Coronavirus in Austin: Construction crews back at job sites as work ban lifted

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Some recently sidelined construction workers in Austin are back on the job this week, after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order allowing commercial and residential building to continue amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, city of Austin and Travis County leaders had issued orders barring most construction from continuing during the COVID-19 outbreak, except in limited cases for what was deemed essential uses, such as public works and affordable housing projects.

The local bans were in contrast to other major Texas metro areas, which have allowed building to proceed. The prohibitions prompted pushback from builders and others in the real estate, development, general contracting and other sectors who said the local orders were confusing and unnecessary.

Late Thursday, Mayor Steve Adler issued new guidance, saying the city will no longer prohibit commercial or residential construction projects. However, the document outlined numerous employer requirements for all construction work. Those include social distancing guidelines and healthy work practice requirements, including pre-screening the “general health” of workers, limiting crew sizes and rotating shifts for sites with more than 10 workers on the job a time…Read More

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