition, we may open windows and run HVAC fans continuously to promote ventilation during larger indoor events. If this practice is likely to make you uncomfortable, you may wish to dress accordingly or avoid attending such events.
Masks – The governor lifted many requirements for masking effective May 15. In addition, CDC, in a 5/13/2021 update to its guidance, loosened its recommendations for use of masks by the fully-vaccinated. At this time, however, SOCA suggests that masks be worn in the clubhouse when you are not actively eating or drinking. IF YOU ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND, IN KEEPING WITH CDC GUIDANCE, THAT YOU WEAR A MASK, WHEN SAFE AND FEASIBLE, IF YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND INDOOR SOCA EVENTS OR FACILITIES.
Pool Rules – The Maryland Department of Health just issued an order which may permit changes to our current pool rules. We have requested advice from SOCA’s attorney, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, and until further notice, the existing pool rules will be followed. That includes limiting use to residents only (no guests) and prohibiting the use of SOCA pool furniture. We will also continue to limit the number of users in the pool or on the pool deck. These policies are designed to keep us consistent with current CDC guidance on the coronavirus in swimming pool settings, last updated 2/1/2021.
WHAT IS BEING NEWLY OPENED: Major SOCA-sponsored events will be resumed as soon as possible. These will likely include Grill‘nChill and other traditional SOCA events. There will likely be some changes, however, to reduce the number of items handled by multiple persons to limit possible exposures, at least at first. Scheduled or unscheduled use of the clubhouse for games, clubs and board meetings will also be permitted. Rooms will be reserved for use by groups through the SOCA monthly calendar, as they were in the Before Times. The coffee service will also be available to all residents who have signed liability waivers. Finally, residents with orange wristbands may use the upper deck, not just during office hours, and without being signed-in.
– Indoor vigorous exercise classes.
– Gym. Due to the high potential for elevated respiration rates and contamination, the gym will not yet be reopened. In order to reopen it safely, we believe that, at least temporarily, the gym must have limited, scheduled reservations of fixed duration, e.g. 1 hour. It will also be necessary to operate a sign-in procedure. This will require volunteers, in much the same manner as the pool.
As you know, Linda Bloom, the only gym committee chair we’ve ever had, will no longer be serving in that important position. We need a new volunteer to chair the gym committee. The duties are to propose procedures to the board and recruit and organize volunteers, just as has been done for the pool. PLEASE LET THE OFFICE OR ANY SOCA BOARD MEMBER KNOW OF YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SERVE IN THIS CAPACITY. This is essential if we are to make progress on at least partially reopening our gym. When the gym does open, we can expect masking and distancing to be required until conditions improve further.
GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS: We still encourage prudent masking and distancing by all clubhouse users, particularly when indoors and close together, and especially when heavy breathing, singing, shouting, or similar activity is occurring. If you are sick with what may be a communicable illness, such as a cold or the flu, and especially if you have reason to believe that you may have Covid-19, please don’t come to the clubhouse. Please do your best to protect yourself and others.
We hope to see you at our beautiful clubhouse soon.
SOCA Board of Directors