Be the leader
your building

A practical guide for buildings to take on Covid-19


Ideas for safe & efficient procedures


  • Health and Safety is #1
  • Help residents stay inside
  • Maintain the building's clean standards and normal operations
  • Put non-essential spaces and projects on hold
  • NYC Health measures for residential buildings


  • Ban all gatherings, even inside individual units
  • Screen visitors by asking if they're essential, if they're sick & purpose of the visit
  • Skip the sign-in sheet and unnecessary contact with outsiders
  • Dog walkers should be met outside of the building
  • Legal obligations for residential building boards


  • Bring boxes to resident doors, especially if they are sick or quarantined
  • Receive deliveries outside the building to avoid contact
  • Ask residents to get packages ASAP to prevent pileup, and restrict mailrooms to one person at a time
  • More on how to safely handle packages


Doorman & Staff

  • Staff must wear gloves & masks at all times
  • Avoid conversations with residents in the lobby by chatting via text, email, or app
  • Verify that staff and residents are both not sick - then keep distance, open windows, and remove shoes when entering a unit for urgent repairs and disinfect before & after
  • Mark a 6 foot area around the front desk in tape to prevent standing too close
  • Only use the service elevator, or take the stairs
  • A statement from the Doorman's Union
  • What NYC Doormen are saying

Laundry & Utilities

  • Limit to one person at a time & remove tables or seating to encourage less frequent use
  • Be proactive, don't wait for something to break - check all your building systems to avoid plumbing clogs and other major issues
  • Call your vendors & make sure they're OK and available to come over if needed. Repair construction should be available, but avoided


  • Place CDC approved 70% alcohol sanitizer in common areas & hallways
  • Assign a checklist for cleaning door handles and elevators at least 3 x day
  • Schedule cleaning staff to focus on continuous disinfection & cleaning
  • Hire an outside team of sanitizing experts to perform a proactive, systematic deep clean once a week & demonstrate their best practices and equipment for your staff
  • Disinfection guidance for residential buildings

Sick Residents

  • Inform neighbors of sick residents, but strictly protect privacy & take safe responsible steps to help out
  • Bring up their deliveries & mail
  • Help take out trash so they don't leave their apartment
  • Avoid going inside any apartments & take special care to safely distance
  • Board guidelines on disclosure to residents

Amenities & common areas

  • Everyone must wear face masks in common areas
  • Avoid keeping them open & close gyms - but outdoor spaces are OK
  • Provide hygienic wipes & sanitizer in every public space
  • Require residents to book private use times to minimize contact
  • Limit the number of people in common areas and remind to keep distance
  • How property managers are addressing amenities



  • Print pre-designed templates for clear updated paper signs
  • Slip paper notices under doors for elderly residents who don't check email
  • Be proactive with regular check-in updates by email and text
  • Organize resident task forces & "support captains" to volunteer to ensure everyone is informed
  • Print these poster template samples for communicating new policies

Grocery, pharmacy & takeout deliveries

  • Request pickup outside the building to avoid contact inside
  • Store re-usable bags & containers in a hygienic way until the next grocery delivery collects them
  • Pharmacy & takeout deliveries that go to doorman need to be picked up ASAP, or brought upstairs by a porter or volunteer
  • Guide to NYC grocery delivery services

Take a moment to recognize your staff by showing gratitude for their incredible dedication at work


Let's turn lemons into lemonade! 

#1 Communication

Talking with your neighbors can really help lift spirits & create a united building in times of stress

Organize a building group text or social media page

How to run a successful WhatsApp group

Knock on doors and ask if anyone needs help

Print a help card to reach out to self-isolating residents

Post a list for residents to sign up and volunteer

Setup a digital sign up sheet and send out the link to volunteers

Open your window and say hi to others stuck at home

Why knowing your neighbors impacts happiness

#2 We are in this together!

Now more than ever - think 'we' not 'me'

Share a building shopping list and offer to pick up some essentials for others

Grocery list and shopping guide for quarantine

Pick up urgent medications from the pharmacy for those who can't leave

What experts recommend
purchasing to be prepared

If you have leftover supplies, share it with your neighbors who are in need

How to be agood neighborand help while social distancing

Take a shift and fill in for a staff member that called in sick

Print a volunteer signup template to hang in common areas

#3 Be creative - this can still be fun :)

Humor, whimsy & lighthearted activities can pull us together with a smile

Order & distribute games, puzzles, art supplies, and activities for the kids

Browse an Amazon shopping list for fun games & crafts

Design and hang up positive and encouraging posters to cheer up the hallways and balconies

Print a cool artistically designed poster to make you smile

Play music from your open window - but be mindful of your neighbors who are remotely working

Take part in the global balcony singing movement

Organize a building-wide video yoga or workout session - Nah-amma-stay home!

We live on video chat all day, so why not do Yoga virtually too

#4 Care for the elderly

Our most vulnerable residents are relying on us for help - be proactive and lend a hand

Make sure they have all the right emergency phone numbers and contacts to call for help

Print out this helpful NYC Emergency reference sheet and share

Call your elder neighbors and chat - their family and friends can't visit

How New Yorkers are helping older residents

Offer to do the heavy lifting and go shopping for them

Why shopping for the elderly saves lives

Ask to walk their dog, water their plants, and get their mail and packages

Helping dogs during a quarantine

A close neighbor is better than a distant relative

Boards & management

New practices to stay connected


  • Plan to meet at regular weekly times to keep up with the latest situation
  • Meet remotely through video conference tools or telephone conference calls
  • Be transparent, inclusive and patient when calling for votes
  • Record your meetings and votes for review
  • Postpone non-essential discussions for later
  • More onvirtually conducting board business


Be Prepared

Share knowledge


  • Reaffirm who the main points of contact are and assign task committees to focus their efforts
  • Design and hang updated and clear signs so it's clear to everyone what the plan is and who to call
  • Send frequent Email newsletters and notices to keep everyone updated as the situation changes
  • Install a Virtual Doorman and live streaming web cameras to keep an eye on things remotely

Board members have an opportunity
to lead their buildings and guide their community

new policies & guidelines

How new laws defining Essential Work affect your building and what your board should do


  • ✓ Cleaning & disinfecting
  • ✓ Trash & recycling
  • ✓ Mail & shipping
  • ✓ Utilities infrastructure
  • ✓ Maintaining individual residences
  • More on Essential Business

Not Essential

  • ✘ Amenities upkeep
  • ✘ Landscaping
  • ✘ Painting and decor


More Guidlines


✓ Essential help like nurses & home aides

✘ Large gatherings and visitors like dog walkers & instructors


✓ Construction for safety and essential utilities infrastructure

✘ Alteration work to unoccupied units and common areas.

Executive Order to halt non-essential construction

Sales & new residents

✓ Moving in & out

✘ Open houses or in-person interviews

Best Practices for real estate agents

When this is all over, we'll learn something
valuable about working together as a community

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