Coronavirus: Most Bay Area construction allowed to resume Monday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Starting Monday May 4, in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties, and the City of Berkeley, a few activities that were previously banned will be permitted... including construction.

The easing of restrictions is already providing major relief to Bay Area construction crews.

RELATED: 6 Bay Area counties relax some shelter-in-place restrictions; here are changes starting May 4

During the shelter-in-place, San Francisco contractor Malcolm DeBrus, had to shut down about 70% of his job sites, which are mostly seismic retrofits.

"There were a few sleepless nights in between all of this."

To keep people working, DeBrus shifted all of his employees to his three remaining projects, creating new apartments. But, there just wasn't enough to do.

"We would have had to let nine guys go on Friday, because we wouldn't have had enough work past this Monday."

The new order, in six Bay Area counties, which allows all construction to resume on May 4th, keeps DeBrus and his employees in business.

"I'm very relieved," said DeBrus who plans to keep all of his employees working.

RELATED: Newsom to order all California beaches closed after seeing SoCal crowds

ABC7 news reporter, Kate Larsen, interviewed Oscar Gomez, a construction worker. The original interview was in Spanish. The following quotes have been translated.

"I have two kids and my wife is pregnant, there's another one coming," said Gomez.

Gomez works for DeBrus and is grateful he now still has a job, thanks to the easing of restrictions. "You feel a little bit scared because without your job. What are you going to do? We would lose everything."

DeBrus' was allowed to keep some of his job sites open because they were adding housing units to the market and considered essential. The new order allows all construction, most of which has been shut down for weeks, to reopen on Monday.

Unfinished projects, currently sitting quiet all over the Bay Area will be allowed to reopen, with some new rules.

"We're all wearing respirators throughout the day," said DeBrus. Besides masks, he also has to make sure his employees can sanitize frequently.

"This is a designated wash station right here, which we wouldn't have had before, we'd just have one outside. "

If someone gets sick with COVID-19 on the job site, the following must take place, according to health order.

  • Immediately remove the infected individual from the jobsite with directions to seek medical care.
  • Each location the infected worker was at must be decontaminated and sanitized by an outside vendor certified in hazmat clean ups, and work in these locations must cease until decontamination and sanitation is complete.
  • The County Public Health Department must be notified immediately and any additional requirements per the County health officials must be completed, including full compliance with any tracing efforts by the County.

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