Coronavirus (COVID-19): How Should Landlords Respond?
Rely on the People Who Know Science.
When coronavirus has been detected in a rental unit, the first and most compelling course of action is to call local public health officials to seek guidance in how to handle it.
Ask the infected tenant to voluntarily place themselves in a hospital facility, or at a bare minimum, self-isolate themselves. For someone who exhibited symptoms or has tested positive, the most prudent course of action is to admit themselves into a medical facility. We still do not yet know, though, if the health care system can accommodate an influx of patients. In last Sunday’s press conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says a serious concern for his state (and, by extension, California) is that the number of infected people can severely tax the resources of hospitals. Alternatively, a resident who tests positive for the virus can ideally self-isolate themselves in the rental unit. Asking someone to sever ties with the rest of the world, of course, is a request that is hard to swallow, but hopefully heeded. Tenants who are infected should be told that in the interest of transparency, other residents will be notified that someone in the building has tested positive; however, the name of the inflicted tenant shall remain anonymous.