Builder Urges Miami-Dade County to Close Construction Sites Due to COVID-19

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A builder is urging Miami-Dade County to stop all non-essential construction projects to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Sergio Pino, the head of Century Homebuilders, is voluntarily closing multiple job site in the county by next week after two of his workers tested positive for COVID-19.

“A lot of people are turning positive to the virus in our industry,” Pino said.

Pino wrote a letter to Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez warning him of the spread of the virus across the community through construction sites.

“There are rules in our industry and I know most people try to enforce those rules in our industry, but it's very difficult," Pino said. "Instead of putting a bandaid on this issue.  We are better off in my opinion to close down 10 working days and reopen with a fresh start in two weeks, three weeks, whatever it takes."

While Miami-Dade is allowing construction work for now, cities are taking action. The city of Miami Beach shut down a project Thursday in the 5700 block of Collins Avenue. It also closed two other sites and said the stop orders were issued because the proper health longs were not being maintained. Both Surfside and Golden Beach have shut construction projects down completely.

Pino had hoped to get other builders behind him to close their jobs sites but that didn’t materialize.

“We were trying to rally the industry and builders association around the idea, but unfortunately that’s not happening,” Pino said.

On the economic side, Pino said that with small business loans and when regular work starts again, workers at the sites would get a large amount of overtime to make up their losses. 

The Mayor’s office this afternoon said that Miami-Dade Police officers are going to take a look at these sites and 60 of them have gotten visits over the last two days. Officers are reporting that most workers are complying with social distancing.  

Gimenez' spokesperson also said he has been meeting with builders about this and that they are taking a look at some specific directives for construction sites to protect the workers and the rest of the community from COVID-19.

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