Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates from ABC Keystone

ABC Keystone continues to prioritize your safety to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When you visit Chapter headquarters you will now see CDC-recommended safety precautions in place including COVID-19 symptom screenings, face mask requirements, enhanced cleaning measures and the implementation of social distancing to protect your health. We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we open up under these guidelines. We are looking forward to seeing our members, students and guests in person again.


We are committed to serving our members during this unprecedented time. We are continuing to offer valuable updates, resources and services* to our members, and we encourage you to reach out to our team via their emails located here.

Click here for the full Coronavirus section of our website
(Resources and Updates from ABC Keystone and ABC National, Virtual Training & More)

*The information contained in the Coronavirus Update and Resources webpages is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney. We encourage you to reach out to your attorneys, accountants, insurers and other parties for advice. You can access a listing of ABC Keystone member associates here.

Below are recent updates from the Chapter regarding the COVID-19 crisis.
Please scroll down to see all updates.


7/2/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Please be aware that on 7/1, Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine signed an expanded mask-wearing Order that states masks must now be worn whenever anyone leaves home. Please keep this in mind when updating your COVID-19 safety policies for your office and field operations. Click here for more information.

We’re Open!

At the Chapter training facility, we have implemented the Governor’s COVID-19 guidance and CDC-recommended health and safety guidelines. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of those of you who have already had an opportunity to attend education and training on-site over the past couple of weeks. Click here to view many newly scheduled training opportunities and upcoming networking events available for you and your team.

I encourage you to continue reaching out to the Chapter with your questions. We’re here to help. Enjoy the 4th of July holiday!

Stay safe and healthy,
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, July 2, 2020 –



6/30/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Grants for small businesses have become available, but there is a very short application window of 10 days to be eligible.Please see the information below and reach out to your financial advisors for advice.

From the Governor’s press release:

“The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program, announced earlier this month, will provide $225 million in grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to eligible businesses through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.
Beginning June 30, eligible businesses may begin applying for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program here.
The first application window will remain open for ten days. Applications will continue to be accepted after 10 business days but will be considered for future rounds of funding, as this is not a first-come, first-served program. Applications will be prioritized and selected for funding based on the program criteria. The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funding in the form of grants. An application can be accessed at pabusinessgrants.com

Additional Details:


Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, June 30, 2020 –



6/11/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

The construction industry as a whole has been back to work for a little over a month now, and you and your fellow members have worked diligently to follow the newly implemented COVID-19 safety protocols. Your commitment to safety is commendable and vital for continued operations.
Please be advised that the COVID-19 safety regulations are continuously updated. The requirements you were operating under at the beginning of May may be different now. Please be certain to stay up-to-date on all of the guidance available from the CDC, the state and the municipalities in which you are working.
You can find updates and links to CDC and OSHA guidance on our website. Click here for access to these and other Coronavirus resources. Remember to ensure that you are implementing the most recent policies and consistently following through on them not only on the jobsite but in the office as well.
The use of face masks in construction has brought forward many questions. To help you navigate some of these questions, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a series of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the use of masks in the workplace. These frequently asked questions and answers mark the latest guidance from OSHA addressing protective measures for workplaces during the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, OSHA published numerous guidance documents for workers and employers, including five guidance documents aimed at expanding the availability of respirators.
Although our industry has resumed operations, and the state continues to open up, COVID-19 has not gone away. Please continue to be diligent to keep everyone safe on the job.
Stay safe and healthy,
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, June 11, 2020 –



 5/14/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Please be aware: The Governor’s initial COVID-19 Safety Guidance for the Construction Industry allows political subdivisions to impose additional guidelines that exceed the Governor’s.

As of Tuesday evening, the Lancaster City Council has adopted additional construction industry safety policies at their recent meeting. We shared with you previously that Philadelphia was the first to adopt additional guidelines with the policies found here, and now Lancaster City has done so as well. This means that if your jobsites are located within these cities, you must read and follow these guidelines.

Furthermore, please be certain to continuously check for any additional policies put in place by all of the municipalities in which you are working. The penalties for not doing so can be severe. As you will find in the recent document from Lancaster City, these penalties can include fines, the loss of permits, and even jail time.

I can not stress enough how important it is that you continue to seek the guidance of your attorneys, accountants, insurers and financial institutions regarding the decisions you make when operating jobsites during this crisis. You should be in direct contact with this team of advisors, and we are also here to answer your questions and to provide you with information. We are committed to ensuring that we keep you informed of these ever-changing COVID-19 developments.

Please stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602

Note: The second round of PPP Loan funds has not yet run out. There are funds available at this time, and should you choose to apply for funding, please do so soon and under the guidance of your advisory team.


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, May 14, 2020 –



5/8/20

ABC Keystone Members:

We hope this first week back at the jobsites was a productive and safe one for you. Please remember, each one of us has the responsibility to set the example for the construction industry to help ensure that the opportunity to be open for business continues on in the midst of this pandemic. That means that every safety protocol in the COVID-19 construction safety guidelines must be followed.

The majority of the questions we have received are regarding masks. Please understand – masks are not optional on jobsites. This requirement needs to be a part of your written safety policies and strictly enforced. This policy must be communicated clearly to each and every employee.

We are here to answer your questions. Reach out and utilize this member benefit. Don’t let confusion or frustrations keep you from doing what is safe and expected of us in order to keep our employees safe. We simply can not lose this opportunity due to any unsafe jobsites.

I’d like to also remind you that there are a number of valuable, member-exclusive, no-cost virtual trainings available that are open for registration offered by the Keystone Chapter and by ABC National. These opportunities provide you with information and tools to help guide you and your company through the COVID-19 crisis.

Please review the new, updated information from OSHA below and the listing of webinars available to you during the month of May.

Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


Updates from OSHA:
Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus

  • (OSHA 3994 – 2020) English: PDF
  • (OSHA 3995 – 2020) Spanish: PDF

New respirator video and posters demonstrate how to properly wear and dispose of a respirator:

New OSHA alert for the construction industry:

Additional information on COVID-19 guidance can also be found on the OSHA webpage.


ABC Keystone No-cost Virtual Education & Training:

Access All No-Cost Virtual Training from ABC Keystone


ABC National No-cost Webinars:


FDA-approved Face Masks Available Exclusively to Members! Limited Quantity Remains: Purchase Your Masks Here


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, May 8, 2020 –



5/1/20

ABC Keystone Members:

The safety guidelines issued by Governor Wolf for construction to operate safely during the COVID-19 crisis include the requirement of appointing a “Pandemic Safety Officer.” Many of you have questions as to what that position should entail and how to enforce safety guidelines among employees.

On Tuesday, May 5, our Director of Safety Services, Kevin Keith, will host a no-cost live discussion webinar answering your questions regarding the Pandemic Safety Officer Position. You can register for this discussion here.

Please submit your questions to kevin@abckeystone.org by Monday, 5/4, at noon. An agenda for this discussion will be sent to you via email on Monday afternoon.

Register Today for Tuesday’s Live Discussion

Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, May 1, 2020 –



5/1/20

ABC Keystone Members:

Today, May 1, we are pleased to see construction allowed to reopen in Pennsylvania. To say this has been a grueling six weeks is an understatement. We recognize how difficult this has been as so many of you have seen your jobsites shut down due to COVID-19 and the stay at home order from the Governor. As difficult as it has been, the number one priority has been, and will continue to be, safety.

We look forward to seeing active construction sites again, and we continue to be available to provide you resources and services. I know that there will be a number of questions that will continue to surface regarding the additional COVID-19 safety protocols now in place, and I invite you to reach out to us. Our Director of Safety Services, Kevin Keith, can also provide you with the clarification you may need as you implement these safety measures on your jobsites and at your office locations. Please reach out to him at: kevin@abckeystone.org. Please understand, that if you can not properly follow the safety guidelines issued by Governor Wolf, you should not reopen until you can do so.


Welcome Back to Work, ABC Keystone Members!
Let’s Build Pennsylvania Together!

Watch a brief video message from Dave Sload, President-CEO:


FDA-approved Face Masks Available Exclusively to Members! Limited Quantity: Purchase Your Masks Here


Construction Reopens TODAY!

Reopen Safely and in Compliance:


Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, May 1, 2020 –



4/30/20

ABC Keystone Members:

As part of our on-going efforts to provide you with resources at this time, ABC Keystone has acquired FDA-approved, disposable face masks that we are able to make available exclusively to members at-cost. This will enable you to purchase this necessary PPE item at a reduced price. Please see details below:


Masks Available At-cost for Members
Order Now – Available for Pick-up May 12

  • FDA-approved; 3-ply; disposable masks
  • Minimum order: 1 box; Maximum order: 100 boxes
  • $30/box; 50 masks per box
  • Pick-up details will follow via email upon receipt of order form

Note: We ask that you please follow all social-distancing guidelines and wear a face covering when picking up your masks.

Purchase Your Masks Online Here


Construction Reopens May 1!
Reopen Safely and in Compliance:


Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 30, 2020 –



4/29/20

ABC Keystone Members:

A number of questions have been brought forth regarding clarification of the Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Guidance document released by the Wolf Administration. For your convenience, please see the Construction Guidance During COVID-19 FAQs recently provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. This is a very helpful review of the document and will be of value as you prepare to reopen on Friday. As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have additional questions or concerns.

Note: For Philadelphia construction please see additional requirements here.
Philadelphia training requirement for Pandemic Safety Officers can be found here.


Construction Reopens May 1!
Reopen Safely and in Compliance:


Stay safe and healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 29, 2020 –



4/29/20: Letter from the Chair

ABC Keystone Members:

During this fifth week of health and economic uncertainty, I believe we have an opportunity to start a new chapter in this book of unbelievable difficulties and unforeseen challenges.
This next chapter will be called “Recovery Testing.”
Now that our ABC PA collective efforts have helped show the governor the industry is uniquely positioned to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, he has in turn moved up the schedule for opening construction. The time has come to show the county, state and our country why the construction industry will continue to set the standard in leadership and safety.
This Friday, May 1, much of our field workforce will be allowed to get back into their trucks and return to work on their jobsites. However, this will not be business as usual. A kaleidoscope of COVID-19-specific safety regulations are now in effect, and we will be tested. Please be aware, there is even a new PA form specifically for employees reporting companies not complying with the new health and safety protocol! Don’t be that company! This is our opportunity to be a shining example of how to “do it right” by showing we can go back to work safely and follow these new rules
ABC Keystone has been working overtime supporting members since day one of this shutdown and continues to be your go-to source for construction resources and training. Please do not hesitate to call the chapter office if you have any questions or need guidance with the new health and safety business and jobsite requirements.
Welcome back to work, ABC Keystone Members!
Stay healthy and safe,
Roger S. Brubaker
2020 Chair of the Board
Director of Construction Services
Meadow Valley Electric, Inc.

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 29, 2020 –



4/24/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Governor Wolf has issued guidance for the construction industry for your preparations in resuming work May 1. Please review the document fully and begin your preparations to ensure that your employees remain safe when resuming work. If you need clarification of the guidelines, please reach out to me or to Kevin Keith, our Director of Safety. We know you are anxious to return to work, and we are here to help you do so safely. We look forward to seeing construction resume in Pennsylvania and all required protocols being met. Please be certain to read all of the requirements.

  • View the full guidance details here

Note: All businesses in the construction industry must adhere to this guidance starting May 1, including those businesses that received a waiver or businesses that were considered life essential.


Please note the following excerpts from the guidelines detailing new requirements:

All commercial construction projects including new construction, renovation, and repair are authorized to conduct in-person operations; however, enclosed projects or portions of enclosed projects, may not permit more than four persons on job sites of 2,000 square feet or less, and

One additional person is allowed for each additional 500 square feet of enclosed area over 2,000 square feet. These numbers are inclusive of employees of both prime and sub contractors, but not inclusive of delivery persons, code inspectors, or similar persons who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity. Enclosed square footage shall include all areas under roof that are under active construction at the time.

Commercial construction firms, including particularly those managing large-scale construction projects, should consider strongly establishing a written Safety Plan for each work location containing site specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the designated Pandemic Safety Officer.


Let’s return to work safely and in full compliance,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 24, 2020 –



4/22/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

As of tonight’s (4/22) press conference, Governor Wolf announced that the start up date for construction has been moved up to May 1st.
Please see today’s earlier Update below for information regarding the Construction Safety Task Force Report.
Top priority, as always, is to ensure that all employees stay safe and that proper protocols are met.
Please contact me if you have questions, and we will follow up with details as they become available.
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 22, 2020 –



4/22/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

In anticipation of construction reopening on May 8, and to assist members that are in need of resources, ABC Pennsylvania (ABC PA) created a COVID-19 Construction Safety Task Force to provide guidance, best practices, and standards for the construction industry to incorporate into their required plans. ABC PA has extended an open invitation to partner with Governor Wolf, the legislature, and industry partners on ways to implement these strong, reasonable, and practical safety standards.
While we do not yet have information as to what Governor Wolf’s final guidelines will be, we encourage you to read the report prepared by the Task Force and to start making your preparations now for reopening. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions.
As always, please stay safe and healthy,
G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 22, 2020 –



4/20/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

During today’s press conference, Governor Wolf stated that construction with strict guidelines will resume Friday, May 8.
From Governor Wolf’s website:
“Public and private residential and non-residential construction may resume statewide starting Friday, May 8, in accordance with safety guidance that will be issued by the administration shortly. Construction projects already deemed life-sustaining may continue while adhering to social distancing, personnel limits and other guidance as announced by the administration.” Read more here.
ABC Keystone will keep you informed of additional information, clarification and guidelines as they become available.
Stay safe, and please reach out to me with questions at dave@abckeystone.org.
G. David Sload
President-CEO, ABC Keystone
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 20, 2020 –



4/17/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a Memorandum on Discretion in Enforcement when Considering an Employer’s Good Faith Efforts During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, which will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice.
From OSHA:
“In light of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, OSHA understands that some employers may face difficulties complying with OSHA standards due to the ongoing health emergency. Widespread business closures, restrictions on travel, limitations on group sizes, facility visitor prohibitions, and stay-at-home or shelter-in-place requirements may limit the availability of employees, consultants, or contractors who normally provide training, auditing, equipment inspections, testing, and other essential safety and industrial hygiene services.
During the course of an inspection, OSHA Area Offices will assess an employer’s efforts to comply with standards that require annual or recurring audits, reviews, training, or assessments, and evaluate whether the employer has made good faith efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards and, in situations where compliance was not possible, to ensure that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes, or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained. This guidance is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis.”
For more information from OSHA and the CDC about COVID-19 please visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage and CDC’s COVID-19 webpage.

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 17, 2020 –



4/16/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

As we will soon enter our fifth week of this uncertain time, I want to share with you a number of updates from the Chapter. Our staff continues to work remotely, and we are hard at work for you. Rest assured, the Chapter is adjusting our services to provide you with what you need right now to navigate the impact of this pandemic.

This has certainly been a trying time for all across the globe, and we would like to take a moment to thank those that are battling this virus on the frontlines.

We will all press forward knowing that our industry is resilient. On behalf of the ABC Keystone team, I invite you to reach out to us with questions, comments and concerns.

Watch a Brief Video Message from Dave Sload:


ABC PA Board Chairs Send Letter to Governor Wolf Asking Him to Reconsider His Intention to Veto Senate Bill 613
The Pennsylvania House and Senate passed legislation that would allow businesses to re-open that adhere to federal guidelines for social distancing and other health and safety protocols. The bill would also bring the Commonwealth in line with many other states who follow these same guidelines. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf has said he intends to veto the bill when it reaches his desk. ABC Pennsylvania Board Chairs sent a letter to the governor asking him to reconsider his veto.
Read the letter here


View the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction developed by The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC)


Chapter Education, Training and Meeting Calendar Changes:
We have postponed in-person classes, events and meetings now through May 31 to ensure the health and safety of you, our instructors and our staff. This also includes a postponement of the June Golf Outing, however we are currently securing a fall 2020 date for this event. Please watch our calendar for updates. We look forward to resuming our in-person events as soon as possible, and we thank you for your understanding as we prioritize health and safety.


Excellence in Construction (EIC) Submission Deadlines Extended:
As we recognize that you have a number of immediate and pressing matters to attend to right now, we have extended the Excellence in Construction deadlines. Please see the updates here.


NO-COST VIRTUAL TRAINING from ABC Keystone:
Exclusive Member Benefits to Help You Navigate COVID-19 Safely

Access No-Cost Virtual Training from ABC Keystone

Special Pricing on Virtual Training Licenses for Members:
OSHA 10-Hour Construction Virtual Training License
Member-exclusive savings available until April 24, 2020; Training must be completed by 5/31


Upcoming Webinars from ABC:

Register for the above webinars and watch for new offerings here.


Visit the Coronavirus section of our website for links to resources compiled by both ABC Keystone and ABC National

Note: Please always seek advice from your accountants, attorneys, insurance providers and financial institutions.
Access COVID-19 Resources


Discover How ABC PA Is Advocating for You in Harrisburg


We hope that you are finding the resources you need to manage this crisis. Please reach out to us and let us know what we can do to be of assistance to you.

Stay healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 16, 2020 –



4/15/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Urgent update: Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the Department of Health, signed an order directing protections for critical workers who are employed at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.
Please be advised the order establishes several protocols – some of which are listed below. Please see the full order here to view all protocols:
  • Provide masks for employees to wear during their time at the business, and make it a mandatory requirement while at the work site, except to the extent an employee is using break time to eat or drink, in accordance with the guidance from the Department of Health and the CDC. Employers may approve masks obtained or made by employees in accordance with this guidance;
  • Stagger work start and stop times for employees when practical to prevent gatherings of large groups entering or leaving the premises at the same time;
  • Provide sufficient space for employees to have breaks and meals while maintaining a social distance of 6 feet, including limiting the number of employees in common areas and setting up seating to have employees facing forward and not across from each other;
  • Conduct meetings and training virtually. If a meeting must be held in person, limit the meeting to the fewest number of employees possible, not to exceed 10 employees at one time and maintain a social distance of 6 feet.
  • Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of employees to perform all measures listed effectively and in a manner that ensures the safety of the public and employees;
  • Ensure that the facility has a sufficient number of personnel to control access, maintain order, and enforce social distancing of at least 6 feet;
  • Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the premises of the business; and
  • Ensure that all employees who do not speak English as their first language are aware of procedures by communicating the procedures, either orally or in writing, in their native or preferred language.
Please review the full order here which details the above protocols and more.
Click here to read the announcement.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 15, 2020 –



4/6/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Protecting employees is paramount during this pandemic.
To assist your efforts, we are providing you with a Supplemental Health and Safety Plan for you to easily customize to your organization and add to your current safety procedures – click here to download.
In addition, we are offering the first of a collection of no-cost virtual trainings from ABC Keystone to be held on April 9 or 13 (choose your date) titled “COVID-19 and Dealing with a Pandemic – Implementing a Response for the Workplace.” ABC National has also recently added more webinars to assist you. We encourage you to utilize these exclusive member resources.
Note: Please always seek advice from your accountants, attorneys, insurance providers and financial institutions.

NO-COST VIRTUAL TRAINING:
Exclusive Member Benefits to Help You Navigate COVID-19 Safely
“COVID-19 and Dealing with a Pandemic – Implementing a Response for the Workplace”
  • Discover how you can implement programs to protect your workplace from COVID-19
  • Gain insight on CDC and OSHA guidelines to assist with protecting your workers
  • Obtain answers to your most pressing questions
Choose your date – Click to register:

Visit the Virtual Training section of our website for additional virtual trainings.



As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions. Please stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 6, 2020 –



4/1/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

In today’s update, please see an important message regarding the Coronavirus Emergency Relief Legislation as well as links to your April Spokesman and upcoming webinars. As always, we are here to provide you with the information you need. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Watch a Brief Video Message from Dave:

Please remember to think about the the mental health of your employees during this time.”


The April Merit Shop Spokesman:
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen rapid changes to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the nation. We recognized in mid-March, that sending the April Merit Shop Spokesman to print at that time would result in out-of-date articles and information by the time it reached our members on April 1. In an effort to ensure that this issue is as current as possible in this rapidly-changing environment, we elected to make this month’s issue a digital-only publication. This allowed for information to be current for you. We will return to a print issue in May. Please click the link below to access your Merit Shop Spokesman.

Take Note of Verbiage in the Coronavirus Emergency Relief Legislation:
The Coronavirus Emergency Relief Legislation (CARES) act creates a $350 billion loan program for small businesses and establishes a $500 billion lending fund for industries, cities and states. Other provisions include payroll tax delays and other tax fixes for businesses and, importantly, $140 billion for hospitals.
Please consult with your legal/accounting/insurance team for advice. There are restrictions to which you are subject as a result of the acceptance of a mid-sized business loan under the CARES Act.
  • Click here for a copy of the final bill
  • Click here for a section-by-section analysis
  • Click here to learn about the Senate CARES bill tax provisions.
  • Click here to learn about the Senate CARES bill unemployment provisions.
  • Click here to learn about the Senate CARES bill small business provisions.
  • Click here to learn about the Senate CARES bill distressed industries provisions.

Webinar from Pennsylvania OSHA Consultation:
Steps All Employers Can Take to Reduce Workers’ Risk of Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
Date:  Friday, April 3, 2020
Time: 10:30am
Overview: Bryan Brougher, CSP; Dane Sprankle, MS, CSP; and Richard Mason, CSP, CIH, CHMM, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s OSHA Consultation Program, will host the webinar. This webinar was developed to provide guidance to employers seeking help in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: 
Password: paosha

Webinars from ABC:
ABC National is offering a series of webinars available to members to assist you during this time. Upcoming webinars include:
Register for the above webinars and watch for new offerings here.

Please stay safe and healthy.
Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, April 1, 2020 –



3/30/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

Information regarding which construction projects are considered essential vs. non-essential continues to change in this ever-evolving situation. We have now been told that public school construction projects do not require a waiver. Please see below for more information regarding this and for links to ABC National’s series of webinars that have been created to provide you with timely information and assistance.
Note:
If you choose to work on these exempt projects, please be certain to follow all social distancing and COVID-19 protocols required by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Please also consult with the school district and your attorneys.

FAQ: Must school districts seek a formal exemption through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to continue construction projects?
Answer: School districts should use best judgment in exercising their authority to continue critical construction projects, and should not seek a formal exemption through DCED (Department of Community & Economic Development). All school district construction decisions should appropriately balance public health and safety while ensuring the continued safety of critical infrastructure. School districts and the contractors must ensure continuance of and compliance with the social distancing and other mitigation measures to protect employees and the public, including virtual and telework operations (e.g. work from home) as the primary option when available, as have been or will be established by the Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In-person work is only to be performed on the most limited basis possible.

Webinars from ABC National
ABC National is offering a series of webinars available to members to assist you during this time. Upcoming webinars include:
Register for the above webinars and watch for new offerings here.

Please reach out to me if you have questions on the above information. I’m here to help you, and please continue to watch your email and our website for additional updates.
Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 30, 2020 –



3/27/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

The CARES Act just passed the House this afternoon by voice vote and is expected to be quickly signed into law by President Trump today. Please see the information below for details on provisions. ABC encourages members to consult with their tax accountants on these provisions to see what best fits their business needs.

CARES Act Information:

The bill authorizes $2 trillion in federal funding for programs to support our nation’s hospitals and businesses, including the Paycheck Protection Program that authorizes $349 billion in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration. PPP loans must be made during the period prior to June 30, 2020.

The bill defines eligibility for these loans as a small business, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, a 501(c)(19) veteran’s organization, or Tribal business concern described in section 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act with not more than 500 employees, or the applicable size standard for the industry as provided by SBA, if higher. It also includes sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals as eligible for loans and allows businesses with more than one physical location that employs no more than 500 employees per physical location in certain industries, mainly franchise and food services, to be eligible.
The bill requires eligible borrowers to make a good faith certification that the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions caused by COVID-19, and that they will use the funds to retain workers and maintain payroll, lease, and utility payments; and are not receiving duplicative funds for the same uses from another SBA program.

PPP Loans:

PPP loans can be as large as 250% of a business’s average monthly payroll costs over the last 12 months, however, the maximum loan amount under this program is $10 million through December 31, 2020. It also specifies allowable uses of the loan to include payroll support, such as employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent, and utility payments.
PPP loans are made by SBA-certified lenders (over 800 financial institutions currently), in all 50 states, through delegated authority from the SBA. In addition, the SBA Administrator and Secretary of Treasury may further authorize additional lenders to join the program, as needed. SBA-certified lenders simply need to verify that a small business was in operation on February 15, 2020, and paid employee salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors, as reported on Form 1099- MISC, for eligibility in the PPP.
The SBA is required to issue regulations on the application process within 15 days after the enactment of the CARES Act, and ABC will be sure to provide updates on any agency guidance that comes out.

Loan Forgiveness:

Principal amounts on PPP loans, for the first 8-week period from when the PPP Loan is made, may be forgiven, if loan funds are used to cover payroll costs, interest payments on mortgages (not including prepayments or principal), rent and utilities.
The amount of a PPP loan that may be forgiven cannot exceed the principal amount of the loan. The amount forgiven will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and reduced by the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25 percent of their prior year compensation. To encourage employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.

Tax Provisions:

 Other critical provisions in the bill include tax provisions that will help businesses maintain liquidity through this national crisis.

Retention Tax Credit. Creates a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Qualifying Employers are those whose (1) operations were fully or partially suspended, due to a COVID-19-related shut- down order, or (2) gross receipts declined by more than 50 percent when compared to the same quarter in the prior year.
  • For employers with greater than 100 full-time employees, qualified wages are wages paid to employees when they are not providing services due to the COVID-19-related circumstances described above.
  • For eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit, whether the employer is open for business or subject to a shut-down order.
  • The credit is capped at $10,000/quarter per employee, including health benefits paid.
  • The credit is provided for wages paid or incurred from 3/13/2020 through 12/31/2020.

Delay of payment of employer payroll taxes. Payment would be due over the course of two years with half due 12/31/2021 and the balance due 12/31/2022.

Modification for net operating losses (NOL). This provision would allow five-year carryback for 2018, 2019, and 2020 tax years, respectively.

Modification of limitation on losses for taxpayers other than corporations. The 80 percent carryback limitation would be lifted for pass-through entities to harmonize with corporate NOL treatment for 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Modification of credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations. This would accelerate the ability of companies to recover AMT credits in the form of refunds.

Modification of limitation on business interest. This would loosen the limitation on interest deduction to 50 percent of EBITDA for 2019 and 2020.

Technical amendments regarding qualified improvement property (QIP). This fix to the so-called “retail glitch” would unlock $15 billion in liquidity for QIP expenses incurred by hard-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels, and retail, among others.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act—DOL Resources:

On March 26, the U.S. Department of Labor issued additional guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:


Please feel free to reach out to me with your concerns and questions, and as always, please be in communication with your attorneys, accountants, banks, and insurers for advice.
Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 27, 2020 –



3/26/20:
“We’re here for you. Stay informed and stay safe.”
Watch a video message from President-CEO, Dave Sload:

Dear Members,

You’ve received a number of COVID-19 Update emails from me over the past week with vital, timely information regarding the current crisis. I wanted to take a moment and reach out to you personally to share with you what’s on my mind, and to let you know that your needs during this time are our top priority here at the Chapter. We encourage you to reach out to us and let us know how we can best serve you as we all get through this together. Please see my video message above, and as always, please feel free to reach out to me with questions, comments, and concerns. Let us know how we can help. We’re here for you.

Sincerely,

David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 26, 2020 –



3/26/20:

URGENT Message: DCED Revises Waiver Request Process

Please be Advised:
ABC has been advised by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), that businesses that submitted a waiver form through the email process should re-submit their waiver request through the DCED web form found here:
If you submitted a waiver through the original email process, please reach out to DCED and/or re-submit at the link above. Please see this link for a revised FAQ listing on submissions.

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 26, 2020 –




3/26/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

The fast-paced developments over the past week due to the COVID-19 pandemic are having a tremendous impact on businesses and individuals. We are here to help you navigate these ever-evolving developments, and we are available for your questions. Please see below for an update on legislation set to pass in Congress and be signed into law this week and for additional information. This legislation has the potential to help lessen the financial impact on employers and employees.

Coronavirus Emergency Relief Legislation:

Last night, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion bill that will provide relief to states and enhance federal assistance programs to address the ongoing health crisis. The U.S. House is expected to take up the measure on Friday. The legislation would send $1,200 checks to many Americans under a certain income threshold, create a $350 billion loan program for small businesses, and establish a $500 billion lending fund for industries, cities and states. Other provisions include payroll tax delays and other tax fixes for businesses and, importantly, $140 billion for hospitals. Click here for a copy of the final bill and click here for a section-by-section analysis. Additional information and links on the bill are included below.
  • CLICK HERE to learn about the Senate CARES bill tax provisions.
  • CLICK HERE to learn about the Senate CARES bill unemployment provisions.
  • CLICK HERE to learn about the Senate CARES bill small business provisions.
  • CLICK HERE to learn about the Senate CARES bill distressed industries provisions.

DOL FFCRA Resources:

Below is some additional information on the previously passed legislation that requires paid leave from employers with fewer than 500 employees.
ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson’s analysis of DOL’s guidance.
Additional DOL resources can be found on ABC’s Coronavirus Update webpage.
Note: The U.S. Department of Labor is hosting a national online dialogue, Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19, to help employers and workers understand their responsibilities and rights, respectively, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Please register to participate.

As new information comes forth we will continue to provide you with updates to help you during this time. Please feel free to reach out to me with your concerns and questions.

Sincerely,
ABC Keystone President-CEO
(717) 823-7602

– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 26, 2020 –



3/24/20:

ABC Keystone Members:

I would like to share with you some updates to the Governor’s order, issued on 3/19, which shut down all non-life sustaining businesses. There has been some additional clarification from the Governor that states that exceptions to the shut down of all commercial construction are:

  • Emergency repairs;
  • Construction of health care facilities such as hospitals, long term care facilities and drug and alcohol treatment facilities.

If you are unsure whether your projects fall under these categories, please reach out to the PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov

Employers, Please Note: The safety and health of our workforce remains our No. 1 priority.

It is vital during the spread of COVID-19 that employees are kept safe if they are returning to work, and there are a number of safety precautions* put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and ABC National’s Safety Committee that we highly suggest you adhere to for health, safety and legal reasons. Every company performing work at this time should have their safety directors review in full the information below with anyone currently working on a jobsite.

We encourage you to review the updates to the Governor’s Order found here to determine if your projects meet the above exceptions. Please see the following important safety precautions listed below. At the end of this email, please see valuable Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation links.

The guidelines below are for informational purposes only and do not eclipse any established local, state or federal guidelines. Please contact ABC National’s Safety Team with any issues or concerns and, as this issue is constantly evolving, please stay updated on information and recommendations from our local government and health department.


ABC National Safety & Health Committee Recommended Best Practices & Jobsite Precautions for COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Prevention Recommendations:

According to resources available on the CDC website, there are many steps you can take to protect yourself, including:
Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid close contact

Take steps to protect others

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Wear a facemask if you are sick

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
  • If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply, and they should be saved for caregivers.

Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface. Options include:

  • Diluting your household bleach.
  • To make a bleach solution, mix: 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

  • Alcohol solutions – Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants – Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Complete disinfection guidance

Construction Jobsite-specific Information:

The ABC National Safety Committee created a list of practical things jobsite leaders should be mindful of during the coronavirus outbreak. Recommendations include:

Employee Education

  • Provide training for supervisors, employees and other key personnel to recognize signs and symptoms of COVID-19, as specified by the CDC.
  • Humanize the virus by asking supervisors to greet employees at the gate or jobsite entry point.
  • Schedule daily toolbox talks to communicate news concerning the virus/project, etc. and to visually assess your crew’s health.
  • During toolbox talks, remind employees to keep 6 feet of personal space.
  • Review, update and communicate your “fit for duty” policy, including the requirement to provide a return to work pass if seen by a physician.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Personal protective equipment should be assigned to an individual, not shared among groups.
  • Glove technology has advanced extensively in recent years. Companies should consider a 100% glove use policy.
  • Wipe down all tools before storing or at the end of every shift.

For additional information, refer to CDC’s resources on the coronavirus disease.

Personal Hygiene

  • Encourage clients/owners to provide access to handwashing facilities onsite, where practical.
  • Provide adequate hand washing facilities on projects, particularly at break areas.
  • Designate specific break areas on projects.
  • Suspend biometric or other fingerprint time signatures.
  • Use Portable Bathroom Trailers or ensure daily or twice daily cleaning of portable toilets.
  • Provide hand sanitizers at strategic locations throughout the project.
  • Water fountains and other gathering points should be disinfected after each use or consider using bottled water.
  • Projects should re-consider food truck access to projects.

Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation

Please see the following links for information regarding how COVID-19 is impacting Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation:


  • For a direct link to a list of additional COVID-19 informational resources from the Chapter, please click here.
  • To access resources from ABC National, including forms, guidelines, and webinars, please click here.
  • To sign up for Voter Voice action alerts, please click here.

To protect the health of our staff, our physical location is currently closed, and staff members are working from home. We are still here to serve you during this time, and we encourage you to reach out to us with questions and for information.

Please feel free to contact me at dave@abckeystone.org (cell: 717-823-7602) or Stephanie Larkin, Vice President of Education, Safety & Workforce Development stephanie@abckeystone.org (cell: 717-727-5326) for assistance.

Thank you and stay healthy,

G. David Sload
ABC Keystone President-CEO
dave@abckeystone.org
(717) 823-7602 (please note this cell phone number correction)

Note: If your business would like to seek a waiver from the current order in place, you may send an email to this address: RA-dcexemption@pa.gov If you have questions about whether your business needs to close, you can email: ra-dcedcs@pa.gov


– CORONAVIRUS UPDATE, March 24, 2020 –