On March 27, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121, which requires North Carolina citizens to stay home except for when performing essential activities until at least April 30. The Executive Order defined businesses that are exempt from this Order and included all construction activities as a “critical trade”:
Critical Trades. Building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen, and other trades, including but not limited to, plumbers electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, cleaning services, moving and relocation services, landscaping and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and COVID-19 Essential Businesses and Operations.
While construction is considered essential, the Order also requires all businesses to follow social distancing requirements:
“Social Distancing Requirements” as used in this Executive Order means:
- Maintaining at least six (6) feet distancing from other individuals;
- Washing hands using soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds as frequently as possible or the use of hand sanitizer;
- Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces;
- Facilitating online or remote access by customers if possible.
Important to note is that while this Order is statewide, it expressly allows local governments to issue further guidelines as long as they do not conflict with the state Order, so check city or county guidelines to see if there are any additional required measures.
Counties and cities may deem it necessary to adopt ordinances and issue state of emergencv declarations which impose restrictions or prohibitions to the extent authorized under North Carolina law, such as on the activity of people and businesses, to a greater degree than in this Executive Order.
All companies, including construction companies, are recommended to have office staff work from home where possible, and implement sanitation and distancing practices on job sites where possible.
The full text of the order can be found here: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO121-Stay-at-Home-Order-3.pdf