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General Manager's Update - 4-29-20
Another month of our new reality living with the COVID-19 coronavirus has come and gone. I know we all are ready for life to get back to what was normal, but as I write this, we still have a ways to go. Governor Brian Kemp’s April 2, 2020 shelter in place order expires on April 30, 2020, unless extended. However, his April 23, 2020 Executive Order, Reviving a Healthy Georgia, effective May 1 through May 13, contains detailed, industry-specific requirements for operations. Among these requirements, no business, establishment, corporation, nonprofit corporation, organization, county, or municipal government shall allow gatherings of more than 10 persons present at a single location if all persons cannot maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves.
In addition, the Order requires that all Georgia residents and visitors:
- Shall practice Social Distancing
- Are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings outside the home
- Shall practice sanitation in accordance with CDC guidelines
- Must continue to shelter in place if they meet the criteria for higher risk (see pages 4-5 of Executive Order)
To date under this national emergency, the Governor has issued 36 Executive Orders. We have been carefully monitoring and evaluating these orders to ensure we understand any impact on our operations and services to you. In addition, staff and I have participated in 17 CEMA remote meetings on the Chatham County case trajectory and operational status of stakeholders within Chatham County. On April 28, The Landings Association’s Board of Directors heard a COVID-19 briefing from CEMA during the monthly Board meeting. To watch the video, visit www.YouTube.com/landingsassociation. (Please note that due to technical difficulties while recording, you will find two videos labeled Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. The first video does not have sound, but we allowed it to remain posted for those who wish to follow along with the powerpoint presentation.)
On a positive and timely note, last year The Landings Association completed moving most of our software and programs to the cloud, allowing remote working for much of our staff. Though this effort was fueled in part by the hurricane evacuations we’ve experienced since 2016, it has come in handy for this unforeseen circumstance in which we now find ourselves.
The Finance Department is able to operate remotely, and those staff come into the office only as needed to process payments received in the mail. Communications and Community Outreach continue to provide updates via our Enews and various social media, including with the new Backyard Biology series.
Our front desk staff are assisting callers and emailers remotely. They pick up mail several times a week from the post office and process it for each department. We’ve updated some of our online forms to allow transactions that previously took place only in person.
Our Community Development team continues to remotely process permit applications and conduct inspections within the community, and the ARC continues its regular meetings through a virtual platform to review and approve permit applications.
The Association has been holding virtual committee and Board meetings for the past month, and we plan to continue that for the foreseeable future. In addition, until large gatherings are authorized, we have suspended reservations of our Association amenities until further notice.
Even during this time of rapid change, there has been no disruption to our Security and Public Works operations. The employees in these essential departments have willingly and graciously continued their dedicated work for our community. The Association has provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the employees and worked to enforce social distancing, for the health of our employees as well as our residents and guests. We also will cancel travel to work conferences that were scheduled this year to further ensure we don’t transmit COVID-19 to our community.
After briefly shutting down the operations of our Marinas, as they were considered non-essential, further clarifications and legal guidance allowed us to reopen operations, though with some changes, such as enforced distancing. We are working a phased plan at Landings Harbor for boat launching and continue to adjust services (such as fueling) as we monitor the effectiveness of our protocols. With good cooperation from our boaters, each week staff are able to launch more boats. Hours of operation and reservations for launches are being expanded weekly, based on the prior week’s results.
As a commitment to the health of our community, we will continue some of the changes we’ve implemented, such as continuing teleworking and social distancing requirements, at a minimum through May 13, 2020. We’re not sure when we can reopen Association amenities to reservations, as all guidelines continue to stress no gatherings of more than 10 people, and no close contact, which does not allow such cherished activities as children’s soccer on our athletic fields.
Finally, as I ponder this new normal, I can’t help but believe COVID-19 has accelerated changes that already were coming, including more remote assistance. While I miss the interaction with our neighbors, and I see the much increased activity on the paths and in our community, we have made many changes that should make us more effective and efficient in serving all in the future.
We are in this together.