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Adler addresses construction issues

Friday, March 27, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Since the onset of public health measures aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19, there have been ongoing questions about where construction falls on the binary of essential and nonessential work. The issue was addressed late into Thursday’s Council meeting, and the answer remains murky, but Mayor Steve Adler assured those watching that there are people looking into the issue. At the moment, some construction jobs have been deemed nonessential and some, like affordable housing projects, housing for the homeless and essential government work will continue. This has led to a lot of questions and concern from the public, members of the business community and others looking for answers. “I understand the frustration and I understand the ambiguity; we are working as hard and as fast as we can to bring more certainty,” said Adler.”I think the best we can say at this point is that we are living with this issue every moment every day and we are trying to come up with something better than what we have now.” Adler explained that they had been and would continue to experiment with modeling of virus spread under different scenarios, and stressed that information about the spread was a rapidly evolving situation. The most important thing, he stressed, is to make sure that all social interactions are limited by 90 percent in order to save the thousands of lives in Austin that might otherwise be lost.

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