Miami-Dade Emergency Order Deems Construction to be Essential Business Exempt from Closure (Updated 3/25/2020)

Justin TolleyCovid-19 Coronavirus, Government Orders

3/25/2020 – Updated to include the “Essential Employee Authorization to Travel” form & Emergency Order.


Carols Gimenez says the exception for construction sites may not last.
Carlos Gimenez has specifically exempted construction sites from his emergency order shuttering non-essential businesses. Local 10 News asked Gimenez why construction was exempted and he said that,

“They are essential […] the order said they are essential and so they are allowed to run but they have to maintain social distancing.”

Gimenez added that the county would be inspecting the social distancing requirement on a site-by-site basis and that those who were non-compliant would be shut down.
Although major contractors have instituted policies that require social distancing and suspend meetings, one worker told Local 10 News that not enough was being done and that he would no longer come to work until “this all blows over.”


Essential Employee Authorization to Travel 

To Whom It May Concern: 

The holder of this letter is an employee of (Insert Company Name), which is a business providing construction services, and/or construction materials and supplies to active construction sites. Therefore, in accordance with Miami Dade County Executive Order 07-20, Section 3(i), (w), (cc), (dd), or (ee) (Insert Company Name) is an essential business permitted to remain operational so long as social distancing measures are followed.

(Insert Company Name) currently has in place a number of preventative safety procedures and protocol which meet or exceed those required by the CDC, in order to ensure the safety of our team and any individuals who may come in contact with our team. These measures consist of the practice of social distancing wherein employees are instructed to maintain six (6) feet of separation between one another, and groups are generally limited to no more than 10 people whenever possible. Moreover, prophylactic gear such as gloves and masks in addition to hand sanitizer are used frequently when possible and necessary. 

As such, the individual in possession of this letter is a “essential business employee” of the construction industry and should be considered exempt from local restrictions such as curfews, shelter-in-place orders, and other travel restrictions when reporting to, returning from, or performing his or her work functions.

Pursuant to the above, this individual is authorized to travel to and from my workplace and to and from locations pursuant to the job duties to support critical infrastructure sectors.

Should you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact [Insert Name], [Insert Title], [Insert Company Name] at [Insert 24-Hour Phone Number].

While several more businesses are ordered to cease all operations due to the escalating Coronavirus pandemic, construction professionals remain exempt from Miami Dade County’s latest Emergency Order. Effective 9:00pm Thursday March 19, 2020 all “non-essential” retail and commercial establishments were forced to close their doors in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19. The Mayor’s order will force a significant portion of businesses to close including nail salons, golf courses, offices, trampoline parks, casinos and social clubs. Mayor Gimenez’s Emergency Order references 33 different categories of business deemed “essential” and therefore exempt from closure, with the following classifications applying either directly or indirectly to contractors, suppliers, and other construction professionals specifically:

a) Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures;

b) Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate, and which do not interact with the general public;

c) Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care services

d) Businesses operating at any airport, seaport, or other government facility, including parks and government offices

e) Office space and administrative support necessary to perform any of the above listed activities;

f) Open construction sites, irrespective of the type of building

g) Architectural, engineering, or land surveying services


It should also be noted that hardware stores such as Lowes and Home Depot will also remain open for business to assist in residential work and smaller projects. Further, Miami Dade County and virtually all other county and city building departments continue to operate with limited exceptions to the services provided. However most building departments are taking extra measures their inspectors contact for example Fort Lauderdale requires only one person can be in contact with inspectors during inspections while Davie is requiring their inspectors to wear masks, and gloves. Keep in mind, should a new mandate be issued requiring building departments to close or cease performing inspections, such an order would essentially halt all construction except for those projects utilizing a private provider. Regardless, this is obviously a fluid situation which could further escalate due to any number of circumstances and should be monitored closely with your construction advisor.