Home Builders Association of Virginia
Representing Virginia's Residential Construction and Land Development Industry
Today, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order 53, implementing several “long term action(s) to mitigate the impacts of this virus on our Commonwealth.” After reviewing the text of the Executive Order and the “Frequently Asked Questions” document released by the Administration today, as well as public comments that were made during the Governor’s announcement, it is the belief of the Home Builders Association of Virginia that the Executive Order will have a limited impact on the construction industry’s ability to continue operations.

Although this is positive news for our industry, HBAV cannot emphasize enough how important it is for our member companies to continually identify and implement measures to protect their workforce, job sites, and offices. This is NOT business as usual – for the foreseeable future, we must all be proactive in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of all Virginians by implementing social distancing measures and other recommendations of Governor Northam and state health officials.

As stated in today’s Executive Order:

"7. All businesses shall, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities while in operation"

"8. Although business operations offering professional rather than retail services may remain open, they should utilize teleworking as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such business must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and apply the relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities."

Executive Order 53 also contains provisions that designate “home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply” businesses (among others) as “essential retail business” that may remain open during their normal business hours.

The Governor was explicit in his press conference and his Executive Order that this public health emergency is changing on an hourly basis – and that his Administration and state health officials will continue to evaluate the situation and implement additional measures, if necessary.

Last week, the Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV) released a 10-point plan for job site safety that we encourage all members to implement and post on job sites. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is in the process of compiling information from OSHA regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 outbreak. NAHB, HBAV, and our local associations will distribute additional resources as they become available. Again, we urge all members to identify and implement measures to educate your employees about COVID-19 and workplace safety, limit unnecessary person-to-person contact, and other proven methods to decrease the risk of transmission and community spread.

HBAV will be hosting a Tele-Town Hall on Wednesday, March 25th at 12 PM to review the Governor’s Executive Order, workplace safety resources, and other topics related to COVID-19’s impact on the residential land development and construction industry.   P le ase click here to register for the March 25th Tele-Town Hall.

An overview of the Governor’s Executive Order 53 can be found below. Please feel free to contact HBAV if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to share how your company is helping mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your workplace or community. 
Overview of Governor Northam's Executive Order

Public Gatherings

All gatherings of more than 10 people are banned statewide, beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. This does not include gatherings that involve the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

K-12 Schools

All schools will remain closed through the end of this academic year. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will issue guidance to help divisions execute plans to continue instruction, while ensuring students are served equitably, regardless of income level, access to technology, English learner status, or special needs. This includes options for additional instruction through summer programming, integrating instruction into coursework next year, and allowing students to make up content. VDOE will submit a waiver to the federal government to lift end-of-year testing requirements and is exploring options to waive state mandated tests.

Recreation and Entertainment Businesses

The following recreation and entertainment businesses are considered non-essential and must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

  •  Theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers;
  • Fitness centers, gymnasiums, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities;
  • Beauty salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are performed that would not allow compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain six feet apart;
  • Racetracks and historic horse racing facilities;
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, indoor shooting ranges, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement.
 
Dining and On-Site Alcohol Establishments

All dining and congregation areas in the following establishments must close to the public beginning at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. These establishments may continue to offer delivery and/or takeout services.

Establishments include:

  • Restaurants;
  • Dining establishments;
  • Food courts;
  • Farmers markets;
  • Breweries;
  • Microbreweries;
  • Distilleries;
  • Wineries; and
  • Tasting rooms.

Retail Businesses:

The following retail businesses are considered essential and may remain open during normal business hours:

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers that sell food and beverage products or pharmacy products, including dollar stores, and department stores with grocery or pharmacy operations;
  • Medical, laboratory, and vision supply retailers;
  • Electronic retailers that sell or service cell phones, computers, tablets, and other communications technology;
  • Automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities;
  • Home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers;
  • Lawn and garden equipment retailers;
  • Beer, wine, and liquor stores;
  • Retail functions of gas stations and convenience stores;
  • Retail located within healthcare facilities;
  • Banks and other financial institutions with retail functions;
  • Pet stores and feed stores;
  • Printing and office supply stores; and
  • Laundromats and dry cleaners.
 
All essential retail establishments must, to the extent possible, adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing practices on common surfaces, and other appropriate workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. 

Any brick-and-mortar retail business not listed above must limit all in-person shopping to no more than 10 patrons per establishment, adhere to social distancing recommendations, sanitize common surfaces, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities. If any such business cannot adhere to the 10-patron limit with proper social distancing requirements, it must close.

Additional Guidance

Professional businesses not listed above must utilize telework as much as possible. Where telework is not feasible, such businesses must adhere to social distancing recommendations, enhanced sanitizing procedures, and apply relevant workplace guidance from state and federal authorities, including CDC , OSHA , and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry .

Businesses in violation of this order may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Nothing in Executive Order 53 limits the provision of health care or medical services, access to essential services for low-income residents, such as food banks; the operations of the media; law enforcement agencies; or operations of government.

The full text of Executive Order 53 can be found here .

Additional guidance and a Frequently Asked Questions guide can be found here .

Watch the video of today’s announcement here .