COVID-19 in Boston

Vagabond

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CoronaQuestion. On the way into work I was seeing construction sites large and small full of workers. Then I got to work and it's a ghost town and nobody is working.

Any word on construction pauses due to this viral shutdown?
 

whighlander

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CoronaQuestion. On the way into work I was seeing construction sites large and small full of workers. Then I got to work and it's a ghost town and nobody is working.

Any word on construction pauses due to this viral shutdown?
Vagabond -- the people who work with their hands are still working on the project sites
The people who "work with their head" -- have been mostly told to stay home and work remotely

Note that the two categories overlap is situations such as Biotech labs where not all the wet work is being done by robots or machine shops where people need to be on the scene to monitor the CNC and robots
 

George_Apley

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This thread is for discussion of the urban, and economic, and health impacts from the novel corona virus on our fair city.

Per Governor Baker's order, beginning tomorrow (3/17/2020) all food & drink-service businesses are shuttered for sit-down service, but regulations are relaxed for pickup and delivery services. Gatherings of over 25 people are prohibited, which cancels most events and restricts retailers. Grocery stores and pharmacies are not impacted by this order. Schools are closed for three weeks. Other emergency policies were announced as well.

The Globe has the full printed orders.
 

Arlington

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in Medford there has been an amazing spike in the number of people that I see walking places, some of it is obviously just a loop for exercise, but I also judge that more people are combining their exercise with a walk to Walgreens or Whole Foods.

Also plenty of people strolling and biking on the Tri Community path (Winchester Woburn Stoneham) (it only recently officially opened and many people gave the impression of exploring it for the first time)

And the parking lots at Fells are jam packed.

If nothing else people are realizing the value paths parks and bike-ped facilities many of which have only been completed in the last 10 years.

I think it has the possibility to have a profound impact on a city like Medford where most people think of themselves primarily as drivers.For the first time they will be taking extended walks through their neighborhoods (except for the one walk everyone takes each year for Halloween).

I think they're getting a new appreciation for well marked crosswalks for example.
 

Arlington

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Actually I'm going to amplify my comments above: in the last 72 hours I have walked and biked the streets of Medford Winchester Woburn Stoneham and Melrose. It feels really different--like people have suddenly noticed that human power is a legitimate way to get around.
 

dirtywater

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From the Globe:

BREAKING NEWS ALERT
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Monday ordered a halt to construction projects in the city amid concerns about worker safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Even as many other businesses around Boston have closed or ordered employees to work from home to try to stop the spread of the virus, large construction sites downtown were fully up and running Monday morning.

The busy construction sites and the multiple cranes soaring above the city’s skyline have been an emblem of the city’s bustling economy, now under stress due to the coronavirus.
 

DZH22

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^^^Uggghhhh just saw this. But, obviously this was going to happen. I think it was either on boston.com or bostonglobe.com where a writer referred to this as "The Great Pause." I think that's appropriate.
 

Vagabond

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Weird timing - just saw this article this morning: "Although some countries have gone into total lockdown as a precaution and at least one major U.K. construction project has temporarily halted due to virus exposure, only one major jobsite in the U.S. so far, a university dormitory project in Snohomish County, Wash., has temporarily stopped work. That project suspended construction after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. The only other place where small projects may have stopped is in New Rochelle, a suburb of New York City, where movement is restricted. "

 

stellarfun

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In San Francisco, the city has de facto closed construction sites through the first week in April. Only businesses allowed to be open are grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, gas stations. Restaurants open for take out only. Five other Bay area counties will issue similar restrictions: Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda.
 

Riverside

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I wonder how long it will be before an official delay to GLX construction/opening is announced.
 

whighlander

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Let's continue the COVID-19 angle here. Posts have been copied over.
George -- Doesn't make much sense in general
  1. Now-a-days most construction sites are not exactly dense with workers -- they are spread out either horizontally and/or vertically
  2. Most sites have a considerable amount of ventilation [the buildings aren't closed in] and the virus only spreads due to direct exposure to a sneeze or cough or else via touching a contaminated surface.
  3. While there is some evidence of transmission from someone not yet showing overt symptoms -- its not considered a major infection transmission mechanism
 

tysmith95

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I'm worried that we'll see empty foundations like in 2008 for what became the Millennium Tower.
 

stellarfun

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With a major recession likely, some of the not-yet-started projects could get delayed or cancelled.
If the 1918 'Spanish flu' pandemic is an analog, there was a sharp contraction, followed by a sharp economic rebound in the final months of 1918. Without graphing it, it seems to have been like a 'V".

Another possibility is that the giga-billion economic relief package being drafted will have billions for public construction projects that are shovel-ready, as was done in 2009.
 

JumboBuc

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Another possibility is that the giga-billion economic relief package being drafted will have billions for public construction projects that are shovel-ready, as was done in 2009.
The government needs to act with strong and decisive fiscal support, likely to the tune of 12+ figures. Entire sectors of the US (and world) economy have seized up practically overnight, leaving millions of families hanging out to dry. But targeting an economic relief package on construction spending would make zero sense for this crisis. There are easily dozens of higher priority funding needs in this crisis than more construction projects.
 

bobthebuilder

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  1. Most sites have a considerable amount of ventilation [the buildings aren't closed in] and the virus only spreads due to direct exposure to a sneeze or cough or else via touching a contaminated surface.

I'd argue that this isn't exactly true. It may seem this way because all we can see on a day to day basis and most of what we talk about here are new tower projects, but there are many more renovation projects going on that you would/will never know about.

I would tend to agree that construction work isn't necessarily a high risk area for transmission but the name of the game is reducing the chance for the virus to spread as much as possible, and the administration determined that included construction projects. Remember it's not just about the site itself it everywhere that worker goes between home and the site, and a lot of those workers are going to rely on the T to get there.
 
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