Readers’ viewpoints: Should construction sites be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis?

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Our article, COVID-19: Construction should continue, but inspectors may keep their distance (Published on March 20), which quoted US-based Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) CEO Stephen E. Sandherr as saying that construction sites should be exempted from “stay in place” regulations because construction site work is essential and safe, has resulted in several reader comments disagreeing with this opinion.

Here are some of the responses

            This article is very ignorant. This virus in many cases shows no symptoms at the onset and despite measures contractors try and put in place it does not effectively stop the spread. Workers are share tools and work spaces and not all activities can be done with gloves. All it takes is one person and the virus will continue to spread. Answering a questionnaire before went wrong a jobsite does not help if a person isn’t even aware that they are infected. The only way to stop the spread is to shut down all non-essential work. (Sam)

I do not agree at all with this article…. so basically my husband is supposed to continue to go to his job site each and every day with the risk of coming home and infecting myself and our three kids.            The rest of us are self isolating at home but all this is pointless if he has to keep going to work and possibly expose our whole family to this virus. I understand the essential business’s still need to operate but why risk the lives of so many others. What is more important during this terrifying time?    The safety of our children or the jobsite that daddy has to go to every single day. He does not have access to a sanitary washroom or even a place to wash his hands. Someone please explain to me why his life and our lives aren’t as important as everyone else who able to protect their families 100 per cent by staying at home. (Jessica)

What sense does this article make? The chief medical health officer is identifying having coffee with a friend as not social distancing, but working on site with over 100 workers is. Filthy washroom facilities, impossibility of working while maintaining two meter distance, no infection control training, and no PPE make the idea that anyone in government cares about construction workers laughable.
Where is the MOL? They haven’t yet made a statement about the virus. They are no longer coming to site with the exception of emergencies.
This is about greed and politics, there is no other reason to keep the sites open. (Dallis Favret)

Ontario Construction News welcomes your comments and observations. You can post observations online using the comment function, or email them to insights@ontarioconstructionnews.com.

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