Most construction is not considered essential and personnel in the construction field should stay at home. On March 25, Governor Inslee provided Construction Guidance to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25), which states, “In general, commercial and residential construction in not authorized under the Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.”
Exceptions are limited but include construction related to essential activities (such as healthcare, utilities, and transportation services), to further a public purpose (such as publicly financed low-income housing), or emergency situations (such as repairs necessary for safety or structural integrity).
Washington State has created an Essential Business Inquiries webpage, where applicants can request clarification or inclusion on the essential businesses list: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/d4c155fa930f4b848f95774d610c9708.
At this time, emergency repairs are acceptable and would include such things as a septic failure, contaminated drinking water, or structurally unsafe situations. During the stay-at-home health order, Kittitas County Public Health Department is no longer providing inspections to construction that is not allowed.
Kittitas County cannot be less strict in its requirements than the state, but the Health Officer can issue orders that are more protective or restrictive. At this time, the Kittitas County Health Officer is not issuing more restrictive guidelines compared to the state regarding what is or is not “essential” in Kittitas County.
“The intention behind the order is to keep people away from each other to stop the spread of the COVID-19,” states Health Officer Dr. Mark Larson. “If there are emergency situations that require immediate attention then construction is allowed; otherwise, everyone should be at home.”
If you have questions, please call the Emergency Operation Center at 509-933-8315 or 509-933-8305. Please watch our county website along with our social media for updated information at www.co.kittitas.wa.us or Facebook.