General Contractors And Others Lobby To Be Deemed 'Essential'
Groups that represent hospitals and doctors are pushing for Governor Roy Cooper to order a shelter-in-place.
But the North Carolina Chamber has said such an order should be a "last-ditch resort." And industries like real estate and construction want the governor to consider them essential during the coronavirus pandemic and allow them to keep running.
Betsy Bailey is a lobbyist for the group Carolinas Associated General Contractors. She argues commercial construction operations can practice social distancing, and keep their workers safe and healthy.
We need your help! The #construction industry and the work it performs is vital and essential to the critical industries that must remain in operation to respond to this pandemic and crises to come.— Carolinas AGC (@CarolinasAGC) March 24, 2020
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"Nobody that I could think of would jeopardize an entire project and their workforce just for their bottom line, just so they can keep the job open a couple more days," she said. "They're just not going to do that."
Some local governments across the state have issued their own stay-at-home directives. They generally only make exceptions for healthcare and service jobs, and activities like grocery shopping, exercising or seeking medical care.