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Pools, gyms remain closed in some communities despite Palm Beach County moving to Phase 2

'First time any of this stuff has ever happened,' lawyer says
Community Pool Closed
Posted at 5:26 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 18:17:56-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County moved to Phase 2 of reopening on Tuesday. However, some residential community pools and gyms have yet to reopen.

Like many moms, Christina Kelly said the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on her family.

"The biggest thing that changed my routine is I have one daughter, and she's an only child, so everything got shut down on her, and she had no socialization at all," Kelly said.

Six months later, many businesses and activities are back open in Palm Beach County. However, she said her residential community in Lake Worth is still closed.

"It's extremely frustrating to know the whole summer went by, and my daughter has not gotten in the pool the entire summer. … We haven't been able to use a fitness center the entire summer in our gym. So, to me, the main question at this point is, why are communities staying closed?" Kelly said.

Attorney Steve Adamczyk
Attorney Steve Adamczyk says residential communities and HOAs are navigating issues they likely have never encountered regarding amenities.

"The state and local ordinances say what you can't do originally, and now as we have these phased reopens, they are saying what you can do. But from a condominium and HOA perspective, they're not saying what you must do," attorney Steve Adamczyk said.

Under the state of emergency order, he said associations receive emergency powers to keep amenities closed if it is "reasonably necessary" for the health and safety of the community.

"Keep in mind this is the first time any of this stuff has ever happened, so we are learning as we go and the insurance industry is reacting in a different way in that a lot of the associations are finding out they may not have insurance coverage if they are sued," Adamczyk said.

Now, he said there's a task force looking into how emergency powers should work.

"They were originally drafted for responses to hurricanes and property damage and is this the type of situation we want these powers to apply and should the board be walking through this door that has been opened to them," Adamczyk said.