Several Mountain View construction sites have been struck with COVID-19 cases and have had to temporarily shut down for sanitation. One site with the largest outbreak had 10 infected workers and 30 potentially exposed, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.
The site’s location was not identified in the county press release, but a report from the Mercury News suggests the outbreak came from Shashi Hotel at 1625 N. Shoreline Blvd., which was projected to finish in the fall, according to project planner Margaret Netto. Shellie Woodworth, Mountain View's chief building official, could not confirm if the hotel was connected to the 10 cases.
The city received reports of several sites with one or two infection cases, including one residential project, said Woodworth; however, the county later found that one of the sites had 10 employees with the coronavirus. The location was not disclosed to city officials, said Shonda Ranson, Mountain View's public information officer.
Two electricians at the North Shoreline site were found to have COVID-19 at the time the developers sent a report to the city even as the county's COVID-specific safety protocols were followed, said Woodworth.
"We didn't see anything missing," she said. The site has been sanitized and greenlighted to resume construction since Monday, according to Woodworth.
The site's developer, Davis Reed Construction, could not be reached for comment despite multiple attempts.
Based on the project's specifications, the hotel is classified as a "large construction project" by the county, which comes with several safety guidelines: staggered and adjusted work shifts for employees to reduce the number of people onsite at the same time, wash stations and hand sanitizer dispensers, and a COVID-19 safety compliance officer, as well as a third-party jobsite safety accountability supervisor assigned to the project.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the city has closely followed the timeline of the county's shelter-in-place orders, which allowed for construction projects to resume on May 4. A development update published in May listed 24 projects as under construction. Woodworth said the city will continue to follow county guidance unless told otherwise.
Current city protocols allow for sites to "voluntarily" shut down once a COVID-19 case is found, Woodworth said. If developers do not put a stop to construction, the city can issue a "stop-work" until the site is properly sanitized by a certified cleaner. Only one site had not voluntarily shut down, Woodworth said, but all sites eventually stopped construction in order to be sanitized.
Though the hotel project was expected to finish in the fall, Woodworth said it's difficult to provide a due date for any of the sites as delays mount from county orders and infection cases, which have forced some developers to cut on-site staff in half.
"It's gonna take much longer to build things," she said.