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COVID-19 Construction Industry Updates

April 1, 2020

Updated 4/2/2020

An email today from the Development Services Department stated, “Consistent with the Governor’s orders, all construction is considered essential. Committee review is no longer required to determine eligibility for project continuation.” This comes as the City released additional clarification on compliance with the executive order. Review the Supplemental Guidance Based on Executive Order No. GA-14 for more information.

The recent City of Austin and Travis County stay at home orders and State of Texas Governor’s order dictates rules for construction activities. We’ve compiled the resources below to clarify restrictions and provide guidance on how the orders affect your construction project.

Yesterday, the State of Texas released a new Executive Order by Governor Abbott implementing Statewide Essential Services and Activities Protocols. The City of Austin and Travis County had released clarifications and FAQ’s for the construction industry as recently as yesterday.

Click here to review the State of Texas Executive Order by Governor Abbott.

For information about how the State’s order affects previously released City and County rules for allowable construction activities, see an excerpt  below from an update issued by Allensworth & Porter, construction lawyers:

Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order GA-14; Overridees Inconsistent Local COVID-19 Policies

By Allensworth & Porter, March 31, 2020

On Tuesday, March 31, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-14 in response to the continued pandemic. The Order aims to introduce “statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster”. The Governor’s action should introduce some welcome consistency that had been lacking from the local authorities’ prior efforts.

Simply stated, Order GA-14 allows defined “Essential services” to continue. The defined “Essential services” include everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its March 28, 2020 Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0. That document identifies workers who conduct a range of operations that are essential, including “working construction.” The Executive Order also says the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) shall maintain an online list of essential services.

Click here to review the full document.

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