This year’s meetings will be different than those we’ve seen in the past. Social distancing guidelines dictate 6′ of space between people in an indoor setting. How will that work within you HOA board’s normal meeting location? Is it feasible to continue indefinitely with Zoom (online) meetings? Or will you need to implement a hybrid version (online and in person) to safely accommodate all those who wish to attend? We’ve complied the most recent guidelines below and offer some suggestions on how to meet safely during the pandemic.
Outdoor. At least during the Summer and warmer Fall months, meeting in-person, but outdoors is a viable option. Safe distancing of 6′ between seats and fresh air make this meeting format safer than many others. Adding masks for the duration of the meeting will also help, but they can make it hard to hear, especially in an outdoor setting.
Large Meeting Rooms. Accommodating all Board members in one space may require a larger-than-normal meeting space. Setting a seating chart and making sure all chairs are at least 6′ apart will meet safe guidelines and wearing a facemask if the appropriate distancing is not possible will allow you to meet indoors and in-person. Understanding that some members may not feel comfortable with this arrangement makes keeping an online meeting option open during the meeting is also a good idea.
Virtual options. Zoom is having its time in the limelight, and for good reason. The virtual meeting software can cost anywhere from $0 to $20/month and can host at least 100 participants at once. The big difference between the free version and the paid subscriptions is the time limit of a single meeting. The free version has a 40-minute limit, but the Pro subscription ($15/month) allows your meeting to last 24 hours. Anyone can join from anywhere, even on a mobile phone. Email the link to those in your HOA and they can use it to join the meeting.
- Make online an option even after you move to in-person meetings again. Anyone who is immunocompromised will appreciate this.
- Provide face masks and hand sanitizers for use at the meeting. If you provide these items, it more likely they will be used and that everyone will participate, especially in wearing a face mask.
- Do not share a microphone during the meeting.
- Wipe down surfaces before and after the meeting starts to be sure it’s in tip-top shape.
- Stay updated for new guidelines affecting your area.