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4. Health and Safety (H&S)

Return to July 2020 Update

Length:1 min read; 269 words

Note: The following paragraphs summarize the category of Health and Safety (H&S) observed in July. More information about the specific category from July (and previous months) can be found in the downloaded report(s).The number in square brackets (e.g., [150]) refers to a reference where the reader can find more infomation about a specific statement.  The references can be found in the References list below, Systematized References page or in the dowloaded report.


H&S have been discussed slightly less in July than in June (14%) but overall, the H&S discussion remained on the same level over the past three months (and twofold less in comparison to the April data). The July discussion focuses on facial coverings / masks; types, features, effectiveness, who should wear them and when [60][49]; including which face coverings are best for preventing jobsite coronavirus spread[314], summer adds heat to facemask enforcement challenges [315]. Goldman Sachs claimed that face masks could actually save the economy. [57]

Other topics include expectations of vaccine development and progress (should be launched by the end of this year) [91][25][24][316], discussions if specific COVID-19 responses were adequate [62][317][318], open-for-interpretation official guidelines prompting some states in the US to enact temporary standards[255], etc. The contractors report OSHA shutting down jobsites that don’t follow jobsite guidelines for social distancing, handwashing and other coronavirus-related precautions. [197] Reports of positive COVID-19 cases on construction sites is growing. [200]

Mental health crisis continues to follow the pandemic and the situation is worsening. Stress related to the coronavirus and the global pandemic can take a huge short- and long-term toll on mental and physical health. [41] Countless free sources of information (websites, videos, fireside chats[37]) are inundating the internet. Therapists suggest that planning a trip can help mental health [319]. Reopening and workplace re-entry continue to be marked with fears of virus contagion. Customers are afraid of going to stores; “fearful and frugal: there’s also a health component to how safe, comfortable and protected people feel.” [117]. Environmental wellness has become the most important topic in building and cities design. [320][321]

Previous June Category Summary


[24] S. Neilson, “Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine just started its phase 3 trial — the first in the US. Here’s how it’ll work.,” Business Insider. (accessed Aug. 29, 2020).

[25] A. M. Miller, “A 20-year study on dozens of vaccines finds they are safer than ‘almost any other modern medical intervention,’” Business Insider. (accessed Aug. 29, 2020).

[37] ©Copyright Stanford University Stanford, “Webinar: Fireside Chat with John L. Hennessy,” Fireside wellness chats, Jul. 01, 2020. (accessed Jun. 23, 2020).

[41] A. T. Yan Michelle, “What coronavirus stress is doing to your brain and body,” Business Insider. (accessed Aug. 29, 2020).

[49] F. A. University, “Seeing Is Believing: Comparing Facemask Effectiveness in Mitigating Transmission of COVID-19,” SciTechDaily, Jun. 30, 2020. (accessed Aug. 24, 2020).

[57] “Face masks could actually save the economy, Goldman Sachs says - CNN.” (accessed Aug. 28, 2020).

[60] “Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection prevention precautions.” (accessed Aug. 18, 2020).

[62] “Sweden Launches Commission to Investigate Coronavirus Response - Bloomberg.” (accessed Aug. 28, 2020).

[91] “COVID-19 vaccines are likely to launch by the end of 2020 | McKinsey.” (accessed Aug. 18, 2020).

[117] “Fearful and Frugal: Coronavirus Wreaks Havoc on America’s Psyche - Is It Safe to Shop? Americans Wary of Stores During Covid Crisis - Bloomberg.” (accessed Aug. 28, 2020).

[197] “Cities, OSHA crack down on COVID-19 jobsite violations,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 26, 2020).

[200] “49 workers test positive for COVID-19 at SoFi Stadium project,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 26, 2020).

[255] “Virginia first state to enact COVID-19 emergency temporary standard,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 27, 2020).

[314] “Which face coverings are best for preventing jobsite coronavirus spread?,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 24, 2020).

[315] “Readers Respond: Summer adds heat to facemask enforcement challenges,” Construction Dive. (accessed Aug. 26, 2020).

[316] “Covid-19 Vaccines With ‘Minor Side Effects’ Could Still Be Pretty Bad,” Wired.

[317] “Coronavirus Outbreak: Live Updates and News for July 12, 2020 - Bloomberg.” (accessed Aug. 28, 2020).

[318] A. W. CNN, “5 things to know for July 31: Coronavirus, election 2020, economy, stimulus, Hong Kong,” CNN. (accessed Aug. 29, 2020).

[319] “Here’s why planning a trip can help your mental health.” (accessed Aug. 28, 2020).

[320] “‘Style is Superficial’: Alice Raucher on Social Justice and Sustainability at the University of Virginia,” ArchDaily, Jul. 23, 2020. (accessed Aug. 27, 2020).

[321] “RIBA Announces Winners of Post-Pandemic Design Competition,” ArchDaily, Jul. 28, 2020. (accessed Aug. 27, 2020).

Monthly Summary: 
AEC and Pandemic: Response and Impact - July 2020 Update