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April 24, 2020

Construction resumes in Pennsylvania next week under new rules for workers

Workers will be required to wear masks and remain six feet apart

Construction Coronavirus
Construction workers reopening plan Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Construction sites will be allowed to reopen May 1 in Pennsylvania under new coronavirus mitigation rules. Workers must wear masks and stay six feet apart. Temperature checks will be necessary if an employee is exposed to COVID-19.

Construction will resume one week earlier than expected in Pennsylvania amid the COVID-19 shutdown, but new work guidelines will be in place.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf bumped up the start date to May 1 earlier this week. On Thursday, he clarified that constructions sites will be required to employ methods to mitigate spread of the coronavirus. 

Workers will be required to wear masks and stay six feet apart. Sites must limit crew sizes, install hand-washing stations and adopt sanitizing protocol for high-touch places. 

Residential projects will be limited to four people per site, and commercial projects will vary depending on the size of the project. Workers' breaks should be staggered to avoid gatherings. 

If members of the worksite are exposed to a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, temperature screenings will be required to ensure workers are not reporting sick. 

Each site will have a designated Pandemic Safety Officer to enforce the rules. The full guidelines, drafted by the governor's office and the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, can be viewed here.

Other non-life-sustaining businesses and industries will remain closed until state regions begin advancing through the state's three-phase reopening plan released Wednesday.