COVID-19


AGC of Minnesota is committed to serving our members as Your Trusted Resource throughout this public health crisis.

We are coordinating with AGC of America regarding needs and measures to address economic and job safety concerns, and continue to be in regular communication with state agencies with construction contracts, as well as public-funded contracting authorities, regarding how COVID-19 is impacting projects, from delays to potential safety precautions. 

To maintain best safety practices, we are working and holding all meetings and educational sessions remotely.  Our phone lines and email addresses are open, and we will do our best to respond to any requests in a timely manner.

Click the links below for topical resources.

 


CLICK HERE for COVID-19 content reserved only for AGC members.  Login credentials required.  If you are a member and do not have credentials, Renee would love to assist you.


Timeline

 
DATE EVENTS
Wednesday
May 20
Friday
May 15
Thursday
May 14
  • AGC joined a construction industry coalition which today issued a statement urging the Minnesota State Legislature and the Governor to approve a substantial bonding bill to address the serious need to invest in Minnesota’s infrastructure and to lead the way to economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Friday
May 8
  • Construction employment declined by 975,000 jobs in April as a new survey by the Associated General Contractors of America and data from construction technology firm Procore show deteriorating demand for construction, officials with the association announced today. Hear more from AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson here.
Wednesday
April 29
Thursday
April 23
  • Governor Walz issued an executive order to start returning some Minnesota employees to work. This order allows workers in non-customer facing industrial and office-based businesses who cannot work from home to return to work while following guidelines. According to DEED, the order "will allow around 20,000 businesses and roughly 80,000 - 100,000 workers to go back to work beginning on Monday, April 27."

    The new order impacts businesses that were not classified as critical under the Stay-At-Home order. The State-At-Home order is in effect until Monday, May 4th. All employees who can work from home are directed to do so. Before workers may return to work at a Non-Critical Exempt Business under this Executive Order, the business must establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. Each Plan must provide for the business's implementation of Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in their workplaces. A template COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which covers OSHA, MDH, and CDC requirements, is available.
     

  • Governor Walz announced that schools in Minnesota will remain closed to in-person learning through the end of the school year.

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of the Treasury issued new guidance (see question #31) that puts Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) borrowers and potential borrowers on notice that they should be able to prove in “good faith” that “[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support [their] ongoing operations” to be eligible for the loan. This appears to be a warning to PPP borrowers of the possibility of federal audits and investigations to come. The guidance goes on to state that any “borrower that applied for a PPP loan prior to the issuance of this guidance and repays the loan in full by May 7, 2020, will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification in good faith.”

    To help inform members about this development, AGC of America put together a podcast on April 24 concerning updated PPP program guidance and what it means for construction firms. You can watch it HERE and listen to it HERE

Wednesday
April 15
Thursday
April 09
Wednesday
April 08
  • Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home Executive Order to May 4, 2020.
Sunday
April 05
Friday
April 03
  • The fast-worsening COVID-19 pandemic has triggered layoffs at more than a quarter of construction firms responding to an online survey released today by the Associated General Contractors of America.
Wednesday
April 01
Tuesday
March 31
Monday
March 30
Saturday
March 28
  • AGC of America provided narrative to the updated federal guidance from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that clarifies construction’s critical role in supporting essential infrastructure.
Friday
March 27
  • AGC of Minnesota added Best Practice Resources from AGC members - click the Recommended Practices menu below.
Thursday
March 26
Wednesday
March 25
Monday
March 23
  • AGC of Minnesota held a webinar for members on "COVID-19 Industry Developments."  
    • View/Hear the webinar
    • View the slides
    • Handout from AGC of Houston referenced in Doug Swenson's presentation
    • To stay up to date on all AGC related information, please download the AGC Connection app from the App Store or Google Play.  Restricted to AGC members only, and users will need login credentials from www.agc.org (click "Register" at the top left if you do not already have login credentials with AGC of America)
Friday
March 20
Thursday
March 19
Wednesday
March 18
Tuesday
March 17
  • AGC of Minnesota issued a joint Statement of Support for Continued Construction Operations with industry partners.
  • AGC of America released released a nationwide statement of similar significance and message.
  • Vice President Pence publicly suggested that construction companies donate their N-95 masks to local hospitals and refrain from ordering additional masks. It is the position of AGC that this should be considered as a voluntary gesture and not a mandate.  Of course, any firm with a surplus of masks should consider donating them to heath care providers 
  • The US Treasury announced a 90-day tax payment extension.
Monday
March 16
Sunday
March 15
Friday
March 13

Webinars and Education

Both AGC of Minnesota and AGC of America are holding regular opportunities for members to hear the latest information on policies affecting our industry.

AGC of Minnesota
AGC of Minnesota Members
  • CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP is offering a weekly COVID webinar, covering construction industry topics.  More information here.
AGC of America

Construction Job Site Practices

Highway/HeavyAGC of Minnesota COVID-19 Recommended Practices (including best practices) for Employers & Employees on Highway / Heavy / Utility Construction Jobsites

BuildingAGC of Minnesota COVID-19 Recommended Practices (including best practices) for Employers & Employees on Construction Jobsites

CDC Recommendations for the Use of Cloth Face Masks

AGC of America is posting Weekly Safety Tips.

Best Practice Resources from AGC of Minnesota Members:

Listen to the AGC of Minnesota webinar (March 23), which includes a presentation by Doug Swenson (AGC) on construction job site practices. View the slides

AGC of Houston has compiled this good list of COVID-19 Recommended Practices for Construction Jobsites.  Also available in Spanish.

The AGC chapter in Philadelphia (General Building Contractors Association, Inc.) has put together these useful safety tools to use in employee communication.

IS COVID-19 A RECORDABLE INCIDENT?

For details on AGC's role in the revision of OSHA guidelines on limiting the parameters under which COVID-19 is a recordable illness, click here.

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

While 29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2)(viii) exempts recording of the common cold and flu, COVID-19 is a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties.  However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

Employment and Business Resources

AGC of America Resources

MAIN PORTAL: https://www.agc.org/coronavirus-covid-19

TOOLS/RESOURCES:

 

WEBINARS:

 

ADVOCACY EFFORTS:

  • Released AGC Member Firm COVID-19 Impact Surveys
  • Provided Daily/Weekly Member COVID-19 Update Emails
  • Successfully Lobbied Government Officials to Consider Construction as Essential

    • Released a Joint Statement with the Building Trades Union (March 21)

    • Sent Letters to State Governors asking construction to be exempt from work stoppages/delays (March 21)

    • Provided recommendations to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Concerning the Agency’s guidance on the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response” (March 25)

    • Worked with the Department of Homeland Security to Update its Guidance on Vital Sectors, Making it Even Clearer that Construction is Essential (April 20)

  • Successfully Lobbied Government Officials to Ensure Construction Firms are Eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program

    • Worked with the Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury to Ensure Firms with 500 or Fewer Employees Qualify for the Program (April 6)

    •  Worked with the Trump Administration to Extend the Deadline for firms to return Paycheck Protection Program loans by one week, from May 7 to May 14 (May 5)

    • Organized 152 trade associations in calling for Congress to nullify recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance essentially making business expenses—which are usually deductible—paid by forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds fully taxable (May 7)

  • Worked with OSHA to Exclude Cases of COVID-19 as Recordable Incidents Unless there is Objective Evidence that a COVID-19 Case may be Work-related and the Evidence was Reasonably Available to the Employer

  • AGC CEO Steve Sandherr Appointed to Serve on the Trump Administration’s “Great American Economic Revival Industry Group,” which will Advise the President and His Administration on the Best Ways to Restart the Broader Economy

  • Hosted a Virtual Media Event with Procore on the Impacts of the Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

  • As Co-chair of the Transportation Construction Coalition, AGC is Hosting a Virtual Washington Briefing with Key Congressional Leaders on the Status of Current Pandemic Relief and Recovery Efforts and Infrastructure Legislation


 

COVID-19 Safety Stand Down: Many contractors participated in a national safety stand down for the continued education and training of all employees on the latest safety measures and recommended jobsite practices related to COVID-19.  Below are resources from AGC of America:

Minnesota State Department Resources

From the Governor:

  • Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-20: Minnesota Under "Stay Home" restrictions effective Friday, March 27, 11:59 pm
    • CONSTRUCTION LISTED AS ESSENTIAL, NOT SUBJECT TO RESTRICTIONS OF NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
    • Essential business employees are permitted to travel to and from work without violating the new Stay Home Executive Order issued by Governor Walz. AGC has developed an Essential Worker Verification Form for all employees that verifies exempt workers, accommodating their work travel.The verification form is NOT a requirement of law or the Governor's Executive Order 20-20. The form is only a convenience for an employee should they desire this level of comfort that their travel is authorized for essential business. If you use it, the form can be signed by someone in your organization (not MnDOT or another owner/public authority).

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

  • Donations of Masks (and any other products) are being funneled through DPS.  Please hsem.ppp@state.mn.us if you have any masks your firm would like to contribute to health care facilities.

From the Minnesota Department of Commerce

From the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry:

From the Minnesota Department of HealthStrategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota

From the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

From OSHA:

AGC of Minnesota Advocacy on COVID-19

Correspondence:
In the News: