By Justin Tolley

While several more businesses are ordered to cease all operations due to the escalating Coronavirus pandemic, construction professionals remain exempt from Miami Dade County’s latest Emergency Order. Effective 9:00pm Thursday March 19, 2020 all “non-essential” retail and commercial establishments were forced to close their doors in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19. The Mayor’s order will force a significant portion of businesses to close including nail salons, golf courses, offices, trampoline parks, casinos and social clubs. Mayor Gimenez’s Emergency Order references 33 different categories of business deemed “essential” and therefore exempt from closure, with the following classifications applying either directly or indirectly to contractors, suppliers, and other construction professionals specifically:

a) Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;

b) Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public;

c) Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services

d) Businesses operating at any airport, seaport, or other government facility, including parks and government offices

e) Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above listed activities;

f) Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building

g) Architectural, engineering, or land surveying services

It should also be noted that hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot will also remain open for business to assist in residential work and smaller projects. Further, Miami Dade County and virtually all other county and city building departments continue to operate with limited exceptions to the services provided. However most building departments are taking extra measures their inspectors contact for example Fort Lauderdale requires only one person can be in contact with inspectors during inspections while Davie is requiring their inspectors to wear masks, and gloves. Keep in mind, should a new mandate be issued requiring building departments to close or cease performing inspections, such an order would essentially halt all construction except for those projects utilizing a private provider. Regardless, this is obviously a fluid situation which could further escalate due to any number of circumstances and should be monitored closely with your construction advisor.

The post Miami-Dade Emergency Order Deems Construction to be Essential Business Exempt