The summary below was sent to Associated General Contractor (AGC) Oregon-Columbia Chapter members from AGC board member Paige Spratt of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C.

This evening we received clarification from Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s office that provides: “In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the Proclamation [Stay Home, Stay Healthy Proclamation (20-25)] because construction is not considered an essential activity.”

The letter then goes on to provide for some very limited exceptions to this general determination. Construction is allowed “in the following limited circumstances:

  1. Construction related to essential activities described in the order;
  2. To further a public purpose related to a public or government function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing; or
  3. To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential business and residential structures.”

This confirms that Governor Inslee intended to restrict construction and limit it to those projects that are essential or that require repairs, or to avoid unsafe conditions. Most private projects likely will not fall within these exceptions. If you believe your project falls within any of the exceptions, we recommend seeking clarification through the Governor’s “Essential Business Inquiry” form. The state’s COVID-19 site,, will have the most current information.

AGC will continue to provide updates to our members as additional clarifications come to light.

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