Construction Tied to Higher COVID-19 Risks

November 19, 2020

When the COVID-1 pandemic struck in March of this year, private companies and government organizations alike curtailed or heavily modified many of their operations and activities in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Activities and gatherings were cancelled, much of the workforce started working from home, and some sectors, such as retail and hospitality, shut down completely

One exception to all of this was constructio in the state of Texas. In March, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, said all construction in the state should go on

A research team at the University of Texas medical school explored the implications of keeping construction sites open, and researchers determined by examining statistics and mathematical modeling that keeping those projects open could worsen the virus spread, according to Engineering News Recor. The risk to construction workers of allowing unrestricted construction work through mid-August increased from 0.38 per 1,000 residents to 1.5 per 1,000 residents. The risk to construction workers themselves grew from 0.22 per 1,000 workers to 9.3 per 1,000 workers

The research, described in a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has fresh relevance. Coronavirus outbreaks are reaching peaks in many states, and shutdowns on construction sites were controversial this spring

 

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