Despite outbreaks, officials say Silicon Valley construction sites are safe – San José Spotlight

Across Santa Clara County, restrictions on a wide-reaching shelter-in-place order are loosening, employees are getting back to work, residents are dining out again and new buildings are rising.

But the slow reopening of the region — a constant balancing act between mitigating the damage of keeping the economy shuttered versus reducing the spread of the coronavirus — hasn’t been seamless.

So far, four construction sites across Santa Clara County have shut down due to coronavirus outbreaks, and another nine have had at least one confirmed case, county officials announced this month. The news came about a month after the county’s top health official, Dr. Sara Cody, allowed all construction in the South Bay to resume.

Despite the outbreaks, many construction companies and county officials say that’s not a sign that loosening the restrictions is dangerous. County officials have not released information about which construction sites have been shuttered, only that two in San Jose, one in Mountain View and another in Milpitas were closed.

“It is important to remember that these construction companies acted responsibly and self-reported the cases, allowing Public Health to do proper contact tracing to prevent further spread,” county officials said in a statement to San José Spotlight last week. “We appreciate the members of the business community doing their part to operate as safely as possible.”

When DavisREED Construction Inc. found some of the contractors it had hired to work on the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View had tested positive for COVID-19, construction shut down immediately, said Bryan Atwater,