Covid outbreaks on building sites prompt warning in California

Multiple cases of Covid-19 reported among construction workers in Santa Clara County, California, prompted public health officials to urge contractors to follow social distancing protocols last week.

The largest outbreak occurred at a single site in Mountain View, where 10 cases and more than 30 potential exposures were reported.

The construction company notified the county’s public health department when it learned of the first case, and closed the site at the request of the county until further notice.

Three other sites, two in San Jose and one in Milpitas, have each had between three and five cases. These have also voluntarily closed at the county’s request, while potential exposures are investigated.

Nine more construction sites in the county have had at least one confirmed case.

After an initial shutdown, construction in the county was allowed to resume on 4 May.

"These cases emphasise the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic," said county health officer Dr Sara Cody. "With additional sectors reopening, it is vital that everyone carefully follow social distancing protocols to ensure that workers are safe. This includes keeping physical distance and wearing a face covering."

Under the current Health Officer order, construction activity must comply with safety and social distancing protocols specific to the industry. 

Image: ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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