A majority of states and multiple Canadian provinces have issued stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic, ordering all nonessential businesses and services to close their doors in an attempt to curb the coronavirus’s spread. Many states are taking cues from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s guidance on what constitutes an “essential business,” which lists “construction of critical or strategic infrastructure” and wood manufacturing among essential operations.
Here are states and Canadian provinces that have issued stay-at-home orders and how they address construction workers (note that WFB will be updating this list as it changes):
The closure of nonessential businesses went into effect April 4. The state’s list of essential businesses includes “construction and construction-related services, including building and construction, lumber, building materials and hardware businesses.”
Nonessential businesses were ordered closed March 24. The province lists construction as an essential service.
The state’s closure of nonessential businesses went into effect March 28. The state lists construction of housing among its essential infrastructure.
The order was effective at 5 p.m. on March 31.“Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen” are listed as “critical trades” in the order.
Under its order for all nonessential businesses to close, which went into effect March 19, construction remains an essential service throughout the state.
The order went into effect March 26. The state’s critical businesses include construction, including housing, and “skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers.” “Hardware, farm supply, and building material stores” were also deemed critical retail.
“Construction” is also listed as “essential” amid Connecticut’s lockdown order, which began March 22.
Both residential and nonresidential building construction are listed as “essential” and may remain in operation during Delaware’s stay-at-home order, which went into effect March 24.
The statewide stay-at-home order was effective on April 3. The state’s list of essential services mirrors the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, in which construction is considered essential.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced he would sign a shelter-in-place order for the state in effect at 6 p.m. April 3. The state’s list of essential services mirrors the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, in which construction is considered essential. Essential businesses must still follow CDC safety guidelines.
The stay-at-home order began March 25 and lists “Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen” as “critical trades.”
The stay-at-home order went into effect March 25. Essential infrastructure includes commercial construction and construction of housing.
“Construction” and “building maintenance and management” are listed as “essential” in Illinois’ stay-at-home order, which went into effect March 21.
Construction is included among essential infrastructure in Indiana. The state’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 24.
The stay-at-home order went into effect March 30. Essential functions include businesses that “construct, supply, clean or maintain single family homes or other housing.”
Gov. Andy Beshear ordered all non-life-sustaining in-person retail businesses closed beginning March 23. Building material suppliers were included in the state’s list of life-sustaining businesses.
Gov. John Bel Edwards based the state’s essential business list on the Department of Homeland Security’s, which includes construction. The “shelter in place” order went into effect March 23. The state added that businesses in operation must still maintain groups of less than 10 and practice social distancing.
The stay-at-home order was effective at on April 2. A March 24 mandate defines construction and industrial manufacturing as businesses that provide essential services in the state.
Noncritical businesses were ordered closed April 1. Construction work is listed as a critical service in the order.
The closure of all nonessential businesses, effective March 23, was modeled after the recommendations of the Department of Homeland Security, which lists working construction and the wood product industry as essential infrastructure.
Work is permitted for all construction workers "who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)," according to the state's stay-at-home order, which went into effect March 24.
The city of Boston instituted a temporary halt on all construction projects for two weeks beginning March 17 due to the coronavirus.
The state’s stay-at-home order began March 24. After substantial confusion about the initial order, the state clarified March 27 that the order prohibits “in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life,” adding that “cosmetic and non-emergency maintenance and improvements to residences are not permissible under this order.”
The stay-at-home order went into effect on March 27. Construction and critical trades, as defined by the order, are exempt as long as the work cannot be performed remotely. The exemption applies to “workers in the skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers, HVAC and elevator technicians, and other related construction of all kind."
The statewide shelter-in-place order was effective at 5 p.m. April 3. The state includes “construction and construction related services” among its essential businesses.
The order went into effect April 6. The state’s list of essential services is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, in which construction is considered essential.
The stay-at-home order went into effect March 28. “Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen” are listed as “critical trades” in the order.
In the state’s closure of nonessential businesses, which began March 20, home maintenance and repairs are listed as essential services, as are hardware stores, warehousing, storage, distribution, and supply-chain related operations.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Businesses such as gyms and movie theaters were ordered to close March 23. Construction, listed under “repair services,” may continue under the order.
The emergency stay-at-home order went into effect on March 27. The order’s “Community-Based Essential Functions” includes “construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction).”
Construction workers are listed among workers who “need to be present at their work site” and are permitted to continue operation under the state’s lockdown, which began March 21. Employees of “essential” businesses are encouraged to have letters from employers “indicating that the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operations,” according to the state’s guidelines.
The stay-at-home order went into effect March 24. Essential infrastructure includes “commercial and residential construction and maintenance.”
The closure of nonessential businesses was effective March 30 at 5 p.m. “Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen” are listed as “critical trades” in the order.
Construction is listed as “essential infrastructure” in Ohio’s order, which went into effect the evening of March 23.
All nonessential workplaces were ordered closed March 24. The province updated its nonessential business list April 4 to restrict residential construction work that had not already begun as well as most industrial construction that is not life sustaining.
Shopping, fitness, grooming and entertainment retail businesses were ordered closed March 23. “Other retail businesses will not be able to continue to operate unless they can implement strict social distancing measures and designate an employee or officer charged with ensuring compliance,” according to the state. Additionally, “non-retail businesses like manufacturers and the construction industry must ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures.”
Essential businesses include “construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors,” according to the stay-at-home order, went into effect March 24. Hardware stores are also listed as “essential.”
Gov. Tom Wolf ordered closures of all “non-life sustaining” businesses in the state March 19, including residential and nonresidential building construction. Those who violate the closure order could be subject to fines, license suspensions or imprisonment. In an updated list March 21, Wolf added sawmills and wood preservation to the state’s list of essential businesses. Businesses that would like to request an exemption can email here.
Essential infrastructure includes “construction firms for emergency dispatching or security purposes, electricians, plumbers and other trades for emergency services, rental equipment,” as well as “construction, maintenance and the maintenance of essential activities related to public and private infrastructure that may pose a threat to public health and safety (private dams, the management of hazardous and radioactive materials, and so on).” The closures began March 25.
The state’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 30 and enforces closures of only “non-critical retail businesses.” Construction and skilled trades are not listed among businesses that must close in the order. Hardware and construction equipment stores are listed among critical retail businesses.
The state’s stay-at-home order went into effect April 7. The state’s list of essential operations includes those listed by the Department of Homeland Security, which considers construction an essential service.
The state’s stay-at-home order was effective on March 31. “Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen” are listed as “critical trades” in the order.
The closure of nonessential businesses in the state went into effect April 2. The state’s list of essential services is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s, in which construction is considered essential.
The state ordered a closure of all nonessential entertainment, recreation, retail and in-person dining businesses effective March 24, and issued a “stay-at-home” order effective March 30.The orders do not impact construction. Essential retail includes “home improvement, hardware, building material, and building supply retailers.”
The list of essential services includes “construction necessary to support the COVID-19 response and maintain critical infrastructure,” as well as hardware stores, “provided, these retail operations shall be conducted through online and telephone orders for delivery and curb-side pickup to the extent possible.” The closure of nonessential businesses in the state began March 25.
The state's stay-at-home order went into effect March 23. On March 25, Gov. Jay Inslee clarified that “In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.” Limited exceptions to the order can be found here.
Construction remains an essential service, “including without limitation...school construction, essential business construction, and housing construction." The state’s order went into effect March 24 at 8 p.m.
Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen (including but not limited to carpenters, laborers and finishers) are listed as “critical trades.” Work is permitted for construction, “including but not limited to construction required in response to this public health emergency, hospital construction, construction of long-term care and assisted living facilities, public works construction, school construction, Essential Business and Operations construction, construction necessary for Essential Governmental Functions, and housing construction, except that optional or aesthetic construction should be avoided.” Operations deemed essential must still conform to social distancing guidelines. The state order went into effect March 25.
The Associated General Contractors of America has come out against shutting down construction during the crisis. On March 21, AGC called on governments to list construction as an essential business during shutdowns.
Many cities and counties have also imposed “shelter in place” rules amid the pandemic with orders that may be more restrictive.
Updated April 8 at 10:40 a.m. This list will be updated on an ongoing basis.