The City of Chicago has announced a new vaccination mandate (Executive Order No. 2021-32 or “Mandate”). Effective Monday, January 3, 2022, access to most public places will require proof of vaccination for any person 5 years or older against COVID-19 to dine indoors, visit gyms, or access entertainment venues where food and drinks are being served.
The Mandate does not, as of now, require most community associations to change their procedures. The Mandate exempts “locations in residential or office buildings the use of which is limited to residents, owners, or tenants of that building.” If your association’s facilities (e.g., fitness center, swimming pool, etc.) are not open to the general public, it is this firm’s opinion that the Mandate will not impact your association’s operations. Stated another way, if the use of the facilities is limited to residents, owners, or tenants, the association does not have to confirm vaccination status.
Now, certain associations have personal trainers hired by residents access their fitness centers. In such a situation, it is our position that such a trainer enters the facilities at the request of an owner or resident (per the owner or resident’s personal use of the facility). If that is the case, then arguably the Mandate would not apply to the trainer. So long as the trainer or individual is not accessing the facilities as a member of the general public, but is instead a guest or invitee of the owner or resident, it is our opinion that no vaccination proof is required.
Association boards that wish to require guests, trainers, and other non-residents who may use facilities (pools, fitness centers, etc.) to show proof of vaccination should speak with their legal counsel about such requirements. As of now, there is no basis to require owners or residents to show proof of vaccination to access or use their association facilities.
Association boards that are considering requiring proof of vaccination for contractors, movers, etc. who may access the association property should also consult with their legal counsel about such requirements.
Finally, associations that have areas of public access within their common areas should consult with their attorney to discuss options and compliance with the Mandate.
As always, there are myriad circumstances, exceptions, and issues to consider with this Mandate