BOMA International’s Coronavirus Resource Center
As global concern over the novel coronavirus (now known as COVID-19) increases, BOMA International is actively working to provide commercial real estate professionals with credible information on how to mitigate the potential health and business impacts. Based on information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BOMA International has released a series of guidance documents to help property professionals navigate this public health concern.
BOMA International will continue to monitor this issue as it develops, and resources will be posted regularly to this webpage (www.boma.org/coronavirus). Members should refer to the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) for up-to-the-minute updates and best practices.
Guidance Document #3
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tenant FAQ
Updated March 25, 2020
Guidance Document #2
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist
Updated March 4, 2020
Guidance Document #1
What You Need to Know: Novel Coronavirus
Updated February 25, 2020
Real Estate Operations Considerations
Crisis management professionals at full-service, global law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman have compiled 10 key takeaways that property owners and operators should consider as they plan to confront the coronavirus outbreak. Among other considerations, the article provides advice on assessing risk, as well as guidance for reviewing language in property policies and leases regarding liability management. The firm’s resource page also includes insights on relevant topics such as cybersecurity considerations while working remotely.
Embracing Social Distancing
The term “social distancing” has gained popularity as governments take increasing measures to control the spread of COVID-19. According to the CDC, social distancing—a strategy for reducing close contact between people—and temporary closures of settings where people gather (including shelter-in-place orders) are two of the most commonly used community nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). As response measures continue to evolve, property professionals should learn more about community NPIs to better understand these efforts and how they might affect building operations.
Business Resiliency Resources
As concerns regarding the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on businesses continue to grow, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has developed a resource page to aid the private sector as they navigate these challenges. The resources include a Guidance for Employers document that addresses things like how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work and a Resilience in a Box toolkit that covers basic best practices for business resilience.
Guidance for Employers and Tenants
For help preventing workplace exposure, evaluating risk and preparing for the possibility of a community outbreak, real estate companies and tenants should refer to the CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, an in-depth resource that formed the basis for BOMA International’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Checklist. Among other measures, employers are advised to encourage sick employees to stay home by providing flexible sick leave policies.
Handwashing: Something We Can All Do
One of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid spreading or contracting illness is by regularly washing your hands—but if you’re not scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (or two rounds of the “Happy Birthday” song), you’re not taking proper precautions. Make sure that you’re washing your hands the right way by checking out the CDC’s guide to handwashing, and hang these printable fact sheets around your properties and in your offices to help others learn proper handwashing technique.
Coping with Stress During the Outbreak
While hygiene and employee health are already top-of-mind for many employers, it’s also important to consider how your workplace is promoting mental health and emotional well-being. In addition to a wide range of other helpful advice, the WHO website offers guidance on how to cope with the stress of a global health crisis. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, talking to friends and family and relying on credible information sources to avoid undue panic are all effective strategies for stress management. Global employee assistance program provider ComPsych has also released a free webinar titled Coping with Uncertainty About the Coronavirus.
Guidance for Healthcare Facilities
The owners and operators of healthcare facilities and medical office buildings need to be aware of unique prevention methods specific to a healthcare environment. The CDC offers guidance and resources for these purposes. For example, healthcare real estate professionals should ensure their facilities are posting hygiene and etiquette signage in strategic places; allocating alternate waiting and care areas for patients with respiratory symptoms; and preparing their telecommunication systems for an increase in telemedicine.
BOMA International's COVID-19: Maintaining Building Operations and Preparing for Re-Occupancy Webinar (March 26, 2020)
ULI's Confronting COVID-19: Insights for Real Estate Leaders (March 24, 2020)
BOMA/Seattle-King County Coronavirus Webinar with Building Operations Focus (March 17, 2020)
BOMA Canada's Lessons from the Frontlines: Responses to Recent Coronavirus Cases in Commercial Office Buildings Webinar and Slides (March 16, 2020)
BOMA/Georgia Coronavirus Webinar in Partnership with APIC (March 12, 2020)
ASHRAE Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
ASHRAE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Resources
ULI's Confronting COVID-19: Social Distancing, Buildings and Lessons from Asia
CDC's Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication in and Infectious Disease Outbreak
CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
CCIM's Guidance for Rent Relief Requests and Other Commercial Real Estate Tenant/Landlord Issues
BOMA Canada's Pandemic Guide
OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
BOMA Canada's Coronavirus Resources
Steps for Proper Handwashing from Kimberly-Clark Professional Based on WHO Guidance