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All construction now allowed in Austin after brief halts due to coronavirus concerns

Last week, the City issued an order prohibiting construction on projects that were not deemed essential.

AUSTIN, Texas — All construction is now allowed again in the City of Austin after some temporary halts due to coronavirus concerns, according to a letter released by the City of Austin Development Services Department Thursday night.

The letter reads:

"To our customers, stakeholders and community,

As you know, Gov. Abbott issued an Executive Order implementing statewide protocols for essential services and activities that went into effect today.

Consistent with the Governor’s orders, all construction is considered essential. Committee review is no longer required to determine eligibility for project continuation.

The City’s worker protection requirements remain in place. Austin Code inspectors will continue to monitor construction sites to ensure that social distancing and recommended hygiene practices are being observed. The Supplemental Guidance Based on Executive Order No.GA-14 provides additional guidance regarding compliance with the Order.

We deeply appreciate your continued partnership and understanding.

Sincerely,

Director Lucas"

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This comes after a "Stay Home, Work Safe" order issued last week halted certain types of construction that was not deemed essential at the time. 

The City said due to the governor’s order, the City cannot stop residential or commercial construction.  

"The governor’s order trumps the City and allows construction to proceed," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler in a release. "We’ll continue to enforce the non-conflicting parts of the City order to mitigate the risk for workers, their families and the city at-large." 

In the Development Services Department's letter, this guidance provides additional guidance regarding compliance with the order. 

In the new guidance, it includes employer requirements for all construction work. Some of those requirements include social distancing guidelines, job site pre-screening for the general health of each worker, ensuring the site has at least one handwashing station for every 15 workers, prohibiting community water coolers and more.

The City had also put in place a new administrative process to approve certain projects. For more on that report, click here.

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