Spring Covid Update: Moving Ahead With Reopening

Well, the Winter of Covid is finally in the rearview mirror and things are looking up in New York and much of the country. In early May, the Governor announced that most restrictions in the Tri-State region will be lifted on May 19; see details at bit.ly/May3update. With 50 percent of New Yorkers fully vaccinated, and 60 percent at least partially vaccinated, the test positivity rate has dropped to below 1 percent for the first time in months. And beaches and pools will be open by Memorial Day, with six-foot social distancing rules in effect.

Under the latest reopening guidelines, indoor social gathering limits increase to 250, and the outdoor gathering limit increases to 500. Restaurants will no longer have capacity limits, as long as tables remain six feet apart. Large-scale indoor venues increase to 30 percent capacity while indoor large-scale venues increase to 33 percent. Both require proof of vaccination or negative Covid test for entry.

“The tide is turning against COVID-19 in New York, and thanks to our increasing vaccination rates, as well as our successful, data-based regional approach, we’re able to take more steps to reopen our economy, help businesses and workers, and keep moving towards returning to normal,” Governor Cuomo said.

On May 17, the NYC subways will return to normal 24-hour schedules, while the midnight curfew will be lifted on outdoor dining and beverage service.

On April 29, Mayor de Blasio announced that bars, restaurants and tourist sites will have a “full reopening” on July 1. For the latest reopening regulations from the Mayors office, visit on.nyc.gov/2PLZYQc.

Flowers and trees are blooming in Central Park, and the construction boom is going strong.
Outdoor dining is here to stay in curbside and sidewalk street sheds, with outdoor music making a comeback.
Coney Island amusement park is open again. People are flocking to the Boardwalk, the Aquarium and the restaurants.

Our New Invoice Form Makes Paying Easier

You’ll love our new Invoice Form design. It has some great new features designed to make it easier for you to use:
• Easier to read
• In color!
• Clearly shows where to log in to sign up for e-billing and online payments through our portal: ellimanpm.reviewmyinvoice.com
• Allows us to add messages to residents, customized for each building and in different size fonts
• Postal bar codes under the mailing address speeds delivery
• Contact information is separated into boxes to make it easier to find and easier to read.
Register now for e-billing and online payments at:

DEPM New Bill Design

As Seen In…

The July/August issue of Habitat Magazine features our own CFO Harris Bornstein with some sage advice. He discusses how DEPM helps our managers respond quickly to their clients needs while balancing the demands of a 24/7 job.


Taking a Proactive Stance On Cooling Tower Safety

By Peter Lampen, Vice President + Architect, Douglas Elliman Property Management Peter Lampen2

Long before Mayor de Blasio signed legislation on August 18 aimed at preventing future outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease, the Executive Team at Douglas Elliman Property Management was working closely with our managers to get a clear message out to our property owners and boards: work on prevention NOW.

By taking a proactive stance on this frightening health issue, our intention was to get as much information as possible out to our boards and help them take the necessary steps to ensure that their building cooling towers were inspected, tested, treated, and in full compliance with any new City regulations that might ensue.

The unusual outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease that hit the South Bronx in July was the largest on record, killing 12 people and causing illness in 127. While the outbreak was short lived—the first report came on July 10 and no cases have been reported since August 3—the response by both the State and the City has been swift and decisive.

“Over 200 city workers, from NYPD, FDNY, DEP, the Department of Buildings, Department of Health, Health and Hospitals Corporation, and other agencies, have all been working on the ground in the South Bronx to locate each and every building that may have a cooling tower, to inspect, to disinfect within the boundaries of the impact zone,” announced Mayor de Blasio in a press conference on August 10.

Meanwhile, we at DEPM perceived immediately that this was likely to be of great concern to our boards and building residents, who might worry that outbreaks would spread to other areas of the City. In early August we alerted all our property managers, resident managers and supers informing them of the issue and providing some background information along with an immediate action plan and recommendations that they initiate testing and cleaning in their own buildings as soon as possible.

We also requested that they keep our Executive Team informed about which testing companies they were using, what pricing they were encountering and other details so we could provide a reliable vendor list to all our properties.

Swift Response to a Deadly Outbreak

The Mayor’s Emergency Order was issued on August 6 requiring testing to be done in all buildings with cooling towers by the imminent deadline of August 21, a task that caused a great deal of alarm and quickly became a challenging task, as buildings sought out the few companies that are knowledgeable enough to perform the work. Governor Cuomo followed suit, issuing statewide regulations for registration, testing, inspection and certification of all cooling towers.

“This summer’s outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease caused concern in communities across the state, and today we are moving forward to help prevent future outbreaks and keep our neighborhoods safe,” said the governor in August. He also announced the creation of a tip line at 888-769-7243.

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia that is typically spread through the mist from contaminated water, emitted into the surrounding air from the tower’s open-to-the-air water circulation process. In the recent cases, the source of the bacteria was determined to be several A/C cooling towers located on the roofs of buildings where the outbreak occurred. Symptoms include fever, coughing, headaches and muscle pain, and the illness is easily treated with antibiotics if it is caught early. Anyone showing symptoms should see a doctor immediately.

“The recent Legionnaires’ outbreak has been an unprecedented challenge requiring an unprecedented response,” said Mayor de Blasio at a press conference announcing the new legislation. “But a powerful response is just one piece of the equation. New Yorkers need to be protected from the disease through aggressive preventive action.”

New Legislation Requires Action

The new legislation, created as a joint effort between the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s office and the New York City Council, and signed on August 18, requires the regular inspection and cleaning of all cooling towers. Building owners and managers have 30 days to register their cooling towers, which the City has never tracked. Failure to register and/or follow the regulations can result in fines of up to $10,000 and misdemeanor charges of up to $25,000. Cooling towers can be registered online at on.nyc.gov/1K5WbSd.

DEPM President Jim O’Connor has spearheaded our efforts to contact our property managers and building staff as soon as this deadly outbreak was reported. “We began immediately researching strategies, formulating plans and preparing so our staff and our buildings would be ready when final legislation and regulations were issued,” he said. “Now that those government initiatives are in place, we are ready to move forward with full compliance for all the properties under our management. Our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of all residents of our buildings.”

Under new law, all cooling towers must be registered, inspected, tested and cleaned. Failure to do so can result in substantial fines.

Under new law, all cooling towers must be registered, inspected, tested and cleaned. Failure to do so can result in substantial fines.