In the first step of reopening the construction in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on June 5th that he would allow 32,000 construction sites to reopen.
“That means a lot of New Yorkers will come back to work but it has to be safe, it has to be healthy,” he told The New York Post during his Friday press briefing.
The reopened construction sites will be required to reorganize their worksites to better protect employees from potential exposure to COVID-19, including making hand sanitizer available and requiring workers to wear face coverings.
However, de Blasio added that the Buildings Department would hold off on issuing fines for noncompliance for a month to allow the worksites to voluntarily come into compliance.
“I don’t want to give a single fine,” he said. “I don’t want to take money from anyone.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down construction sites for projects that were deemed non-essential in March as officials struggled to slow the spread of the coronavirus across the state.
His decision came after reporters revealed that construction workers were still showing up to work sick, even as the pandemic grew worse.
June 5th also marked the first day since March 11th that New York City didn’t have a single COVID-19 death.