New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that construction projects across the state must stop work in order to comply with efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carving out exceptions for hospital construction, transit infrastructure projects, utility repairs, affordable housing, and homeless shelters, the governor's latest executive order reiterates that construction sites that remain open must do so while “maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit."
The directive adds, “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."
In a press conference covering the contents of the order, Cuomo, as reported by Gothamist, stated, “We're closing now non-essential construction sites. Some construction is essential right? To keep the place running, but non-essential construction is going to be stopped."
Politico reports that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated the plan during a morning radio address, stating, “Anything that is not directly part of the essential work of fighting coronavirus and the essential work of keeping the city running and the state running, and any construction that is not about the public good, is going to end."
Responding to earlier criticism that luxury development construction was still taking place in the city over recent weeks, de Blasio added, “So luxury condos will not be built until this is over, office buildings are not going to be built.” Construction is among one of the most dangerous professions in the city, local and state officials have received a great deal of criticism in recent days over construction work continuing despite the difficulty involved in maintaining social distancing practices on the job site.
(Antonio Pacheco archinect.com)