Construction continues around much of the country despite other industries coming to a screeching halt. It makes sense: We are still in dire need of affordable housing despite the coronavirus. But in New York City, the New York Times reports that construction on luxury condos can continue, putting workers at risk as some sites do not enforce social distancing. Some argue that luxury construction is nonessential—no one needs a luxury condo like they do groceries or a basic place to live. Local governments are now grappling with the question of what is and is not essential construction, and if they want to make that determination.
On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where, like most New Yorkers, residents are largely staying home as the city reels from the coronavirus pandemic, construction workers building a luxury condominium tower are being forced to continue working in confined and often unsanitary conditions.
In the heart of Manhattan, work continues on an upscale Hard Rock Hotel, even after word spread that up to four workers had tested positive for the virus, prompting some laborers to storm off the site.
In Brooklyn, workers at an apartment building who have had to reuse the same masks every day were ordered back on the job even after a fellow worker had contracted the virus.