March 22, 2020

Kentucky follows CISA Guidelines in Allowing Construction to Continue

On March 25, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in Executive order 2020-257 and ordered all non-essential businesses to stop operating until further notice. The Executive Order adopts the federal guidelines created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in the updated Coronavirus Guidance for America on March 28, 2020 in its definition of essential services, as follows:  

The advisory identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It also includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The industries they support represent, but are not limited to, medical and construction.

The guidelines specifically identify construction as essential to many industries and sectors of the economy. Kentucky went further and identified construction activities specifically as essential services:  

To ensure Kentuckians can remain Healthy at Home, businesses providing construction or maintenance of residential, commercial, or governmental structures, including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, landscaping, moving and relocation services, necessary for sustaining the safety, sanitation and operation of structures.

Governor Beshear’s order establishes state-wide uniformity, but allows local health departments to take necessary measures to implement health and sanitation practices to implement the order. Additionally, all businesses that continue operation must practice social distancing and hygiene guidance from the CDC, or face penalties:  

Social distancing and hygiene guidance includes:
  1. ensuring physical separation of employees and customers by at least six feet when possible;
  1. ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures, including regular thorough hand washing or access to hand sanitizer;
  1. regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  1. permitting employees to work from home where feasible; and
  1. identifying any sick employees and ask them to leave the premises.

The full text of the order can be found here:  

The DHS/CISA Guidance can be found here:  

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