What Governor Kemp’s Executive Order in response to the Coronavirus means for those in the Construction Industry.

by: Chadd L. Reynolds

On April 2, 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an Executive Order (the “Order”) restricting gatherings and business operations in Georgia due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2020 and expires at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2020. All prior executive orders, including those issued by cities and other local governments in the State of Georgia shall be superseded.

The Order can generally be described as a “shelter-in-place” order similar to those issued by other governors across the United States. But not all “shelter-in-place” orders are the same and violations can result in fines of up to $1,000 or one year of jail.

Under the Order, all residents and visitors of the state must practice social distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines. All gatherings shall be limited to a number of ten (10) people, except this rule does not apply to entities defined as “Critical Infrastructure.” Additionally, everyone must shelter-in-place, except for those who are part of the workforce of and traveling to conduct or participate in Critical Infrastructure. Businesses, establishments, for profit and non-profit corporations, and organizations not considered Critical Infrastructure can only engage in Minimum Basic Operations.

What does this mean for those in the construction industry? If you are considered Critical Infrastructure, you are exempt from most of the restrictions in the Order.

“Critical Infrastructure” refers to business, establishments, for profit and non-profit corporations, and organizations defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as “essential critical infrastructure workforce” and the suppliers who provide essential goods and services to the critical infrastructure workforce.

In the context of the construction industry, the Order exempts:

Those engaged in Critical Infrastructure also must implement measures to slow the spread of the virus, which may include screening of workers who exhibit symptoms and requiring them to not report to work, handwashing, social distancing, and providing personal protective equipment, among other measures.

The WCZ COVID-19 Response Team offers 24/7 access to attorneys for our clients’ legal needs as this situation continues to evolve.