Industry Update: Exponential COVID-19 Case Growth Necessitates Stringent Protocol Adherence


Yesterday’s press conference with Governor Jay Inslee, medical professionals, and other leaders from our region brought a message none of us wanted to hear, and that we can’t afford to ignore: COVID cases are on an exponential increase curve. November 15 was the most dangerous public health day in over 100 years in our state, according to the governor, with no signs of today being any better. In Seattle, 20% of all COVID cases have occurred in the past 2 weeks, said Mayor Jenny Durkan. And the numbers aren’t better elsewhere in the state or across the country.

“To avoid another round of construction closures and layoffs, everyone involved with active development projects must continue to adhere to stringent safety protocols to protect our industry into 2021 and beyond,” said Tina Pappas, President of Tarragon Property Services and 2020 NAIOP Washington State President. “Our community must band together. Not for the rules, but for each other: Our jobs and our lives depend on it.”

As reported by PSBJ’s Marc Stiles, the construction industry is “on notice”:

Residential and commercial construction, meanwhile, will be allowed to continue, though Gov. Jay Inslee put the industry on notice during a televised Sunday press conference.

Inslee said the state believes there has been some virus transmission on job sites. Compliance among Washington contractors is lacking, he added, addressing contractors and their employees directly:

"We are going to be watching this very closely in the next several weeks. We need you to comply with the protocols. That includes masks. It includes hygiene..."

The governor shut down most construction sites for about a month this spring, causing mass layoffs. During the first two and a half weeks, people in the industry filed 69,700 initial claims for unemployment benefits, according to the state Employment Security Department.

NAIOPWA is here to support you and connect you to resources you need to navigate changing legislation and executive orders. Our Government Affairs leadership was there in March during the first shutdown to negotiate re-opening, as Stiles reports:

You’ll find resources specific to our industry on COVID-19 protocol, testing and more via our industry partners’ websites:

Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington:

Association of General Contractors of Washington:

Strict compliance with safety protocols today will make a big difference for many in the months to come.

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