Re-opening of communal areas in sheltered schemes
We would like to be as prepared as possible for when the government announces that people can meet up with others inside. Has anyone started to consider how they will manage this in communal lounges? Will all furniture be available for use or will some be moved out/taped up (like on public transport)? Do you anticipate that you will have all communal areas open again from day 1, or will you have a phased approach (we have rooms at 78 schemes spread across the city so are unlikely to be able to do in one go)? What messages will you be providing to residents. Any help or comment would be appreciated!
We have prepared the communal lounges with furniture arranged following social distance guidelines, removing excess from the room. We have asked that furniture is not moved but if it is we will not accept responsibility or liability also Risk Assessments have been completed and photos of the layout recorded.
We have also completed Risk Assessments for hairdressing salons and guest room occupation.
We have a small stock of sheltered schemes but the question of when are we re-opening is constant. I am currently talking to our H&S team about allowing social distancing bingo in the lounge and going from there. The lounges are big enough, one person per table or a couple if they live together and no access to the kitchen facilities just yet - bring their own refreshments.
I am mixed and a bit uneasy moving forward but it is Independent Living, they are adults living in their own flats and we need to put some responsibility onto them to follow the government guidelines also.
We have just started to put a plan in place to enable us to open up our scheme lounges on a restricted basis. I am thinking about an hour at a time then once the activity is finished locking the lounge up again until the next week. Which Government Guidance are other organisations following when writing a safe system of work? I am thinking Community Centres.
Many Housing associations have already opened their lounges and posted such information on their websites. I need to know if the reopening of lounges is up to the Housing Association or the Government.
A number of residents (6) where I live want to use the lounge but our managers will not allow this. Their responses are almost hostile
Approach is very much guided by the location of the facilities in any scheme (e.g. some lounges and corridors are part of the thoroughfare in and out of the scheme).
Through the risk assessment processed we've maintained partial opening of communal facilities at our schemes, postponed all planned events, activities and meetings, reduced furniture to reduce risk of social gatherings, where requested provided reasonable and safely managed access to some communal equipment (e.g. exercise bike, treadmill when our officers are on-site to sanitise before and after use), laundry usage (1 person at a time on a roster system), increased cleaning in all communal areas etc.