Total coronavirus case counts continued to grow this week, with 5.2 million recorded in the U.S. since March, leading to nearly 166,000 deaths.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, construction workers who were deemed essential and continued to report to work have had an increased risk of exposure to the virus, compared to office staff working remotely. While that has kept many construction workers on the payroll, it has often come with a harrowing choice between staying safe or continuing to earn money.
Last week Construction Dive asked readers how COVID-19 has personally impacted them, and for those who have tested positive for the virus, what their experience was like. Twelve percent of respondents said they had tested positive.
In addition, nearly half of our respondents, or 44%, said that someone within their company had tested positive, and 27% said someone on their jobsite had contracted the virus. But the third largest cohort, at 24%, said they didn’t know anyone who had been infected.
A worker testing positive on a jobsite was the biggest concern among readers, at 42%. Another 31% said rumors of cases on their jobsites were as disconcerting as knowing they had actually occurred.
Of those who said they had tested positive for COVID-19, 44% said they had fully recovered, but many said they still felt lingering effects. Feelings of isolation and depression affected 11% of respondents who dealt with the virus.
How people reacted to their own or a co-worker's testing positive seems to have varied by the severity of symptoms they experienced, witnessed or heard about.
“We have had one person test positive in our company,” one reader wrote. “He had no symptoms other than loss of taste and smell, but other than our one employee, I do not know anyone else who has tested positive.”
Other workers, however, seemed to lament what they perceived as lax efforts against or attitudes toward the pandemic. “It would be beneficial if everyone took COVID-19 seriously,” one reader said, while another commented that “more efforts should be made for contact tracing."