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COVID-19 Updates

AGC San Diego will update this page with latest news. Click here for a Resource list.

Update Quick Links: March 30 #2 | March 30 | March 23 | March 21 | March 20 #2 | March 20 | March 19 | March 16 | March 13

March 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update 2

Construction Industry United by Importance of COVID-19 Safety
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

President Trump announced yesterday that the federal social distancing guidelines, aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19, will be extended through the end of April. This new timeline indicates that our state and nation is in this crisis for the long-haul. California Governor Gavin Newsom, despite his differences with the Trump Administration, has worked well with the federal government to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak while keeping critical industry sectors in operation - including construction. While there have been bumps in the road during the COVID-19 response, the recent bi-partisan cooperation at the Federal, State, and local level is commendable and necessary in this time of crisis.

Now, more than ever, it is important for unity across the construction industry, with management, labor, and public agencies continuing to enhance their safety practices to protect workers and the general public. To that end, AGC has joined with fourteen San Diego area Contractors Associations and Labor Unions to implement COVID-19 enhanced safety practices in construction. While many contractors have already put these practices into use, their adoption is most effective when universal. With a united front, the construction industry will do its part to safely deliver the infrastructure deemed essential by the Federal and State Governments.

Read full letter and safety practices here: COVID-19 Safety Measures for Construction

 

AGC San Diego Working Remotely
AGC offices will remain closed through April 30th, in accordance with new shelter-in place guidelines. All in-person classes, events, and meetings have been cancelled or moved online. The AGC Chapter and Apprenticeship offices will continue to serve our members with the resources they need to continue field operations. While most AGC staff is working remotely, there will be staff in the building to handle essential paperwork following shelter-in-place guidelines. However, the Ferris Square headquarters remains closed to walk in traffic. Please continue to call or email to your regular AGC email contacts.

 

COVID-19 Updates:
Please share the MMQB sign-up page with anyone interested in receiving San Diego construction industry specific COVID-19 resources.


March 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Update

1 PM Webinar Today - Latest Economic, Legislative & Regulatory COVID-19 Related Impacts on Construction
AGC of America will be conducting a free AGC Member webinar today, March 30th at 1 PM PDT (4 PM EDT), that will provide an analysis of the recently passed coronavirus relief legislation and what it means for construction firms.

AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr and Vice President of Government Affairs Jimmy Christianson will address how firms can take advantage of the tax credits and lending programs outlined in the legislation. They will also cover the new paid sick and family & medical leave mandates and how those apply to construction firms. In addition, AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson will provide his latest analysis of economic conditions and the impacts of the pandemic on the industry. REGISTER HERE


NEW! Updated AGC CARES Act Analysis

Based on member inquiries, AGC updated the CARES Act analysis as it applies to small business eligibility for the new Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. For COVID-19 Updates from AGC of America, click here.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today added to its published guidance to provide information to employers about meeting their requirements to offer emergency paid sick leave and paid family medical leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

Specifically, WHD added to its original Questions and Answers (link is external) document. The new Q&A's (see questions 15-37) address critical issues, such as recordkeeping, documentation requirements, when an employee is unable to telework, intermittent leave, worksite closures, furloughs, UI interaction, health coverage requirements, and multiemployer collective bargaining agreement implications.


Proof of Essential Worker Exemption

Federal and State orders have recognized working construction as critical or essential to the continued critical infrastructure viability, and therefore have exempt construction workers from the mobility and other restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Essential business employees should be permitted to travel to and from work without violating the new "Stay Home" Executive Order N-33-20 issued by Governor Newsom. AGC has developed an Exempt Worker Verification Form (a Word file download) for all employees that verifies exempt workers accommodating their work travel.

Please keep this in your vehicle, along with your business card or badge. It is intended to serve as guidance only, and does not guarantee compliance with law enforcement or local ordinances.

 

Register Now for Live Instructor Led Web-Based Training Classes for March and April by AGC San Diego
The AGC San Diego Chapter is now offering web-based training featuring a live instructor and interactive format starting tomorrow.

Online training will be available for the following classes:
Microsoft Project Workshop – March 31
Project Management Boot Camp – April 1
Business Writing and Construction Correspondence – April 2 and 29
Construction Scheduling for Construction Professionals – April 7 and 15
Construction Estimating Basics – April 8 and 22
Better Meetings By Tomorrow – April 14

These programs that were normally 7-hours in length have been condensed to a 4-hour web based online training program. The content is the same, some of it will be condensed but you will still be receiving quality training that you always expect from AGC San Diego. These are not recorded trainings, but they are LIVE instructor-led and interactive. In addition to presenting course material and content, our online training will allow students the opportunity for live interactions and real-time feedback with your instructor.

For more information and to register, click here.


March 23, 2020 - Monday Morning Quarterback - view online

Construction Industry Cautiously Back to Work
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

The last two weeks have been a roller-coaster ride of news, government action and impacts to the construction industry in response to COVID-19. First, we saw the closure of major events, then sports leagues, and schools. Last week came limits to gatherings, local "shelter-in-place" orders, followed by a statewide order that was later amended to exempt construction as essential.

With that news, contractors are back to work today, but questions remain. Our goal at AGC is to get the most up-to-date information to you, after it is verified and understood. You may see more emails coming from AGC - hopefully fewer than last week, as we all settle into the reality of the Coronavirus crisis. Please subscribe anyone who would benefit from reading these updates to the MMQB list.

A few quick updates for this morning...

 

AGC Staff Working Remotely
AGC staff is working remotely for the time being, and the AGC headquarters building remains closed. A limited number of staff will be in the office regularly to maintain business functions such as paying bills and IT support for remote workers. While it is unclear if AGC functions qualify as essential under the new state health order, we will continue to follow guidance that all employees that CAN work from home, be able to do so.

Our goal is to continue serving members seamlessly, and calls or emails to the office should be returned as if we were all sitting happily down at Ferris Square. If we fall short of that goal, please feel free to email your feedback to esprecco@agcsd.org so we can improve upon our remote operationals.

 

Construction Exempted Statewide - Local Rules May Apply
Governor Newsom last week revised the statewide shelter in place order to exempt construction. https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/ While the rules have been clarified, local rules could apply. For more clarity on this front, Finch, Thornton & Baird, LLP has provided an analysis of the "shelter in place" order and other impacts to the industry.


Read Monday Morning Quarterback online


March 21, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates

UPDATE: Newsom Administration Issues Full List of Essential Workers Clearly Exempting Construction from Shelter-In-Place Order
Late last night, Governor Newsom's office issued an update to the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list on the State of California COVID-19 resource page.

The list of Essential Workers was published to add clarity to those exempted from California’s Shelter-in Place Order. While specific areas of construction are called out throughout the 14-page document, the most direct language can be found on page 11:

"Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)."

While construction workers are exempted from the statewide order, local ordinances may apply. AGC will continue to provide updates as these orders change.

Contractors are encouraged to continue to enhance health and safety measures and social distancing, while providing workers with additional flexibility to stay home due to illness, to care for family members or protect vulnerable populations from COVID-19. Any reduction in availability of workforce due to COVID-19 should be thoroughly documented.

We will continue to update you with the latest news and resources as they happen. For more information, contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.

 

Navigating the Outbreak: An Eight-Part Webinar Series Starts Next Week
AGC of America is launching an eight-part webinar series exploring many aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the impacts on the construction industry.

"Navigating the Outbreak: An Eight-Part Webinar Series on the Factors that Construction Companies Need to Consider, as They Strive for Business Continuity"

The webinar will be held daily from Monday, March 23 through Wednesday, April 1 with a start time of 2:00 PM EDT. Free to AGC members, click here to view webinar topics and register.


March 20, 2020 - Coronavirus Update 2

Governor Newsom Amends Shelter-In-Place Order to Exempt Construction as Essential
Late last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the shelter-in-place order from earlier in the evening to specifically exempt construction activities. Prior to the revision, the shelter-in-place order exempted only the construction sectors identified in the Trump Administration’s list of federal Critical Infrastructure Sectors.

The original signed order includes notice that the Governor may “designate additional sectors as critical in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.”

At 10:37 the Governor used that authority to add “critical government services, schools, and construction, including housing construction” to the list of sectors exempted from the shelter-in-place order. Governor Newsom has since added “childcare” to the exempted sectors as noted on California’s official website dedicated to California’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/

AGC will continue to seek information from the state of California on how to best implement this new directive and what impact, if any, it will have on local measures.

While construction is currently allowed to continue under the State order, Contractors and Owners must be making every effort to maintain social distancing, provide proper safety equipment, additional wash stations and keep sick workers and non-essential personnel at home.

For more information, contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.


County’s Private Development Construction Inspection Continues

We have been assured by San Diego County staff that private development construction inspections will continue. There was some initial internal miscommunication, which led to at least one customer being informed that inspections may be discontinued temporarily. The issue has been corrected, and they are making efforts to ensure that all construction customers know that they will continue this essential function.

 

Tax Day Moved from April 15 to July 15
Good News! The Trump administration has announced that most individuals and businesses will be allowed to delay paying their federal tax bills for 90 days as part of an emergency relief plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for an article about what it means for tax filers.

Also, the California State Income Tax deadline has been extended until July 15.


San Diego County Air Pollution Control District Offices are Closed to Public Access
Effective today, the offices of the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District are closed to public access. However, they remain working behind the scenes and are prepared to continue to serve you effectively. They are reachable in several other ways during the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, will do their best to serve you during this time of an emergency.

For general inquiries call 858-586-2600, or go to www.sdapcd.org
FAX #s Main Office: 858-586-2601; Compliance Division: 858-586-2651

Click to read full email.


Call to Action – Tell Congress to Support the Construction Industry!
The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on construction businesses necessary for building and maintaining critical infrastructure. Congress needs to understand the severity of this issue to the construction industry, and we are asking you to write to them for immediate action to:

1. Enact policies and programs that ensure all construction employers’ cash flows so they can pay workers and maintain their essential operations;
2. Ensure public construction markets have immediate-term access to additional federal funds to build critical infrastructure; and
3. Lay the foundation for the long-term recovery of the industry and its markets through enacting multi-year public infrastructure investments.

Click here to Take Action and simply submit the pre-written message as is to your members of Congress or customize it with personal information on how this issue impacts you and your employer.


March 20, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

Governor Newsom Amends Shelter-In-Place Order to Exempt Construction as Essential

Late last night, California Governor Gavin Newsom amended the shelter-in-place order from earlier in the evening to specifically exempt construction activities. Prior to the revision, the shelter-in-place order exempted only the construction sectors identified in the Trump Administration’s list of federal Critical Infrastructure Sectors.

With this change, needed infrastructure across California will be delivered while taking measures to protect workers and the general public from the spread of Coronavirus. AGC San Diego will continue to work with State and Local governments to implement updated protocols, so that contractors can safely complete these essential projects.

For more information contact Eddie Sprecco at esprecco@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 750-4266 or Brad Barnum at bbarnum@agcsd.org or by phone at (858) 731-8158.


March 19, 2020 - Coronavirus Update

County of San Diego Clarifies Construction Rules
The County of San Diego sent out a memo today to Public Works contractors, advising them to continue projects as planned, while complying with a County Health Order that restricts gatherings of 10 or more. Click here for County Health Order.

County staff has also confirmed to AGC that the latest Health Order in response to Coronavirus allows public and private projects to continue as long as “social distancing” is maintained – keeping six(6) feet of separation between workers, among other safety measures. The ban on gatherings of ten(10) or more does not apply to the entire jobsite, but to jobsite safety meetings, break areas, etc. These gatherings of any size should be avoided, if possible, and social distancing maintained on jobsites, in trailers and in the office. County staff also reiterated that workers should be reminded to stay home if sick.

AGC is aware that some local owners have mandated contractors to track and report workers sent home from jobsites due to illness of any severity in an effort to stop the spread of Coronavirus as well as address the impact to projects. Contractors are encouraged to adopt this practice, within state and federal law, even if not yet mandated by owners.

AGC has asked the County to provide construction specific definitions in any future health orders to avoid any remaining ambiguity for contractors and owners. Consult with legal counsel on how to best implement these requirements.


Sheppard Mullin Provides Update to Employers on H.R. 6201 the “Families First Coronavirus Act”
On March 18, 2020, shortly after it was passed in the Senate by a vote of 90-8, President Trump signed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “Act”) into law.

There are two paid leave provisions of the Act that employers with fewer than 500 employees should be aware of: (1) the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act; and (2) the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. The Act also provides, among other things, $1 billion in grants to states for emergency unemployment insurance and refundable tax credits for employers providing paid emergency sick leave or paid FMLA. Further, for those who have been closely following the trajectory of this bill, it is worth noting that there are key differences as highlighted below between the original version of the bill passed by the House on March 14 and the final law, which are the result of several “corrections” that the House made to the bill on March 16 before sending it to the Senate. Read entire memo HERE.

 

AGC and 14 Other Construction Associations Ask Lawmakers Not to Shut Down Construction Projects
The COVID-19 virus has created uncertainty throughout the construction industry, and we understand the importance of balancing the need to complete critical infrastructure projects with the safety of the construction workforce and the public. The industry and government leaders need to work together to accomplish this goal. With that said, AGC and 14 other construction organizations in San Diego and across the State of California have asked city and county leaders to consider some of the unique aspects of the industry before considering any shutdown of projects, public or private. Click here to read the letter.

In particular, suspending projects creates additional public safety hazards at a time when we are all working to reduce risks and additional disruptions to residents. The hazards of suspended projects include obstacles near traffic lanes, open trenches, temporary water supplies vulnerable to outages, and stormwater protections that go without maintenance.

Recent “shelter in place” orders have included exemptions for construction personnel after construction activities have been deemed as essential; an example of exemption language is enclosed with this letter. We encourage this approach to continue the critical work of building California’s infrastructure, without creating additional hazards in the fight against Coronavirus.

 

Friday Webinar - Briefing on the Latest Developments on the Coronavirus and What that Means for the Construction Industry
Tomorrow at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM PST, AGC of America will hold a Webinar update on the Coronavirus, including the latest information about the federal response, an updated economic analysis of its impacts, and an overview of the latest legal, HR, safety and risk measures being put in place because of the Coronavirus.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Sandherr will lead the discussion, which will include remarks by the Safety Director, Legal Counsel, Employment Policy and Practices Director Chief Economist, and the Vice President of Government Relations.

On Saturday, March 21, a recording of the session will be available in this link.

AGC of America has assembled some general guidelines and links to information from federal agencies and health organizations. Click here to view.


March 16, 2020 - Monday Morning Quarterback - READ ONLINE

Strong and Practical Measures Needed to Halt Coronavirus
Eddie Sprecco, CEO

Coronavirus is dominating the news, dinner table conversations, and the minds of decision makers worldwide and here in San Diego. These are not easy decisions to make - and, while doing nothing is too costly to consider, the actions taken must be thoroughly considered.

Coronavirus is having a growing impact on the construction industry; as announced Friday, AGC San Diego has canceled in-person meetings, events, and classes through April 3rd and will continue to follow the advice of health experts as the Coronavirus pandemic plays out.

While the country is taking strong steps to address the crisis, it is also important that decision makers recognize the costs of sweeping shutdowns and quarantine orders. Schools, sports leagues, and major events have been shuttered in the past week, forcing millions to quickly get past their disappointment to scramble for childcare, travel arrangements, and groceries.

In construction, local governments and agencies are now considering shutting down their entire operations for an extended amount of time. If those shutdowns include departments that handle inspections and payments, the construction industry - both public and private - could be put on hold. While it may make sense to mothball classrooms, libraries, and sports arenas, the decision becomes less obvious for construction.

Construction sites are a unique workplace with their own levels of "social distancing" built in. Despite that, contractors are already taking additional steps to fortify workplaces against the spread of Coronavirus and await further direction from Cal-OSHA and the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Department.

The downside to public agencies potentially halting construction activities are many, first and foremost the loss of income for 80,000 San Diegans working in the construction industry. Public agencies would also disrupt contracts, pay for demobilization, be responsible for securing construction sites and temporary water supplies, while creating an unlimited number of legal claims for injuries or damages at unfinished and unprotected sites.

Again, these are tough decisions to make - which is why leaders need to have the facts on the ground. Any agency considering a suspension of their general operations should ask these questions:

*What is the risk of Coronavirus spread on construction sites?
*What extra precautions can reduce the risks of spread?
*What are the impacts to public safety, residents, costs and legal liability of suspending operations?

Upon answering these questions, some public agencies have already considered construction activities, along with Police and Fire, as essential services - where suspending the activity during a crisis will be more disruptive than continuing under modified circumstances.

AGC will continue to provide information to local decision makers, who have the difficult job of balancing these priorities, and assist in implementing whatever action is taken to prevent the further spread of Coronavirus in San Diego County.

For more information on how to protect workers from Coronavirus, visit: Cal OSHA

San Diego County Office of Health and Human Services


March 13, 2020 - AGC San Diego Gatherings Canceled Through April 3rd

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), AGC San Diego will not hold in-person meetings through April 3rd. All Committee Meetings, Events and Classes* will be canceled or postponed to a later date. (*The Fall Protection and Traffic Control Classes scheduled to start Monday, March 16th will be held as planned, with extra precautions taken.)

The County of San Diego has recently issued orders prohibiting large gatherings among other restrictions to present the spread of the virus. The County also has coronavirus resources available on their website including notices to employees and workplace posters - click here to view.

AGC will continue to provide updates as they are made available from County Health officials, and will make a determination on in-person events beyond April 3rd, when more information is available.