As a first step to reopening Wash. state, Gov. Inslee has announced that home construction will resume. As long as Wash. workers can follow the new social-distancing rules, home builders can continue work on projects. But if companies violate social distancing or other safety protocols, they risk being shut down again. New mandatory safety measures that builders must follow include wearing masks, gloves, and taking workers’ temperatures on site. If a homeowner is present, the social distancing requirements increase to 10 feet apart. Though it may take some extra planning to weave in the new protocol, this is a major win for builders who have been petitioning for the governor to reinstate construction activity.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday he was taking the "first step" in reopening the economy by letting home construction resume, providing workers can keep 6 feet apart.
Job sites that don't follow social-distancing would be shut down, Inslee said. At a video press conference with the governor, a union leader told construction workers to heed Inslee's warning or risk being shut down.
"It won't be his fault, it'll be ours," said Mark Riker, executive secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council.
Inslee's stay-at-home order, issued March 23, classified residential construction as a non-essential activity. Washington was one of the few states that halted construction to stop the spread of the coronavirus. For several weeks, builders, joined by some Republicans, have been calling for Inslee to reclassify home building and repairs as essential.