07/30/2020 by Kathleen Panagis, Esq.
In response to increases in positive COVID-19 case counts in the Hampton Roads area, Governor Northam issued Executive Order 68 that places additional restrictions on certain cities and counties. The jurisdictions subject to this order are: Cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News, Poquoson, James City County, and York County (collectively, the “Eastern Region”).
Of importance to community associations located in the Eastern Region, Executive Order 68 prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 50 individuals. A “gathering” includes, but is not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, whether indoors or outdoors. This prohibition does not apply to the presence of more than 50 individuals performing functions of their employment nor does this restriction apply to gatherings of family members who live in the same residence. Executive Order 68 is in effect starting at 12 a.m. on July 31, 2020, until otherwise amended or rescinded by a subsequent executive order. A violation of Executive Order 68 is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
This limitation on public and private in-person gatherings may impact Eastern Region community associations in a few ways:
- Holding in-person board meetings;
- Holding in-person member meetings;
- Hosting an association-sponsored social gathering or event; and/or
- Authorizing association common areas, such as a clubhouse, to be used by residents for social gatherings.
Community associations located in the Eastern Region must ensure that any of the above scenarios (and any other association-related gatherings) limit the number of individuals in attendance.
As a reminder for board meetings, emergency legislation allows boards to meet virtually when the Governor has declared a state of emergency, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to certain requirements. For information on the emergency legislation, see our previous article on these amendments. Please note that this emergency legislation only applies to board meetings and not member meetings. For information on member meetings during the pandemic, see our previous post, article, and FAQs.
If you have any questions about how a common interest community board continues to conduct business during the pandemic, contact us. Vandeventer Black has a knowledgeable and experienced team of community association attorneys. We can provide guidance and help navigate these extraordinary times. Vandeventer Black has the technology and resources in place to provide responsive and effective legal services, even as we work from home.
 Executive Order 68 contains other restrictions that are not directly applicable to community associations located in the Eastern Region. Nonetheless, such additional restrictions can be viewed here.
About the Authors
- Kathleen W. Panagis is an Of Counsel attorney with Vandeventer Black LLP and a member of the firm’s Community Associations law team. With more than a decade of experience, she serves as general counsel to homeowner and condominium associations located in Virginia. Kathleen’s representation of community associations includes transactional work, corporate governance, and litigation support. Kathleen is an active member of SEVA-CAI and serves as a member of the chapter’s Communications Committee. For more information, please contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.