U.S. construction and the coronavirus

By Lindsey Anderson17 March 2020

During today’s Coronavirus press conference at the White House, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence asked construction companies to donate any extra N95 respirator masks to local hospitals and to stop ordering more for the time being. The masks are able to block 95 percent of 0.3 micron particles and can be used on construction sites where concrete dust is an issue.

“We urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of these industrial masks because of what the president asked to be included in legislation that is moving through congress today, these industrial masks that they use on construction sites are perfectly acceptable for health care workers to be protected from a respiratory disease,” Pence said. “What we ask construction companies — which our president knows very well from his background — we are asking them to donate their N95 masks to their local hospitals and also forgo making additional orders.”

The White House request follows the news that Boston officials shut down all construction in the city over growing conerns about the spread of the virus.

Starting March 17, contractors and builders across Boston were required to shut down all work on construction sites, in some cases leaving skeleton crews to secure materials and monitor the sites. It is the first major construction shutdown in the U.S.

Within the rental industry, Durante Rentals, the NY-based equipment rental company with 10 branches, announced it has closed its facilities for the remainder of the week as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. The company will not be accepting any new orders or delivering equipment. Phone lines will remain open during the week and the company’s remote workforce will support first responders and other critical support services. Read the full story here.

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