Even though new coronavirus infections are rising in several states, most construction workers responding to last week's Friday Feedback poll say they are not concerned that their jobs could make them or their families sick.
Seven states reported new highs for coronavirus hospitalizations this week: Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Medical experts and elected officials in some of the affected areas are calling for a halt or even reversal of business re-openings in order to protect residents and ensure that hospitals aren't overrun with COVID-19 patients.
Construction Dive readers disagree with the idea of halting work, with more than three-fourths of readers responding to the survey saying they did not think sites in these affected areas should be shut down in order to slow the spread.
Respondents said it's not necessary to stop or slow work on construction sites and that with the right protocols in place, work can safely continue. Eighty percent said that shutting down sites is not an effective way to decrease the spread of the virus.
"As long as guidelines can be followed the risk of spread is low," said one reader.
Several respondents noted that the construction industry is a national leader in demonstrating how to get back to work safely. Nevertheless, 36% of respondents said they are worried about getting sick at work and 23% said their families members are worried about contracting it from them.
A reader whose Florida jobsite just had its first confirmed COVID-19 case said anxiety is running higher than usual. "Out of the hundreds of workers on site I feel there is probably going to be more cases. Simply checking a temperature at the gate is not enough," the reader wrote. "The second wave will be worse. I am more nervous now than I was before. My wife and kids are very nervous as well."