COVID-19 Construction Impacts - Comparison of Select States

Click on any color-filled state for more details.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

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Disclaimer: This chart was last updated on May 18, 2020 and is intended to reflect a selection of states where Stoel Rives clients operate. Federal, state, and local laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic change on a daily basis. Please check with your jurisdiction before starting work on a new project or continuing work on an existing project. In addition, most jurisdictions have mandated that all construction personnel comply with social distancing and other health and safety requirements by incorporating some or all of the guidelines below.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub for coverage of the legal implications and business disruptions that COVID-19 is causing across industries.

 

COVID-19 Standards
Click here to view OSHA's COVID-19 requirements. There are no specific OSHA standards covering COVID-19; however, a number of OSHA requirements may apply to your projects to prevent occupational exposure to the virus. Construction personnel should be aware of OSHA’s requirements regarding personal protective equipment (29 CFR § 1910 Subpart 1) and general duty clauses (Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHA Act of 1970), which requires employers to furnish to each worker “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.” In addition, there are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans. Click here to see if your state has an OSHA-approved plan. Sometimes, these plans are stricter than OSHA’s standard guidelines, so it is important that you check to see if your project is located in a jurisdiction that has adopted an OSHA-approved plan.

CISA
On March 16, 2020, President Donald Trump issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) has developed an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory list. The list is intended to help authorities protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Versions 1.0 and 2.0 of the list are advisory in nature, and have been incorporated into many jurisdictions’ orders in response to COVID-19. If the state where your project is located has adopted one of CISA’s lists, be sure to check whether your work is defined as “essential” before continuing work on your project.

CISA 1.0
CISA 2.0




 

Alaska

Has Alaska issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 11, 2020, Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued the Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration, and on March 27, 2020, he issued Mandate 11 - Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order. 

On April 24, 2020, Health Mandate 016 - Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan went into effect.  Under this guidance, individuals are no longer required to stay at home, but must maintain social distancing and wear cloth face coverings at all gatherings that involve multiple households.

Source for Mandate 11

Source for Mandate 016

Has Alaska issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes. Gov. Dunleavy has issued several mandates.

Source

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities? No.
Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Originally, Alaska allowed construction activities in connection with public works and residential projects to proceed.

The Order carved out exceptions for certain construction-related activities. Specifically, work on “Critical Infrastructure” may proceed, including “businesses providing any services or performing any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of public works such as the Port of Alaska, public works construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil production, mining, logging, roads and highways, public transportation, and solid waste collection and removal”; “construction of housing”; and “internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).” In addition, “Essential Business” may carry on, including “[p]lumbers, electricians, exterminators, mechanics, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and critical infrastructure.”

Now, Alaska is implementing Phase I of its reopening plan, which allows many businesses, including construction companies that were not previously allowed to continue operations, to reopen subject to certain social distancing and safety guidelines. 

 

California

Has California issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 19, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued California Executive Order N-33-20. The Order will remain in effect until further notice. Gov. Newsom will coordinate with the governors of Oregon and Washington on a West Coast economic reopening.

As of May 18, 40 of California's 58 counties have received state approval to move more quickly through Stage 2.

Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo and Yuba. 

Source for Executive Order N-33-20

Source for approval of counties to move more quickly through Stage 2

Our Coverage: Tips for Owners and Contractors with Projects in the "Grey Area" of California's COVID-19 Orders (March 26, 2020)

Has California issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes. On March 22, 2020, the State Public Health Officer issued a list of designated “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” in accordance with California Executive Order N-33-20.

Source

See also the FAQ page

Check local jurisdictional orders for specific locality comments.

Our Coverage: California Modifies California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws to Deal with COVID-19 (May 7, 2020)

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

Yes.

Bay Area

Multiple counties in the Bay Area have issued orders that impact construction-related activities.  Updated Orders in many of these counties go into effect on May 4 and will continue in effect until May 31.

In general, the updated local orders:

  • Allow construction projects to continue if such projects are permitted under Executive Order N-33-20 and provided specified safety protocols for “Small Construction Projects” and “Large Construction Projects” are followed (safety protocols are provided in appendices to many of the orders and should be carefully reviewed).
  • Allow plumbers, electricians and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences and “Essential Businesses.”

There has been some easing of specific restrictions for a small number of “lower risk activities.”  Section 16 identifies both the business activities that are currently expanded, and an example related to construction.

Source

Los Angeles County
On April 10, 2020, Los Angeles County’s Health Officer issued an Order extending the “Safer at Home” shutdowns through May 15, 2020. This Order will extend past May 15 and, according to the county’s Public Health Director, it will extend for at least three months, but the specific length of the extension and degree to which its restrictions may be gradually eased over time has not yet been formally announced. This Order’s definition of “Essential Businesses” includes “[c]onstruction, which includes the operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects for construction of commercial, office and institutional buildings, residential and housing construction,” and its definition of “Essential Infrastructure” includes “public health operations, public works construction, airport operations, port operations, food supply, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil extraction and refining, road and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection, removal and processing, flood control and watershed protection, cemeteries, mortuaries, crematoriums, and internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, [and] local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), and manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential as part of the Essential Infrastructure supply chain, provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing requirements, to the extent practicable.”

On May 13, Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an Order requiring all persons to wear face coverings outside of their homes, and adjusted a few additional "Safer at Home" directives.

Source for "Safer at Home" order (April 10, 2020)

Source for face coverings order (May 13, 2020)

San Diego County
Effective May 10, San Diego County’s Health Officer issued an updated Order that in large part reinforces California’s existing Order. The Order also requires essential businesses that allow members of the public to enter a facility to prepare to post a “Social Distancing and Sanitation Protocol” on a form provided by the County. The Order will remain in effect until further notice.

Effective May 1, the San Diego County required face coverages in most public settings.  Businesses must require their employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers to wear a face covering at the workplace and when performing work off-site.

Source for Health Officer's order (April 10, 2020)

Source for face coverings order (May 1, 2020)

Miscellaneous

As of May 13, 2020, Amador, Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Tuolumne, Yuba, Sutter, and Shasta have been certified as meeting the state’s conditions for additional businesses to reopen, most of which have not had a single virus death and were the first to win state permission to reopen their economies more quickly.  An additional 31 counties are lobbying Gov. Newsom as well.

Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Under the statewide Order, only businesses needed to maintain continuity of operations of identified federal critical infrastructure sectors may continue to operate. Construction is not identified as a separate “critical infrastructure sector,” but many construction projects fall under the umbrellas of other sectors, such as “critical manufacturing,” “energy,” “healthcare,” and “commercial facilities.”  Many municipalities have issued orders that supplement, and sometimes further restrict, construction-related activities that may be permitted under the statewide Order.  It is imperative that you check with local municipalities regarding the status of these orders before starting or continuing construction of any residential projects.   

 

Idaho

Has Idaho issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 25, 2020, Gov. Brad Little issued a Proclamation in response to COVID-19. On May 16, 2020, Gov. Little issued an Order initiating Idaho’s Phase II reopening plan, which allows businesses and governmental agencies to continue to resume operations at physical locations subject to certain social distancing and safety guidelines. On May 28, 2020, Gov. Little announced that Idaho met the criteria to advance to Stage 3 of reopening.

Visit Rebound.Idaho.Gov to track Idaho's progress in reopening.

Source for Stage 3 Announcement on May 28

Source for Stage 2 Announcement on May 16

Has Idaho issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes. See the FAQ page with updates.

Previously, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare issued an Order dated March 25, 2020 that summarizes the essential activities that may proceed during the statewide shutdown. The Order allows for the continuance of activities that support “Essential Infrastructure,” which includes “public works construction, commercial construction … construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness) and the transfer and selling thereof….”

Source

Separately, Idaho recently amended its laws to provide civil immunity for architects, engineers, and contractors during disasters.  The amended law goes into effect on July 1, 2020. 

Source

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

Yes.

City of Boise
Boise’s Public Health Emergency Order 20-03 is effective until April 30, 2020. The Order allows for the continuance of “essential infrastructure services, such as public works construction, commercial and residential construction, airport operations, water, wastewater, solid waste, gas, electricity, telecommunication systems, internet, and other utility services.”

Source

Click here for more information about Boise’s Public Health Emergency Order.

Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Under the Phase II plan, Idaho is allowing all construction projects to proceed, so log as they are in compliance with all social distancing and COVID-19 requirements. However, gatherings of more than 10 people, both public and private, should be avoided and non-essential travel should be avoided or minimized.  

 

Minnesota

Has Minnesota issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 28, 2020, Gov. Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home except for activity necessary to relocate to ensure safety; seek health and safety services or supplies; engage in outdoor activities; obtain groceries or other foods, gasoline, and supplies necessary to work from home; engage in essential intrastate and interstate travel; and take care of or transfer others.

On April 8, 2020, this stay-at-home order was extended until May 3, 2020 when Gov. Walz signed Emergency Executive Order 20-33, which also provided further clarification of exemptions for workers in critical sectors. 

On April 23, 2020, Gov. Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-40 allowing certain non-critical sector workers in offices, industrial, and manufacturing businesses who were non-customer facing to return to work under the condition that employers create plans for and provide a safe work environment.

On April 30, 2020, On April 30, 2020 Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-48, which technically rescinded Executive Orders 20-33, 20-38, 20-40, and 20-47 as of May 3, 2020, at which time Executive Order 20-48 went into effect.  Notwithstanding the rescission of these prior orders, the Order effectively restates the substance of Executive Orders 20-33, 20-38, 20-40, and 20-47 but with some additional clarifications and expansion of Non-Critical Exempt Businesses.  The Order also extended the stay at home requirements through May 17, 2020.

On May 13, 2020, Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-53 extending Minnesota’s state of emergency until June 12, 2020.   In addition, Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-56, which provides further steps towards reopening. Order 20-56 also directs the Commissioners of Health, Employment and Economic Development, and Labor and Industry to develop a set of guidelines to permit certain businesses to resume business on June 1, 2020.

Executive Order 20-56 (May 13, 2020)
Executive Order 20-40 (April 24, 2020)
Emergency Executive Order 20-33 (April 8, 2020)
Emergency Executive Order 20-20 (March 28, 2020)

Our Coverage: 

Has Minnesota issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

No. Executive Order 20-33 explains Gov. Walz’s reasoning for the stay-at-home order, as well as definitions of each critical sector.

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

No, but see:

Minneapolis

Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Minnesota’s Order contained several exemptions for construction-related activities, including public works workers listed in the CISA Guidance, workers supporting “building code enforcement necessary to maintain the public safety and health of essential infrastructure,” skilled trades that are “necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of homes and residences and the Critical Sectors listed in the Executive Order,” as well as “[w]orkers supporting construction of all kind[s]” and “workers in the skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers, HVAC and elevator technicians.”

 

Nevada

Has Nevada issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 31, 2020, Gov. Steve Sisolak issued Directive 010 in response to COVID-19. In April 2020, Nevada joined Washington, Oregon, California, and Colorado in the “western states pact.” On May 8, 2020, additional rules for re-opening were issued, applicable to both essential and non-essential businesses, including that all employers must provide face coverings for employees serving and interacting with the public.  Additionally, a Job Hazard Analysis is required among other measures where 6 feet of social distancing is infeasible or impracticable.  

On May 8, additional rules for re-opening were issued, applicable to both essential and non-essential businesses, including that all employers must provide face coverings for employees serving / interacting with the public.  Additionally a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is required among other measures where 6 feet of social distancing is infeasible/impractical.

Source for Emergency Directive 010 (March 31, 2020)

Source for additional rules for re-opening (May 8, 2020)

Has Nevada issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes. The Directive references the March 20, 2020 regulation defining essential and nonessential businesses, which designates “construction” and “housing construction” as Essential Infrastructure Operations.

Source

Click here for general Business and Industry employment and workplace requirements.

See also April 20, 2020 alterations regarding NVOSHA requirements here.

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

No, but see:

Las Vegas
Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Under the Directive and updated guidelines, construction, mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure sector labor force may continue operations, but shall maintain strict social distancing practices. Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry has issued an OSHA memo dated March 18, 2020 that prescribes safety standards for the mining, construction, and manufacturing industries.

Source

YouTube

 

Oregon

Has Oregon issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes. On March 23, 2020, Gov. Kate Brown issued Oregon Executive Order No. 20-12. On May 1, 2020, Gov. Brown signed Executive Order 20-24 which extended the shutdown through July 6, 2020. Gov. Brown will coordinate with the governors of California and Washington on a West Coast economic reopening.

Source for Executive Order 20-12

Source for Executive Order 20-24

Our Coverage: Guidance for Owners and Contractors with Construction Projects in Oregon in Light of the Statewide "Stay Home" Order (March 27, 2020)

Has Oregon issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes. On March 27, 2020, Gov. Brown issued additional guidance related to the Order.

Source

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities? No.
Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Unlike with most states, Oregon’s Order prohibits certain activities. Presumably, this means that if a category of business is not identified, then it is not subject to the prohibition. Because “construction” is not specifically identified, it is reasonable to assume that all construction activities may continue for the time being.

In later remarks, Elizabeth Merah, Gov. Brown’s spokeswoman, stated: "Construction work can continue as long as the business designates an employee or officer to establish, implement and enforce social distancing policies. The Oregon Health Authority has the authority to determine if additional business closures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. Right now, specifically shutting down construction is not one of their recommendations."

As the majority of Oregon counties prepare to implement Phase 1 of Oregon’s reopening plan, the Oregon Health Authority has provided General Guidance (here) for Employers on COVID-19. This guidance  includes general considerations related to health and safety in the workplace.

 

Utah

Has Utah issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes.  On March 27, 2020, Gov. Gary Herbert issued his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Directive in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Later, on April 29, 2020, Gov. Herbert issued a new Executive Order moving Utah’s Public Health Risk Status from Red (High Risk) to Orange (Moderate Risk) protocols and rescinding the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” Directive.  The new Order was effective on May 1, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 15, 2020. 

Source

Click here to see Utah's new safety guidelines.

Our Coverage: Construction Work Under COVID-19 Orders in Utah (April 2, 2020)

Has Utah issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes.  Utah has issued two sets of guidelines to help direct the reopening of construction-related activities during the Orange (Moderate Risk) time period.  Click here to access the new guidelines:

Guidelines for Construction, General Contractors & Manufacturing

Recommendations for Protecting High-Risk Individuals in the Workplace

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

Yes.

Salt Lake County
On May 1, 2020, Salt Lake County allowed many businesses to reopen, subject to certain social distancing and safety guidelines.  For more information, click here.

Click here to see other local directives.

Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Utah’s new “Moderate Risk” Phased Guidelines allow projects to proceed if employers:

  • Follow all employer safety guidelines;
  • Ensure nobody with symptoms enters a job site;
  • Provide additional hand washing stations and wash or sanitize hands before and after leaving the site;
  • Wear face coverings and gloves;
  • Clean and disinfect project sites, including high-touch surfaces and tools frequently; and
  • Share estimates, invoices, and other documentation electronically.

 

Washington

Has Washington issued an Executive Order in response to COVID-19?

Yes.   On March 23, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee issued Washington Proclamation No. 20-25.  On April 29, Gov. Inslee announced Phase I of Washington’s plan to restart certain construction-related activities.  On May 15, Gov. Inslee announced Phase II of Washington’s plan to resume construction. On May 1, 2020, Gov. Inslee extended the Proclamation to May 31, 2020.  Gov. Inslee will coordinate with the governors of California and Oregon on a West Coast economic reopening.  

Source for Proclamation No. 20-25

Source for Phase II Construction Memo

Has Washington issued any additional materials intepreting the Executive Order?

Yes.  On March 25, 2020, Gov. Inslee issued a Construction Guidance Memorandum. 

Source

On April 29, 2020, Gov. Inslee issued an addendum to Proclamation 20-25, which outlined Washington’s Construction Restart Plan. 

Source 

The addendum allows the following construction-related activities:

  • Construction previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and Gov. Inslee’s March 25, 2020 memo on construction; and
  • Construction not previously authorized under Proclamation 20-25 and the March 25, 2020 memo. 

Notably, parties working on construction projects should aim to comply with all applicable safety guidelines, including those issued by the Washington Department of Labor & Industries.

Source

Have any major municipalities issued additional materials restricting construction-related activities?

Yes.  Some smaller counties are experiencing very low COVID-19 activity.  Gov. Inslee’s Safe Start approach allows counties with a population of less than 75,000 to apply to the Department of Health with a plan to reopen additional sectors of public life more quickly if they meet certain eligibility requirements.  So far, these counties include Columbia, Garfield, Lincoln, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, and Wahkiakum.  Kittitas County is still under review.  Grays Harbor and Jefferson Counties are eligible but have not applied.

Source

Comments regarding the impacts on construction

Washington recently rolled out its Phase II Resuming Construction Plan. Under the plan, all limitations on construction activity found in Proclamation 20-25 and Gov. Inslee’s March 25 and April 29, 2020 memoranda will be lifted for any projects sited in a Phase II county provided the construction activity follows the Phase II- Construction COVID-19 Requirements. Click here to review Washington’s Phase II Construction COVID-19 Job Site Requirements.

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