COVID-19 Update – Most Construction Activities in New York Now Prohibited

March 30, 2020 Advisory

The state government has now reversed its position on construction activities during the COVID-19 emergency. While all construction activity had previously been exempt from the governor’s stay-at-home order, effective March 27, 2020, only construction considered essential will be permitted. Under the new guidance from the Empire State Development Corp., virtually all apartment alterations and most building repairs and improvements are prohibited.

The new rules are as follows:

  • All nonessential construction must shut down except emergency construction (e.g., a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
  • Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency nonessential construction, workers must maintain social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close. Enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
  • For purposes of this section, construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.

Armstrong Teasdale attorneys are actively monitoring and providing updates regarding the impact of COVID-19. For additional information, visit Armstrong Teasdale’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

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