Construction has been halted at Walt Disney World as coronavirus continues to impact Central Florida’s building industry, according to the head of the region’s top construction trade organization.
According to Mark Wylie, president and CEO of the Central Florida chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors Inc., other Central Florida construction sites will also be shut down. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended March 16 that events of 10 or more people be canceled or postponed.
“It’s already having a terrific impact on the economy,” Wylie said in a statement.
Also, work on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel is expected to be delayed. Originally, the facility was expected to open next year.
Meanwhile, the majority of construction projects continue across South Florida.
Building departments in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and others across the state are still open, but officials are encouraging people to conduct business by phone or email.
The unemployment rate for Florida’s construction industry reached a record low of 5.4 percent in January before the pandemic swept into the U.S. and officials are optimistic that the industry would quickly bounce back from a short disruption.
Contingency plans have been implemented at sites to keep workers safe in the face of the pandemic.
Plaza Construction, a New York-based general contractor and project management firm that is active in South Florida, has no immediate plans to shut down construction jobsites or reduce its workforce, according to a company spokesperson. Plaza is currently building the Oasis at Wynwood and Las Marinas Residences at Sunny Isles in Miami-Dade, and Resorts World Casino New York and The Tin Building in New York City.
New guidelines are in place, including social distancing at the company’s offices and job sites, according to a memo the company sent its clients, partners and employees.
“This plan allows for our employees to work remotely using technology platforms that have been built to support remote accessibility and mobility,” the memo states. “Our teams will be joining all meetings via phone and video conferencing, and will remain available to answer any questions or concerns as required.”
With information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) being issued at a rapid pace, ABC has assembled a page of links to helpful resources.