These are unprecedented times for our country along with community associations throughout Florida. There is no playbook for property managers nor Board of Directors to rely upon in order to address the fast-moving current events. Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-52 declaring a State of Emergency for COVID-19 and directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to activate the Florida Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to a Level II, to coordinate the state’s response to COVID-19. Last week, the governor issued Executive Order 20-51 directing the State Surgeon General to declare a public health emergency and a federal state of emergency was declared by the President on March 13th. Florida Statutes, namely Florida’s Condominium Act and Florida’s Homeowners Association Act, address in a broad sense “emergency” related situations, typically in the context of hurricane related preparedness and cleanup aftermath. Fla. Stat. §718.1265 (condominiums), Fla. Stat. §719.128 (Co-Ops), Fla. Stat. 720.316 (homeowners associations) bestows “emergency powers” on a Board of Directors in “response to damage caused by an event for which a state of emergency is declared”. While the Corona Virus may not neatly fall within the definition of “damage”, the Division of Condominium issued an Order that the current situation enables condominium associations to act in accordance with these emergency powers. While not governed by the Division of Condominium, homeowners associations and Co-Ops are almost certainly permitted to follow suit as well. Consequently, an association’s Boards of Directors may likely take the following preventive measures in response to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. (i) Meetings of the Association: Annual meetings, special member meetings, or traditional Board of Director meetings, may be suspended or cancelled. In the alternative Board of Directors’ meetings could also be conducted without membership attendance granting the membership the ability to participate by teleconferencing methods. This process would involve disseminating a conference call-in number well enough in advance of the meeting. Posting a call-in number and passcodes on a community bullet board should also be done. (ii) Common Areas – Pool and Clubhouses: In order to discourage and/or limit large gatherings it would likely be reasonable for the Board of Directors to temporarily close a community pool. Closures of the association clubhouse for usage by groups are also permissible under the circumstances. Closing any on-site gyms are seemingly supportable given the possible virus transmission attendant to these types of facilities. (iii) Open Houses and Limiting of Guests: Curbing an owner’s right to market their property through an open house is drastic and inconsistent with the concept of the “free alienability of one’s property.” However, given the health crisis and the Center of Disease Control’s social distancing directives, such a prohibition is probably justifiable. Limiting guests outright however, perhaps well intentioned, might be going too far. Restricting guests would certainly cause great consternation and anger among the residents and potentially pose liability issues for an association if health providers or family member caretakers are denied entry. Ultimately the guiding principal a community association’s Board of Directors should follow involves making decisions which further the betterment, health and welfare of the community as a whole, even if seriously inconveniencing individual members. This is even truer for our 55+ communities’ residents who are at higher risk for serious illness. These communities’ Boards of Directors possess an even greater argument, if not responsibility, to act in a manner which best safeguards people’s health consistent with World Health Organization guidance relative to disease risk mitigation. Once this crisis subsides, as we all hope comes sooner rather than later, the Board of Directors should act quickly to loosen these restrictions in order to quickly restore the benefits of traditional community association living.