COVID-19 announcement from Gov. Inslee – 11/15/2020
November 16, 2020
With COVID-19 case counts continuing to climb across the state and nation, Gov. Jay Inslee announced new statewide restrictions, in place for the next four weeks, in an effort to reduce the spread.
At this time, none of the changes apply to the construction industry. Residential construction is being allowed to continue under the current Phase 2 guidelines.
However, the governor has required professional offices to be closed to the public, meaning no in-person meetings with clients at your offices. He also requires all employees in professional offices to work from home, if possible, and if not, businesses must limit occupancy to 25%. As such, BIAW staff will continue to be available to you but will be working remotely through the end of the year.
**Update, 11/16/2020: The Governor’s guidance has been modified slightly to read, “Professional Services are required to mandate that employees work from home when possible and close offices to the public if possible. Any office that must remain open must limit occupancy to 25 percent of indoor occupancy limits.” **
BIAW continues to be in contact with the Governor’s Office and will update you on additional changes.
The restrictions announced Sunday by the governor include:
- Indoor gatherings with people outside your household will be prohibited unless participants have quarantined and tested negative;
- Outdoor gatherings will be limited to five people outside your household;
- Restaurants/bars are closed for indoor service with limited outdoor service to parties of five or less;
- Indoor gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums are also closed;
- Retail stores and malls must limit occupancy to 25% and must close food court seating; and
- Real estate open houses are suspended.
Most of these restrictions take effect at 11:59 pm on Nov. 16, 2020. Restaurant requirements go into effect on Nov. 17, 2020, at 11:59 pm. His complete announcement is available online.
Our work continues
While our work in residential construction can continue under the Phase 2 safety requirements, it is critical that we all remain ever-vigilant to protect against future actions—and that means strictly following all of the safety protocols on our jobsites, and taking precautions whenever we are out in public. This graphic shows why wearing masks, in particular, is so important.
As a reminder, you can find all our COVID-19 guidance and any updates on the BIAW COVID-19 website. Our Executive Vice President Greg Lane and the rest of our team at BIAW are working closely with the Governor’s Office to protect our industry, but we all must do our part as well.
BIAW also maintains a list of resources to help small businesses. The governor announced today that he was setting aside $50 million of Federal Cares Act funding for a new grant/loan program for small business in Washington. As details of this new opportunity are announced, we will alert you.
Doing our part
In addition to keeping your employees, their families and your clients safe on every jobsite, please remember to encourage the following safety practices with your friends, employees, clients and families, especially as the holidays are upon us:
- Wear your mask whenever you’re outside your home;
- Follow the rules for in-person social gatherings;
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently and avoid shaking hands or sharing tools;
- Practice social distancing of at least six feet as much as possible;
- Stay home if you don’t feel well; and
- Limit unnecessary trips outside your home.
We are all in this together, and we will get through it, but we must adhere to guidance to protect ourselves, our families, our employees and our clients!
Sherry Schwab, President
Building Industry Association of Washington