Washington lifts moratorium on construction projects

(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)

New guidelines put in place for safety of workers during pandemic…

Washington Governor Jay Inslee and construction industry officials announced on April 24 that the state would be lifting its moratorium on construction projects, which has been a point of contention during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residential, commercial and transportation projects can now resume almost immediately.

There are some new rules, including keeping a safe distance on the job and wearing personal protective equipment, along with higher sanitation standards. If a worker develops COVID-19 symptoms they would be sent home.

“We are extremely committed to all of the elements of this plan,” Greg Lane of the Building Association of Washington said in a Spokesman Review article “We all agreed that safety was the highest priority.”

Private construction was part of the state’s non-essential work designation in a response to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This move was criticized as public works projects were allowed to continue.

According to KOMO news, industry officials say they are losing $23 million every day as a result of the construction industry shutdown, which translates to $690 million in lost wages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused 12,753 confirmed cases and over 700 deaths.