Shortly after breaking ground on the Rotary Youth Center at Morrison on February 14, 2020 COVID-19 was declared a national emergency and was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a pandemic. Our project team quickly implemented safety protocols following the State of Oregon Executive Order NO 20-12 for the job site including mask requirements, temperature checks, and daily health checks. Superintendents were tasked as on-site Social Distancing Officers (SDO) to ensure we safeguarded our employees, subcontractors, and the general public’s health and safety while maintaining the highest quality construction within our client’s budget and project schedule.
COVID-19 changed the way subcontractors worked on our job sites; before the pandemic, they were able to work on the site simultaneously. Once the pandemic hit, most crews were trimmed down by half and only one trade was allowed on the job site at a time. Masks/shields were required as a safety measure along with daily temperature monitoring, tool cleaning, and check-in tracking in the event a COVID-19 case needed to be traced to notify others on site. The City of Portland faced challenges with their workflow, as well, and as a result, their permitting time increased significantly. Additionally, inspections became more strict, if the inspector showed up and saw someone without a mask on they would turn around and leave.