Coronavirus: How Louisiana's Stay-at-Home Order May Affect the Construction Industry

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On March 22, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Edwards issued Proclamation Number 33 placing all individuals within the State of Louisiana, with limited exceptions, under a general stay-at-home order. Individuals are directed to stay home unless they are performing certain essential activities, like obtaining food, medicine, or medical care. Individuals whose job functions are deemed essential are also excepted and may continue to work. The Governor's order takes effect Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and runs through Monday, April 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

In addition to listing certain essential worker activities that are exempt from the general stay-at-home order, the Proclamation refers to an advisory memorandum prepared on March 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) for guidance on what additional workers are deemed essential and exempt from the order.

Although the CISA memo is not completely clear on whether all construction work and workers are deemed essential and exempt from the Governor's order, the Governor's office has now issued a fact sheet stating that "[c]onstruction, including, but not limited to, construction required in response to this public health emergency, hospital construction, construction of long term care facilities, public works construction, and housing construction," as well as "Construction Engineers" are deemed to be essential activities. Additionally, the fact sheet lists plumbers, electricians, HVAC, and painting as critical trades; suppliers of hardware, paint, and electrical, plumbing, and heating material as essential suppliers; and, the manufacturers, distributors, and supply chain companies of products and services for the construction industry as essential.

This remains a rapidly-evolving situation, and we may see additional guidance on the Governor's order in the coming days.

The full text of the Governor's order can be seen here. The related fact sheet is available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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