Black - Texas Building Branch AGC
Red - AGC Houston
Blue - AGC of America

COVID-19 Timeline of Events

Local  --  State  --  National

March 6 – Travis Co/City of Austin declares emergency, issues gathering order <2,500, cancel SXSW

March 11 - Mayor Turner declares a Local State of Disaster Due to a Public Health Emergency to help contain and mitigate COVID-19 spread; cancels Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; city-sponsored, produced, and permitted events were postponed or canceled through the end of March

March 12 – Governor Abbott declares emergency

March 13 – President Trump declares emergency

March 13 - Chapter postpones 29th Annual AGC BBQ Cook-Off until further notice; City and County government officials are recommending no gatherings of over 100 people 

March 14 – Travis County/City of Austin reduces gathering size to <250; all statewide trade and construction associations (AGC-Building, AGC Highway, Homebuilders, ABC, TCA) mobilize to work on language for the Governor, re: “essential businesses” to remain open

March 16 - AGC staff begins drafting of Recommended Practices for jobsites to combat the spread of the virus, reaching out to legal, safety, and medical contacts for clarification and recommendations on questionable procedures

March 17 - All classes, meetings, and events scheduled at AGC Houston office are cancelled/postponed through March 31, 2020 

March 18 - Final Recommended Practices is published, distributed, and placed on Chapter website; document is shared with City of Houston and Harris County permitting, engineering, and public works officials; City of Houston expresses interest in implementing Recommended Practices throughout the city

March 19 - Governor Abbott issues the first Public Health Disaster Declaration released in the State of Texas since 1901 and an Executive Order which, among other things, prohibits Texans from gathering in groups of more than ten persons

March 19 – Dept of Homeland Security releases Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) memo re: “essential businesses”; statewide associations send letter to Governor re: “essential businesses,” including construction

March 19 - Chapters and organizations across the country begin adopting the Chapter Recommended Practices document

March 20-22 – Top 15 largest Texas counties in tug-of-war with the Governor over who will issue stay-at-home orders

March 20 – In response to Harris County request that non-essential business work from home, chapter limits the number of staff (50%) in building; plan is scheduled to be in place until April 3

March 20 - Release of survey that says pandemic has halted / delayed projects for 28% of contractors

March 22 – Top 15 largest counties bolt, decide to issue stay-at-home orders; statewide construction associations hold conference call to push “essential business” language to the judges of the 15 largest counties – as well as the big-city mayors – by whatever means necessary; Dallas Co issues stay-at-home order

March 23 - AGC groups at national, state, and local levels begin full-court-press to have government official recognize commercial construction as an essential business during this pandemic 

March 23-24 – the rest of the top 15 counties issue “stay at home” orders. All exempt commercial construction except Travis Co/City of Austin—who are immediately inundated with complaints, confusion, and chaos surrounding their orders; state construction associations push Governor to do statewide “essential business” order overriding Travis Co/City of Austin

March 24 - Harris County Judge issues “Stay Home, Work Safe” order telling residents to stay home if not providing essential services as defined in the order; commercial construction is deemed as essential; as non-exempt business, AGC closes the building and implements a telecommuting schedule for staff 

March 26 - Due to overwhelming requests for information related to COVID-19, Chapter creates a dedicated page on website; information is updated daily, including a FAQ section

March 27 - ENR Magazine reaches out to AGC Houston for upcoming article on positive impact construction has made in the community during pandemic. Members have been asked to contribute to the article

March 27 – According to AGCA survey, 39% of contractors report that owners have halted or canceled current construction projects

March 27 – Congress signs the CARES act into law; includes Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Employee Retention Credit, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, and Delay of Payroll Tax Remittance

March 28 – Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expands CISA to include residential construction

March 30 - City of Houston Public Works Department adopt the AGC Recommended Practices document for use by all city contractors.; AGC Houston implements communications campaign (3x week) to promote expanded safety guidelines and wellness practices on jobsites

March 31 – Governor issues GA-14 (statewide EBs order) – references CISA and overrides Travis Co/City of Austin; allows Texas Dept of Emergency Management to expand EBs on request

March 31 - Governor Abbott issues Executive Order GA-14 implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols through April 30

March 31 –  AGC staff takes part in a GC-CEO peer group conference call regarding “temporal scanning” on jobsites in Harris County since it was recently mandated in Dallas County

April 1 – conference call with White House and DHS – explaining CISA updating process and timelines

April 1 – AGC Safety Leadership Group formed to review best practices, share resources, and advise on front line safety issues related to COVID-19

April 2 – conference call with AGC of America re: getting CISA expanded for commercial construction

April 3 - Harris County Judge extends the Stay Home, Work Safe Order through April 30

April 3 – Survey reports that 27% of construction firms are reporting layoffs, furlough; 59% of contractors report projects being halted / canceled due to shortages of material and parts and equipment, including vital PPE

April 6 – UT Austin releases COVID-19 model specific to construction

April 7 – Conference call with Governor, Attorney General, Congressman Brady re: CARES Act, PPE distribution, EBs, re-opening economy:
  • schools will remain closed until May 4 – may reopen; will decide in late April
  • CARES – direct deposits start in 8 days
    • Payroll protection loans are FORGIVABLE
    • Adding another $250B (happened yesterday)
    • Banks were hitting lending limits, but Treasury is about to free those back up
    • Texas Workforce Commission said should apply online if lost job whether employee OR IND CONTRACTOR or gig economy worker. CARES is generous
  • Dell executive appointed to handle PPE supply chain
  • Dramatic increase in tests: confirmed COVID AND already had COVID (antibodies – finger prick)
  • Fed and state talk about how and when to begin to re-open rest of the economy
    • Who - data
    • When - data
    • How – protocols, masks, distancing – very high % of population remains vulnerable to C19

April 9 - Chapter hosts Town Hall Meeting for Houston Construction COVID Response
April 10
– Survey reports that 40% of respondents have reported layoffs; also an increase in project cancellation

April 17 – DHS expands CISA (3.0) to include more commercial construction

April 17 – Survey reports construction employment declined in 20 states and Washington DC during the month of March

April 23 – SBA issues new guidance on PPP certification and provides safe harbor date (May 7) for borrowers who want to return loans. PPP borrowers must make certification in good faith, taking into account their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of liquidity sufficient to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not significantly detrimental to the business.  

April 24 – Chapter hosts first Safety Committee meeting via webinar

April 24 – Survey reports 67% of construction firms report project cancellations / delay; also reporting that PPP allows construction firms to add and retain employees despite project delay/cancellation

April 28 - Harris County extends “stay at home order” for non-essential business (those not a part of businesses included in GA-18) until May 20

April 28 – Treasury announces SBA will review all PPP loans above $2 million and provide safe harbor date of May 7 for any companies to return PPP loan.

May 5 – PPP safe harbor date to return loan extended to May 14

May 13 – Treasury provides a safe harbor provision for firms that self-certified their need for loans that totaled less than $2 million

May 14 - Treasury and SBA extends the safe harbor repayment of PPP loans from May 14 to May 18

May 21 – Harris County extends “stay at home’ order through June 10; order specifically addresses protocols for construction and the need for industry to ensure their adherence

May 22 - AGC of America survey finds 69% of firms report having projects canceled since the start of the pandemic
June 4 - U.S. Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The measure makes significant improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program that AGC has been pushing for and its passage marks another legislative victory for the association.

Disclaimer: This is a timeline of events compiled by AGC Houston based on information gathered from various sources and developed for internal purposes. It by no means is meant to reflect (with complete accuracy) all events associated with COVID-19.