AIAMI Government Affairs Committee
2019-2020 Legislative Session - CoVid-19 Update

No doubt all of you have heard the Governor's Order yesterday to Stay Home and Stay Safe. That order states that all non-essential service providers are to stay home and shelter in place. So of course, the question is, “What is an essential service.”

The Governor's Order references the federal document ‘CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers 1-20-508c.’ Please feel free to read it for yourself. But my reading, and clearly others, felt it was vague when it came to construction; particularly private projects. And of course, I don’t have to explain to you the perils of walking away from a half-built structure. Yesterday we spent part of our day trying to ask the Governor's office for clarity; while maintaining appropriate social distancing.

A few minutes go we received this:

This is from a FAQ that was released this morning
Q: Is construction allowed under the executive order?

A: Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses' critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.

I am not sure it offers that much more clarity, but it at least acknowledges the concept that there are more things to be considered before a contractor walks away from a project. The conversation will continue but I wanted you to have this as soon as possible.

A good practice might then be that as you send people into the field who are doing something that is essential, give them a specific letter, on the company letterhead, that explains who they are, and what they are doing. In the event of a complaint that may prove very helpful to diffuse a problem.

Chuck Bultman, AIA
Co-Chair, AIAMI Government Affairs Committee

Jan Culbertson, FAIA
Co-Chair, AIAMI Government Affairs Committee