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May 2021

Update on Reopening of Holiday City South Clubhouse - May 2021

By Vincent DeChiaro, Vice President 
Holiday City South has been closed since March 14, 2020.
The past 15 months have been difficult for the residents of our community as well as other senior communities throughout this country that have remained closed for the same reasons.
Each day we are addressing rumors of reopening and what may be required. Opinions found on Next Door, Facebook or any other social media sites regarding reopening are just that, opinions! Let me present to you the simple facts as to what will be required to open, in both a safe and financially responsible manner. While we all have opinions and interpret regulations differently, our association has excellent legal counsel to guide us and explain in simple terms what we need to do to reopen while protecting the rights of our residents and the associations assets.
Indemnity From Frivolous Lawsuits 
As you are all aware, the 10 associations of the Senior Coalition of Berkeley Township representing almost 14,000 homes have requested residents to sign petitions encouraging the Governor and legislators to provide senior HOAs with a limited form of indemnity preventing us from incurring catastrophic legal expense regarding frivolous lawsuits. Associations within the Coalition have joined together in filing an appeal to the Courts seeking relief from the State of New Jersey’s regulations pleading that the current statute is not only discriminatory against senior communities but inflects undue financial and social hardships.
Additionally, District #10 legislators have proposed Bills S-2695 and A-4390 which would establish immunity for senior associations from Covid-19 restrictions. “According to the Governor’s office, clubhouses fall under social clubs. Language in the Executive Order does not include clubhouses and has led to confusion as to whether or not these facilities can lawfully reopen.” Without further guidance from the Governor, communities remain in limbo on how to reopen properly and safely.
Were we granted judicial relief, it would then be possible to reopen while still being required to adhere to some form of compliance to Executive Order #234 whose current requirements are not only overly restrictive, but extremely costly.  The Board has provided monies in our 2021 budget to address some of those requirements. Implementation of those guidelines would be burdensome and likely not well received by the residents.  
Can we require vaccinations as a prerequisite for entry? 
Suggestions that using proof of vaccination would be sufficient to reopen is open to debate.
Denying our residents entry because they are not vaccinated, is by most legal standards discriminatory on its face. Medical reasons may exist why someone has chosen not to be vaccinated as well as other reasons regarding privacy and personal choice. Denying someone entry opens us to potential legal action by one of our own members.
Again, Legislators from District #10 have put forth legislation rejecting the use of vaccine passports which would violate individual rights in a free society.
Cost to reopen our facilities under current Executive Order #234.
Our originally estimated reopening costs were based on the current Executive Order #234. We must plan to use those estimates understanding that any relaxation of those requirements would lessen our financial burden but would not address significant restrictions still required by the State and CDC. The Board of Trustees continues to prepare for re-opening the facilities as soon as possible if relief from the State of New Jersey on the issue of indemnity and compliance to costly and restrictive guidelines is secured.
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