Construction in Nevada has been deemed essential amid the statewide coronavirus closures. But while it’s business as usual for the state’s construction workers, procedures and policies have been put into place in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among workers.
The procedures came on the heels of the closures and when the first workers tested positive for coronavirus on Las Vegas construction sites. On March 23, the first Resorts World worker tested positive for coronavirus.
On April 1, a second subcontractor on the Resorts World tested positively for coronavirus. The last time the worker was on the site was March 23.
Now, a third worker at the Resorts World construction site has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the developer’s confirmed report on Monday.
While the third positive case of COVID-19 has surfaced, construction is still planned to continue on despite policies being implemented that will aim to minimize further transmission risk.
Construction Allowed During Coronavirus Pandemic
Besides construction being allowed in Nevada, it’s being allowed in many other states across the country. But why?
According to public health experts, since construction work is mainly done outside, where it’s harder for the airborne virus to live, construction sites can still operate safely for the most part. That is if precautions are put into place.
Those precautions still include the social distancing guidelines advised to the general public, which ask for workers to maintain 6 feet of distance when working at all times.
Nevada job sites are also restricting meetings and limiting necessary meetings to less than 10 people. Daily surveys are being taken of workers’ health conditions, as well as extra sanitization of areas to keep workers as safe as possible.
New Wellness Screenings at Resorts World Site
A spokesperson for Genting Group, the developer for Resorts World, advised that as of Monday, management will be implementing required wellness screenings to be done at the start of each shift for every worker.
Management also advised that they will be reducing the size of crews on-site, and installing even more handwashing stations scattered throughout the Nevada job site.
According to the spokesperson, the company is “doing everything we can to ensure prudent preventative policies and procedures are being followed across the job site and that workers are informed of new information and guidelines related to COVID-19 daily.”
Outbreak Seems Well-Contained in the Construction Industry
While some construction workers at Nevada job sites have indeed tested positive for COVID-19, for the most part, the outbreak has seemingly been well-contained in relation to the number of workers on-site, and the hours they put in each day.
Frank Hawk, who is a chairman of a group of Nevada contractors who specialize in carpentry, said that he is “pleasantly surprised at how contained this seems to be in the construction industry.”
Hawk, who advised that his Las Vegas carpenters are putting in 750,000 man-hours of work monthly, hasn’t had a single reported case of an infected union carpenter, and he hopes things continue to stay that way, “knock on wood.”
Other Positive Construction Worker Cases in LV
Another known case of a construction worker testing positive for COVID-19 at a Nevada job site was reported two weeks ago out of Allegiant Stadium.
While the condition of the worker wasn’t stated, the company made this statement in response:
“As a precaution, the location and surrounding areas where the worker labored was shut down and sanitized. ‘Work continues in other areas of the project that remain unaffected.”
The affected worker was said to not be in close contact with others on the site and construction still carried on while implementing more safety protocols.
That individual was told to self-isolate at home for a two-week period before returning to the Allegiant Stadium construction site.
While construction is still business as usual in the valley, under new safety operating procedures to protect the workers, of course, it’s still unclear when things will return back to normal in Las Vegas.
Gov. Sisolak recently extended the statewide closures of casinos and nonessential businesses until April 30, and some casinos are counting on that day to reopen and get back to business.
We’ll have to keep monitoring the situation to see how the pandemic unfolds over the next few weeks. Be sure to stay tuned for more coronavirus coverage, and as always, stay safe and healthy out there!