Phase One allows for construction projects to get underway in Capital Region


GLENMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Wednesday, businesses that represent over 23,000 jobs in Albany County alone can finally start to reopen. Construction is one of them.

The owner of Michaels Group Homes, Luke Michaels, has five different sites across the Capital Region. Two of them are in Glenmont.

“It’s good to be back. Nice sunny day for it,” said Michaels.

After being shut down for two months, construction workers have been chomping at the drill bit to get back to work. They’re eager to get their buyers into their homes as soon as possible. 

For the last several weeks, members of the Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association of New York have been laying out a floor plan of a different kind — establishing ways in which construction can safely resume operations.

“We have to do daily health assessments for everyone on site. We have to check in with everyone to see how they’re feeling, take temperatures, see if they have any symptoms. We have to keep our social distancing, six feet apart while we’re working. If we can’t, we have to put our masks on, and we’re just trying to stay out of each other’s way,” said Michaels.

Michaels pointed out that certain parts of the job are inherently safe in terms of social distancing and protective equipment.

“Right now, this house is being sided, so we have two siding contractors on here. They’re maintaining their distance, and they’re outside the whole time, which is great. Once we get inside the house, ya know, dry walling a house for instance, you’re going to need more than two guys so the guys have to be wearing masks when they’re doing that sort of thing. Then, when you get into taping and sanding ,they’re already wearing masks as it is,” said Michaels.

While Phase One is finally a go, nothing is concrete. Albany County Executive Dan McCoy reminded his community Wednesday morning that if numbers change, it’s back to square one.

“I just want to remind everyone it is out there still, but we’re doing great things here in Albany County. Help us continue to keep these numbers low by continuing to do the right stuff,” said McCoy.

Others in the area share the same concern. Jeff Germain told NEWS10 ABC he’s happy to see businesses reopening but hopes we do not take a step back.

“I’m excited for some aspects of it as long as social distancing is adhered to and rules are followed and they take it slow,” said Germain.

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