California’s Strictest-Yet Quarantine Order Does Not Apply to Some Construction

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Robison Wells

The massive stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom of California, which restricts 40 million people to their home except for emergency trips to the store, the gas station, or the doctor, does not appear to affect the construction industry. Although it was not mentioned specifically in the executive order issued March 19th, a notice on the government’s website lists construction as one of the sectors not affected.

“The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction,” it reads.

In other cities across the country, the industry is not as certain where they stand. In Boston, for instance, Mayor Martin Walsh’s announcement earlier this week put an ended to “all but essential construction work” in the city, and it has left contractors and developers scratching their heads as to what that mandate means.

While Boston and neighboring city Cambridge have been the only cities to specifically mention a halt to construction, other areas are wondering whether their construction policies are considered essential or not.

In San Francisco, where there has been a shelter-in-place order since Monday, housing construction has been permitted to continue while commercial has been brought to a stop.

This uncertainty leaves many workers and companies worried about what the next six-to-eight weeks holds, as they must make crucial decisions about staffing and layoffs.

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