Expiration of COVID-19 State of Emergency

       On March 9, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-52, declaring a statewide State of Emergency in response to COVID-19. This order triggered statutory emergency powers for community associations throughout the state. The Governor continued to issue Executive Orders extending the State of Emergency every 60 days, up until the most recent extension made on April 27, 2021. On June 26, 2021, when the Governor did not further extend the March 2020 order, the COVID-19 State of Emergency expired.Covid Order Not Extended

       Although the COVID-19 State of Emergency has expired, the COVID pandemic remains, and Florida continues to experience new cases, including new infections from COVID variants. In light of this, we believe the statutory emergency powers may continue to be relied upon for a reasonable period of time to continue employing reasonable measures association boards believe are necessary to provide for the health, safety and welfare of residents and their guests. For example, associations may continue to require use of face masks in common areas based on current CDC guidelines. Additionally, a graduated reopening of amenities, such as restricted capacities and/or operating hours, may be appropriate in balancing the safety of residents with the desire to enjoy all of the amenities in full, pre-pandemic, fashion. Each association will have its own unique set of circumstances and needs shaping which measures individual boards believe are reasonable and appropriate for their association.

       The governing documents for an association will further address the extent of a board’s authority to administer and operate the association and to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents. If your board is struggling with the transition from the state of emergency and authority provided by the emergency powers, you should consult your association attorney.

Michael Ungerbuehler

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