COVID-19’s Impact on Construction


News reports from across the U.S. indicate a rather arbitrary approach to how to handle construction, from a complete shutdown to business as usual. Here are a few reports to illustrate the current state of affairs, although these things change on virtually an hourly basis.

  • Boston has reacted most strongly with Mayor Martin Walsh ordering all construction to shut down for at least two weeks. 
  • A Chicago Tribune article reports that construction is ongoing amid fears that the city could shut down all construction as has happened in Boston.
  • In Hawaii, construction continues unabated and most companies are optimistic that will continue, according to an article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. This “could help cushion the economic blow related to coronavirus in the state.”
  • Even in Seattle, one of the hot spots in the U.S. for the coronavirus, construction continues at Sea-Tac Airport, although workers have been instructed on social distancing. 
  • The governor of Nevada shut down the casinos, hotels, and all non-essential businesses as of midnight March 17 but not the Raider Stadium project, which is averaging 2,000 workers a day. Las Vegas’s mayor has asked the governor to make this shutdown as short as possible on the basis that with so many working in the hospitality industry, a lengthy shutdown would cause major lasting damage to the city.
  • ENR has developed a list of its ongoing reporting, analysis, and commentary on construction-sector developments in the COVID-19 outbreak. This is updated on a daily basis.