COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER

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NEFBA continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of our apprentices, faculty and staff is our highest priority as leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information. 

Updated Thursday, March 27th, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. EST

Dear NEFBA Members, and all other construction industry members,

What a wild and crazy week this has been! But we are still here and working to get homes and commercial buildings built, even if it is under a new set of circumstances. Americans are strong, resilient, and driven. From the very beginning of our nation each generation has had to overcome some existential crisis, and we have come through them all. We will come through this one too, and be better for it.

The entire country is being impacted by a dangerous and highly contagious virus. In order to minimize the negative effect this global pandemic will have on our economy, it is urgent and of the highest importance that we all take seriously the obligation to prevent the spread of the virus. The best way to do that is through social distancing, and vigilant personal hygiene. Stay away from other people, as much as possible, and wash your hands many times during the day. Keep 6’-8’ away from other people, sanitize surfaces often, seek medical attention if you have symptoms, and take this virus seriously. It is spreading rapidly and can be fatal.

Most people are following these guidelines, but unfortunately some people are not. Industry leaders at the local, state, and national level are working hard every hour to keep building departments and jobsites open. But those people who are choosing not to comply with social distancing and preventing spread of the virus by continuing to ignore the warnings, are putting the entire industry at risk of being shut down. Seattle shutdown all non-essential construction jobs for two weeks on Thursday, Mar. 26. It can happen here too. It has been discussed, but so far, we have been successful keeping our jobs open.

Please, please, PLEASE – take social distancing and jobsite hygiene seriously. We have published a jobsite safety flyer, and we will continue to make other announcements about COVID-19 jobsite best practices. The flyer can be found at  on this page under the HR Resources tab, along with other announcements about procedural changes at the regional building departments.

In addition to those recommendations, virtual meetings and sales appointments are another excellent way to work around the need to meet face-to-face. We are using them daily at NEFBA, and will continue to expand their use for our council and committee meetings.

Thank you for being a member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, the Florida Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Home Builders. Your dues support the work we do year-round, and are especially important now that other sources of revenue are eliminated because of the virus. If you need any help maintaining your membership with NEFBA (which includes membership in FHBA and NAHB), please let us know. We know these are difficult times, and we will make sure we get through this together.

Please be safe,
Bill Garrison, Executive Officer
Northeast Florida Builders Association

COVID-19 Best Practices

Keep Your Job Site Safe!

• Conduct all morning jobsite meetings outside the trailer, with only key personnel, keeping six feet distance per CDC guidelines
• Provide and require use of hand sanitizer before entering a job site and leaving a job site
• Ramp up cleaning and disinfecting of all offsite and jobsite office facilities
• Practice social distancing per CDC guidelines and work in teams of no more than 10 people in one area
• Encourage those who feel sick to stay at home
• Supply jobsites with additional sanitation stations
• When working on an occupied dwelling, ask the occupant if he/she is sick and if they are, postpone work
• Supervisors should talk to employees to ascertain if any are ill or exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19

If you answer “Yes” to any of the below questions please

DO NOT ENTER THIS OFFICE OR JOBSITE.

• Have you been asked to self-quarantine or been diagnosed with COVID-19?
• Have you experienced the recent onset of any illness-related symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
• Have you traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
• Have you been on any domestic travel within North America in the 14 days?
• Have you been in contact with any of the following:
Any person(s) who has traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
Any person(s) who has been asked to self-quarantine?
Any person(s) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Information from http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/os/documents/buildingPermits_BuildingInspections_Construction_FAQs.pdf

Updated Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EST

Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 situation and our responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of all NEFBA members, NEFBA employees, and the general public, the NEFBA office has been closed to the public until further notice. All employees are required to work from home.

The Executive Committee has scheduled weekly special meetings to make decisions about the NEFBA calendar of events, and other COVID-19 related matters. All events through May 31st are postponed/cancelled. Most committee & council meetings will be moved to ZOOM, information on each ZOOM call can be found on the NEFBA calendar, under the event.

Updated Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. EST

The 12th Annual St. Johns Builders Charity Fishing Tournament scheduled for May 9th, 2020 has been postponed to September 19th, 2020.  All registrations and sponsorships will be moved to the new date.  If you have any questions please contact Leona Brown, sjbcouncil2@aol.com.

Updated Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EST

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Regulatory Division, Jacksonville Permits Section (Corps) has been directed to maximize telework capabilities.  That means that the majority of staff, myself included, are teleworking most days (if not all days).  This, as I’m certain is true with any telework situations you are implementing, creates challenges.

One of these challenges pertains to public notices.  The Corps uses standard mail correspondence to notify adjacent property owners of the availability of a public notice on the Internet.  Unfortunately, staff at home do not have the appropriate resources to implement such action.  As for me, when I have a public notice ready for posting, I’m attempting (emphasis on attempting) to go into my office to compile those notification letters in order to keep projects moving forward.  However, please be advised, there is no standard solution for this concern at this time and our management is attempting to identify a uniform way to address this challenge.

Additionally, as noted in recent communication from Mr. Robin Moore (the Jacksonville District Regulatory Division Archeologist), consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) regarding Cultural Resource Assessment Survey (CRAS) reports still requires the coordination of a printed copy of the CRAS.  Similar to the adjacent property owner notifications associated with public notices, staff working from home do not have the resources to print and mail documents such as a CRAS to the SHPO.  Therefore, in order to address this challenge, the Corps has determined that applicants will need to submit a printed copy of the CRAS to the SHPO.  Therefore, please use the below protocol for CRAS reports.

  1. When the Corps requests a CRAS, the request will also state that a hard copy of the report should be sent by the applicant directly to the SHPO, noting that State review of the report will not be commence without the SHPO being in possession of the hard copy.  You (your client) will need to subsequently provide a printed copy of the CRAS to the SHPO.
  2. If you (or your client) has already submitted a CRAS for the Corps’ review, prior to the Corps actually requesting one, the Corps will advise you (your client) that you (your client) is responsible for submitting a hard copy to the SHPO in addition to submitting a digital copy to the Corps.

Updated Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. EST

From Building Departments
Clay County: We will have reduced front office staff until April 1st, but all functions are still available.  We are encouraging use of the online permitting and inspection portal if at all possible.

City of Jacksonville: Will be closing their lobby to walk-in services starting March 25th.  Please visit their website for more details.

St. Johns County: There will have limited access within the building permit center.  Permit applications and documentation will be dropped off and picked up in the lobby area.  Inspections will continue using normal procedures.  Please visit their website for more informations.

Updated Monday, March 23rd, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. EST

Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 situation and our responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of all NEFBA members, NEFBA employees, and the general public, the NEFBA office has been closed to the public until further notice. All employees are required to work from home.

The Executive Committee has scheduled weekly special meetings to make decisions about the NEFBA calendar of events, and other COVID-19 related matters. All events through Mar. 29 are postponed/cancelled. A new date for postponing events and activity will be made during this week’s Executive Committee meeting and shared promptly.

Training Vice President Tim Conlan and Director of Workforce Training Christina Thomas are managing the Apprenticeship Program’s complex schedule of apprentices, instructors, completing the academic year, and pending graduation. If you have any questions contact Christina Thomas, cthomas@nefba.com.

Local building departments are being impacted by this crisis and are adapting to continue operating best they can. NEFBA is in daily communication with the Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties’ building departments to monitor changes to their permitting and inspection processes. All counties are still open and working, with modified conditions, as of the time of this message. Contact them directly for the latest changes in their operations.

There is a COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER red button on our website’s homepage (link). All announcements about the NEFBA schedule of events, and changes to building department procedures will be curated on this page. Monitor that site and this weekly email for the latest information from NEFBA. Employees will be working from home and can continue to be reached via email. We are actively working on setting up video capability so council and committee meetings can continue. Watch for announcements about rescheduled meetings to be conducted by video. We are using Zoom software.

If you need anything at all during this troubling time, NEFBA related or not, please let one of us know. NEFBA’s mission is to support and promote our members, and the development industry. We care about you and want you to be safe and healthy. Whole-body wellness is even more critical these days. Stay in touch with each other any way you can and take very seriously the need for distancing. “Better safe than sorry” is an often-used cliché for a reason.

Updated Thursday, March 18th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST

The decision has been made to cancel the Builders Care Poker Tournament Social night that was scheduled for April 30th.  All registered attendees will be notified via email if this event is rescheduled.

Updated Wednesday, March 17th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST

The decision has been made to reschedule the NEFBA Trade Expo to June 15, 2020 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the UNF University Center.  All registered exhibitors and event attendees will be notified via email.

Updated Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 10:15 a.m. EST

After considering all of the circumstances related to the coronavirus situation, the NEFBA Executive Committee has decided to reschedule all NEFBA events, meetings, socials, Apprenticeship classes/labs,  seminars, and all other activity through at least March 29, 2020. 

Decisions about events after March 29 will be made the week of March 23. We will continue to stay in regular communication with everyone about this situation, and its effects on the school calendar for the remaining of our 2020 training year.

The NEFBA home office has shifted to minimal staff and is not available for in person visits or appointments until after March 29.  The best way to contact staff during this time is through email.

For more information contact:
Bill Garrison, NEFBA Executive Officer: 904/725-4355, bgarrison@nefba.com

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