How Long Is Stay-at-Home Going to Last for Construction?

States set orders to stay at home or shelter in place for a few weeks at a time. By this point, you’ve probably noticed that the dates have been extended more than once. This makes it harder to know when things might get back to normal. If you’ve been reading the news and reports from the rest of the world, you know that it may take some time before COVID-19 is no longer such a big threat and the healthcare system is equipped to manage it. These tips based on current assumptions can help you figure out what’s coming.

Track State Numbers
Although a state as large as California may have rates of COVID-19 that radically differ from one county to the next, keeping track of numbers at the state level is useful. At the moment, it seems that California may have hit the peak in cases reported each day. This could change, but it indicates that the existing stay-at-home orders are proving effective at slowing the spread. If you see a significant jump in numbers, you may need to prepare for a scaling back of the services that are currently considered essential. This could include construction, although it is unlikely that such a variable industry would be shut down at a statewide level.

Monitor National and International Concerns
If you were watching countries like China in January, you might have had a sense of what was on the horizon. Since the threat posed by COVID-19 is unlikely to be mitigated entirely without a vaccine, this means that you should pay attention to what is going on in the country as a whole and also elsewhere in the world. It’s reasonable to expect that if the western states lift restrictions and see a sudden rise in cases, they may choose to shut down again or restrict their services even further. The only way that you will know that this may be coming is if you are also watching what is happening outside of the state.

Anticipate Several Extensions
If your business is already teetering on the brink of insolvency because of the current situation, it’s tempting to think that you could start planning for the state to reopen. But it’s worth noting that the initial closures anticipated that they may be able to reopen at the end of March. Of course, now we know that would have been far too early. At present, experts say that re-opening much earlier than June or July is unrealistic. Still, you can expect government officials to extend stay-at-home orders by a few weeks at a time. This allows them the space to consider how the current limitations are working.

Expect a Slow, Regional Reintroduction
Just like other parts the world are beginning to re-introduce normal operations of society, you can expect that there will eventually be similar actions taken here. How it rolls out and when depends as much on the county that you live in as the state. Some counties with a higher population, or other reasons to believe they may be at higher risk for a resurgence, may choose to continue stay-at-home orders for longer. It’s important to balance the limitations set by the county as well as the state. For example, if the state lifts restrictions on how you can complete projects but the county doesn’t, you should plan to continue to practice social distancing on the jobsite.

Plan for a Resurgence
To protect yourself and your employees, it may make sense to keep up with many of the safety guidelines implemented as a result of COVID-19. Experts believe the COVID-19 is less likely to spread in hot weather. And while this means that summer might give a brief reprieve, it could also mean that the virus will come back in the fall. Do what you can to minimize the spread even if you think the threat is generally over. This will help to keep you in practice in the event that the state needs to place restrictions again later.

Stay-at-home orders will eventually be lifted, and you’ll need to be ready. To prepare your contracting business for whatever lies ahead, visit CSLS today!

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