Though almost everything is NYC is closed (non-essential, that is), construction sites have remained open.
Many New Yorkers were concerned because the industry involved groups of people in close contact, and also because working on building projects, etc., doesn’t seem like “essential” work to some people.
My uncle, who is a construction worker, tested positive for the coronavirus. With no stop-work order for construction in NYC, even though they are non-essential, it's inevitable that it will continue to spread to more workers and their families.
— Alexandra Licata (@alexandralicata) March 19, 2020
Which billionaire developers are paying you to include construction as an essential service ? https://t.co/R6LmegsKrX
— Al (@allen_nyc) March 20, 2020
— Linda Santangelo (@Lindasantangel1) March 26, 2020
Has the construction work for the luxury Apts stopped in NYC? People are forced to goto work. How is construction of luxury Apts an essential service? @NYGovCuomo @NYCMayor @nytimes @washingtonpost @Reuters @business @News18India @CNN @michealBloombe8 @USATODAY
— sg (@skgrb) March 26, 2020
In a press briefing last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that officials were close to make an official decision on construction projects in NYC, and now they have. In a TV interview, he had also said that there was a lot less likelihood of spreading the disease since the work is taking place outdoors.
The city and state had been working together to reach an agreement, which was finally set in stone. Governor Cuomo amended Executive Order 202.6 (the “PAUSE” order) as of Friday, March 27. It reads:
- All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
- Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
- For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.
You can also see the Department of Buildings information here.
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