In most parts of the country, the construction industry remains largely open, with many reports coming in of work sites continuing to operate, even as many other businesses are shutting down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
This may change soon, however. Last week, Boston’s mayor ordered all construction projects to be stopped, and on Saturday, Philadelphia city officials declared a stop to all non-essential construction.
“All construction sites must halt work and be secured by March 29,” officials said in a briefing. Waivers will be available for essential work, such as the construction of hospitals, routine maintenance and emergency repair systems, they noted.
Among construction companies and contractors who are continuing current jobs in an effort to fulfill clients’ construction needs, many are implementing additional precautions to maintain workers’ well-being, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At Atlanta-based Choate Construction, with clients running the gamut from active adult and independent living senior housing projects to skilled nursing and rehab facilities, the focus has been on site-related illness prevention. Job sites are undergoing enhanced cleaning and sanitization, and workers have undergone hygiene education and reinforcement.
Workers are practicing social distancing by maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between themselves on job sites, and employees who are sick or who have been exposed to COVID-19 are required to stay home.
Similar measures are being put in place at the Korte Company, which has senior living construction projects in progress throughout the country.
“Although the impacts of the COVID-19 virus on our industry cannot yet be fully determined, we are fully committed to working closely with our clients and partners to safely minimize any impact on our projects,” Choate said in a statement.