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Non-essential construction in NYS ordered to stop because of coronavirus

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10) — All non-essential construction has been ordered to stop in New York State because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Friday, many home builders had to shut down their sites immediately, except any sites considered unsafe, needing more construction to eliminate any danger.

Lewis Dubuque, Executive Vice President of the New York Builders Association, said of its 2,000 members, about half of them construct homes.

“Our members, since about two weeks ago, have been down to a staff of about 10 people following social distancing protocols,” explains Dubuque. “We gave a 15-page, detailed safety protocol to all of our members that they have been taking advantage of. We are just concerned that the governor’s solution right now is not going to solve the problem, and it’s going to hurt the economy and New York State drastically.”

He said some construction businesses have already had to lay off employees. He worries that if this state order remains in place, more businesses will have to do so.

According to Dubuque, the New York State Builders Association is willing to work with Empire State Development to come up with a solution that would work best for everyone.

“We heard examples of people who are forced to move in with their parents, older parents—and that’s just not a safe situation either,” Dubuque says. “We feel that if you keep moving the economy along, keep moving the residential construction business along, that it will solve a lot of these problems and will continue to keep people safe.”

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