Given the shock the coronavirus has had on the economy, early on it appears the construction industry is absorbing the blow and adapting.
Many projects are continuing on schedule with work sites taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease. That’s according to Lance Calloway, northern district manager for AGC Washington, which represents general contractors. He spent the past few days speaking to local contractors in the area.
In the first few days the outbreak picked up steam, the key was adapting daily with the ever-changing situations and requirements to ensure construction companies protect their crews and to prevent the spread of the virus, Calloway said.
A couple of local distilleries are stepping up by making hand sanitizer and giving it out for free to the community.
Bellewood Farms and Chuckanut Bay Distillery each began distributing their versions last week after stores experienced shortages of the commercial product. Bellewood Farms was giving away 16 ounces of its Farm Hands sanitizer to each person, while Chuckanut gave away around 200 of its 50 milliliter bottles on Saturday, March 21.
Gov. Jay Inslee will speak to Washington residents in a televised address Monday evening and lay out new plans for fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The address is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and will be live-streamed on TVW, the state government channel, seattletimes.com and provided to other TV stations.
The announcement will involve “enhanced strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak,” the governor’s office said in a news release.
Shuksan Healthcare Center has become the center of a COVID-19 cluster in Whatcom County with 29 new cases confirmed on Sunday, March 22, according to the Whatcom County Health Department.
Twenty-three of the new cases were residents while six were Shuksan employees.
The new cases bring the total number of ill Shuksan residents and employees to 32 when added to the three confirmed cases — all residents — announced by the health department on Saturday, March 21.
Hart Hodges is one of those bracing for a spike in job losses. Hodges, the co-director at the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University, said after that spike, the timing for a bounce-back in the labor market will depend on testing for the virus and getting money to businesses.
On testing for the virus, Hodges believes people won’t start returning to restaurant dining rooms or gyms until there’s a reasonable certainty that people in those places don’t have coronavirus.
“Imagine, for example, if you knew everyone at a restaurant or getting on a plane had with them confirmation of a negative test result. You wouldn’t have any problem joining them,” Hodges said, adding that not testing would lead to heightened uncertainty and continued social distancing.
In response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing said Monday it will suspend its Puget Sound factory operations as well as its maintenance activities on the grounded 737 MAX airplanes at Moses Lake for 14 days starting Wednesday.
The company said it will focus on a “safe and orderly temporary suspension of operations.” It instructed production workers to continue to report for their assigned shifts today and said managers will provide them guidance on their role in the shutdown process.
Lighthouse Mission Ministries is moving its emergency Drop-In Center for the homeless to Bellingham High School due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a press release from Whatcom Unified Command Joint Information Center sent Thursday night, March 19.
The move will take place Friday, March 20. The move is temporary and is a partnership between Lighthouse Mission, the Bellingham School District and Whatcom Unified Command, the release states.
Hunker down, but go outside; it’s going to be a beautiful week. Snohomish County executive Dave Somers concluded his talk at a March 16 coronavirus press conference with that message.
While it seems contradictory, it can be possible to go outside for a walk or bike ride while still practicing social distancing, but a local epidemiologist said to keep a few things in mind.
“Generally speaking, I don’t think anyone should be worried about riding a bike or going on a hike or things like that,” said Dr. Steve Bennett, an assistant professor of community health at Western Washington University.
Three more people from Whatcom County have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, according to information released Friday, March 20, by the Whatcom County Health Department.
Bellingham Food Bank officials are working on a distribution plan to provide groceries for those in need by early next week.
Mike Cohen, executive director of the food bank, told the Whatcom County Council at a special session Thursday that he’s coordinating efforts with the Whatcom Foundation and Whatcom Unified Command, the multi-agency group directing local coronavirus response.