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COVID-19 & AEC Update: May 21, 2020

covid-19 update may 21

DBIA’s mission is to provide the best resources available to help inform and empower our industry. In these uncertain times, that mission is even more important. As our communities fight the Coronavirus, we are working to find the best information available to help design-build teams navigate the unknown. This daily newsletter will provide the latest COVID-19 news for the AEC community.

Design-builders deliver in times of crisis and we will again.

If you have COVID-19 news impacting the AEC industry from your organization, state or community please email us.

May 21st


WHO reports most coronavirus cases in one day as total nears 5 million-NBC News. More than 100,000 coronavirus cases were reported to the World Health Organization in the previous 24 hours. According to the World Health Organization director-general, it was “the most in a single day since the outbreak began.”

38.6 Million Have Filed For Unemployment Since March-NPR. Another 2.4 million people filed claims for unemployment last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. In the last nine weeks, jobless claims have totaled 38.6 million, roughly one out of every four people who were working in February.


States Reopen Construction With New Practices-Engineering News-Record. As states around the country gradually reopen from the coronavirus shutdown, contractors are being challenged to operate in new ways to prevent the spread of the virus and to accept a slower pace of work as the new normal.

At least 4 states combined numbers from two tests, possibly providing a misleading picture of coronavirus spread-CNN. At least four states combined data from two different test results, potentially providing a misleading picture of when and where coronavirus spread as the nation eases restrictions. Virginia, Texas, Georgia, and Vermont have said they’ve been adding two numbers to their totals: viral test results and antibody test results.


Hensel Phelps employs autonomous robot ‘dog’ at Denver Airport project-Construction Dive. After months of testing by multiple general contractors, Boston Dynamics’ Spot the robot dog is being put to use in a real-world scenario, at the Denver International Airport’s multibillion-dollar expansion and renovation project.


Orlando Airport Scaling Back $3B Terminal-Orlando Sentinel. Orlando’s airport authority on Wednesday launched its most far-reaching responses to COVID-19 by scaling back a $3 billion new terminal and cutting deals with airlines, rental-car companies and concessionaire to defer or waive three months of rents.

New York

New York City could begin to reopen in the first half of June, Mayor Bill de Blasio says-CNBC. Construction would resume when NYC tries to shift into the first phase of reopening in the first half of June. The city has met three of the seven indicators outlined by the state that it must meet before it can begin reopening.


US Workers Have Lost $1.3 Trillion in Income During Pandemic-Industry Week. It’s not just those who have been laid off who are losing wages, 20% of this loss represents earnings of those who remain employed.

POST-COVID: Safety Isn’t Only About Infrastructure-StreetsBlogUSA. It’s not too late for cities to prevent a total carmageddon as their COVID-19 lockdowns ease — and they need to think beyond simple infrastructure to get it done.

How construction tech firms are proving their worth during lockdown-New Civil Engineer. The advantages of technology in engineering are being brought forward by the Covid-19 lockdown. The pandemic has the potential to change as the industry discovers that with technology, remote site management is feasible. Some believe that the construction and engineering sectors have been on the brink of a technology revolution for some time.

Contact our editors if you have COVID-19 news impacting the AEC industry to share.