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Upper East Side Co-op Is Keeping Covid-19 at Bay

Tom Greenbaum in Building Operations on April 7, 2020

Upper East Side, Manhattan

Covid-19, co-op board rules, house rules, deliveries.

The Edgewater co-op is waging a successful fight against Covid-19 (image via Google Maps).

April 7, 2020

Very few people would argue that Covid-19 is the biggest threat our citizens have ever faced in our lifetime. Our shareholders are very scared, particularly since a large percentage of the people are in the 65-plus age group. In order to try and minimize the impact of this virus on our building, several weeks ago we instituted an eight-part plan to help protect our shareholders. Our co-op has no known cases of Covid-19, maybe because of the following steps we have taken:

We have installed a Purell dispenser by the elevators, and encouraged all shareholders to use it regularly. The biggest problem with this is getting a supply of the hand sanitizer for the dispenser. However, our terrific super somehow has magically kept the machine filled.

Our staff has been provided with both masks and gloves and their own supply of hand sanitizer. Also, they are on a routine of sanitizing the elevators and mailboxes on a regular basis.

We stopped all construction in the building, so we would not have outsiders coming into the building

We encouraged shareholders to furlough all but the most essential household employees, such as full-time health care workers.

We posted a rule that only one person can ride in the elevator, unless the individuals are members of the immediate family.

We prohibited all visitors from entering the building, except in an emergency situation.

We prohibited all deliveries from going above the first floor. Deliveries can be picked up by the shareholders or put on the elevator where they can  be collected at the appropriate floor.

We have a board member in charge of Good & Welfare, and he is contacting the 12-15 very elderly shareholders every two days to determine if they are alright, and if they have any needs. To this end, we have younger shareholders who have volunteered to help the super seniors with shopping.

It is probably too early to draw a definite conclusion, but so far this effort has been successful. Needless to say, we continue to encourage shareholders to remain in their apartments, and go out only to walk their dogs, or take a short walk around the area….of course respecting the 6-feet distance.

Perhaps this program will be helpful to other buildings. We would love to know if any buildings are doing things we are not, as we want to protect our shareholders to the greatest extent possible.

Tom Greenbaum is president of the co-op board at the Edgewater, 530 E. 72nd St., in Manhattan.

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