A Message from Allison-Smith Company

Coronavirus 2020

Allison-Smith Company is committed to do our part to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.  The number one thing we can do to help prevent the spread is to follow the personaly hygiene and social distancing recommendations from the CDC.

The CDC has provided some guidance on cleaning your hands – wash with soap and water for 20 seconds OR use a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%.  We are deploying additional hand sanitizer dispensers for each jobsite.  If you do not have adequate access to a sink or sanitizer, please email ehs@allisonsmith.com with your job location and the current number of electricians on the job – we will respond as quickly as possible.


  1. Practice good personal hygiene (wash your hands, don’t touch your face, avoid shaking hands)
  2. Social distancing – the CDC is recommending that people stay 6 feet apart during this outbreak.
  3. Don’t let this take over the job – remind the crews that we need to continue to be productive during this time.  Our clients do not pay us to come to work and talk about a virus.

Links to government information:



Our top priority is the health and safety of every member of the Allison-Smith family.  Ray Sanchez, our corporate safety director, drove to Oklahoma this week to vist the PRY site and check on the team.  The rules continue to change weekly (or daily) and we are responding to those changes with the best interest of the workers in mind.  I appreciate the resilience it takes to show up and put in electrical work under these conditions.

If you need any PPE or have any concerns about jobsite safety, please reach out to ehs@allisonsmith.com.

Our plan is for the office team to continue to work remotely until the week of 5/20/20.

New unemployment numbers were released this morning – there have been 30,000,000 new claims for unemployment over the last 6 weeks.  To put that in perspective, that is roughly equal to the combined population of Georgia (10M), North Carolina (10M), South Carolina (5M), and Alabama (5M).  Hopefully, the flattened curve will allow people to quickly return to work.

The DPH website for Georgia is a good source for those “lying statistics” that were referenced in a previous update.  It may or may not be intentional, but the graphs are misleading.  Take a look at the graph titled “COVID-19 Cases Over Time” – it looks like the number of daily cases is falling off of a cliff and this is the impression you are left with because a picture is worth 1,000 words.  LINK TO WEBSITE They attempt to right their wrong by including the window of uncertainty and a footnote that says, “* 14-day window – Confirmed cases over the last 14 days may not be accounted for due to illnesses yet to be reported or test results may still be pending.”  This is more than a footnote – if they were trying to leave people with an honest impression of the situation, they would break this 14 day period of uncertainty into a second graph.

The DPH website showed a total of 24,606 cases on April 27th @ 10:52PM – today that number is 25,897 BUT if you add the new case numbers on the graph from 4/28 thorugh 4/30,  you come up with only 211 new cases.  A gap of 1,292 cases but only 211 new cases reported?  How is that possible?  It is possible because the state is updating all of the numbers in that 14 day window.

To highlight the changes, I compared the numbers reported on 4/27 with the numbers reported on 4/30 below.

4/21 = 647 => 695

4/22 = 574 => 685

4/23 = 382 => 540

4/24 = 328 => 553

4/25 = 100 => 240

4/26 = 40 => 161

4/27 = 36 => 258

Revisions to previous days represent 1,025 of the 1,292 increase in reported cases.  While this is factually accurate, the resulting graph significantly distorts the information.  Ignore everything to the right of the vertical line (14 days before today) when you look at this graph.


Governor Kemp issued a new executive order today that extended the shelter in place order for the medically fragile and elderly population until 6/13/20.  He did not renew the shelter in place order for everyone else.  While this is good news, the more we practice social distancing the less people will die from getting this virus.

Link to Executive Order: Link

Our first case of COVID-19 recovered and is back at work – the second case from earlier this week is sick but not hospitalized.  We will continue to pray for a speedy recovery.


***Keep Social Distancing***

We are seeing some increased activity in preparation for the economy getting restarted on a larger scale.  The world, and our daily lives, will continue to be impacted by this virus.  I appreciate the grit and flexibility of the Allison-Smith family as we all work through these new conditions.

Some new jobs have kicked off this week and our NCG site will likely begin ramping back up in May.

This will be a week of milestones:

  1. The world will reach 3,000,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  2. The US will reach 1,000,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  3. The state of Georgia will reach 1,000 deaths from COVID-19

The next milestone we hope to hit is the confirmation that the curve has flattened and we start on the downslope of cases in the US where recoveries begin to outpace new infections.  It may be optimistic to believe that we will reach it this week…


Governor Kemp signed another executive order on 4/23/20 that includes a lot of information.  Based on the initial interpretations of the order, there are no fundamental changes in how or where we are allowed to do business and this executive order does not affect our industry.

Link to Executive Order: Link

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper extended most of the provisions of the previous executive order.  No major changes for construction.

Link to Executive Order: Link

South Carolina

Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order today extending the declaration of emergency for the state.  There are no major changes that affect construction based on initial review.

Link to Executive Order: Link

We had our second confirmed case of COVID-19 last week.  Please keep the families affected by this virus in your prayers.



States are starting to open up a limited amount of businesses and services because they trust the public to “police themselves.”  Since the essential workforce has shown that it is possible to continue operating under a new set of guidelines, they are trusting additional businesses to take similar steps to restart operations.  This is a good sign for everyone and it comes will a healthy sense of caution.

Benjamin Disraeli once said, “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics.” most people who are paying attention to the COVID-19 situation are seeing this first hand.  Different news organizations have access to exactly the same information and are presenting opposing views on the current situation.   I would suggest looking directly at the information and coming to your own conclusions.

While searching for some positive outcomes of this virus, I came across a different report produced by each state.  Each report is intended to inform the public on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic in their state.  Below is a link to each daily update provided in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.  Displaying and presenting data in a responsible manner is nearly as important as gathering it in the first place.  Math and statistics teachers will have a lot of new material to teach from when students get back to school.

Georgia daily status report:  Link

South Carolina interactive map:  Link

North Carolina data and map: Link

Oklahoma data: Link

Looking at all of this information is interesting but do not forget that these numbers indicate impacts to the lives of the citizens in each community.  When this information is displayed in a graph, it is easy to forget about the number of people that are impacted by this virus.


Governor Kemp released a new executive order yesterday bringing some businesses out of the “shelter in place” order.  The executive order that was signed on the 20th does not contain everything that was in the announcement on Monday.  The star of the show, as usual, was the sign language guy that the state of Georgia decided to use.

Most business related to the medical field can reopen as soon as they can meet CDC guidelines and are NOT subject to Minimum Basic Operations restrictions.

Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, hair and beauty shops, and massage therapy businesses can begin minimum basic operations beginning this Friday (4/24).  They add a list of 20 items to control and limit the spread of the virus at these establishments and define minimum basic operations.

In the announcement, but not in the executive order, were comments about possibly opening some other businesses, including restaurants, starting Monday the 27th.  More information will be provided on this later in the week.

Link to Executive Order:  Link


Oklahoma Governor Stitt has updated the language in his executive order to open elective surgery starting on 4/24.  Non-emergency dentistry will resume on 4/30 based on this update.

North Carolina

North Carolina is currently examining their “Stay at Home” order and will provide additional information later this week.

South Carolina

Governor McMaster signed an executive order that gives some retail establishments the ability to reopen and pushes the decision to close beaches to the local municipality.

Link to Executive Order: Link

Focus on what you can control and respond to the changing conditions as quickly as possible.  All of us will be better prepared to respond to change when this is over.



Our workers continue to get out there and overcome new obstacles.  Many of our GC clients are requiring some sort of face covering on the project site.  We have been distributing masks to jobsites – contact ehs@allisonsmith.com if you need these or anything else to keep the crews safe.

New cases in Georgia are on the decline while testing is increasing.  This is evidence that our social distancing practices are “flattening the curve”.  We are not out of the woods yet but if we keep working responsibly we can get there quickly.

Oklahoma, North Carolina, and South Carolina have less cases overall and are taking precautions to limit the spread.  These efforts appear to be working in all three states.

Unemployment numbers for last week were released this morning and an additional 5.2 million people filed for unemployment.  They look back and revise weekly numbers a bit so the total for the last 4 weeks is right at 22,000,000 people that are newly unemployed.  This represents 14% of the workforce in the US – this is a huge number.

While we are considered “essential” we are not immune from the impacts of this virus.  We are seeing a significant decline in new jobs starting over the next 3-5 weeks.  Our industry will be hit the hardest in late April and likely throughout May.  As stated before, we will spend this time improving how we do business and ramp back up a stronger company.


Have a Happy Easter.



The big news is the apparent “flattening of the curve” for the coronavirus hotspots.  Prediction models are now showing drastically lower death tolls.  When modeling a pandemic, the nerds use a lot of different factors to predict the spread of the virus.  One of the key factors is called the basic reproduction value – “R0” (this is pronounced “R-naught”) – this factor estimates how many people a single infected person will transmit the virus to.  So far, estimates for coronavirus put this value in the neighborhood of 2.2.  That means that on average, a single infected person will infect 2.2 others.  This leads to a virus that spreads at an exponential rate => 1 person infects 2.2 people, those 2.2 people infect a total of 4.84 people, and those 4.84 people infect 10.65, -> 23.4 -> 51.5 -> 113.4.  You can see that the numbers more than double with each infection cycle.  The infection numbers in the US are not currently growing at an exponential rate where they were a little over a week ago.

As a society, we cannot control how contagious a virus is but we can control how much contact we have with others.  This is the basis for social distancing – limit the contact that the infected population has with the uninfected population and we limit the spread and functionally reduce the R0 value.

Some of our projects are starting to suggest some type of face covering – Allison-Smith is looking to procure some of these to use as optional PPE.

Another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week – this was slightly less than the number reported for last week.  That brings the three week total to 16.6 million new people that have filed for unemployment.  This represents over 10% of the workforce in the US – truly a historically rapid decline in employment.


The “shelter in place” order was extended through April 30th.  This will not affect most of our projects but may impede some from starting.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases passed 10,000 since the last update.  These numbers will continue to climb as testing ramps up around the state.


Over 1,500 cases have now been reported in Oklahoma.  Numbers here are also expected to increase with testing.

Thanks to all for your continued dedication to Allison-Smith.


Your safety remains our top priority – we are following the CDC guidelines and providing everything we can to make sure our whole team stays safe.  If you need anything on this front, please reach out to ehs@allisonsmith.com and we will get what is necessary to keep your project safe.


The rate of increase of COVID-19 in some of the US hotspots appears to be slowing down.  Infection numbers will continue to climb as testing becomes more readily available but the percentage of positive tests should decline even when the numbers increase.

Our federal government has responded quickly to the crisis and provided some relief for families in direct payments, expanded unemployment benefits, and deferred income tax payments.  While this will help temporarily, counting on government assistance to keep our economy afloat is like standing in a bucket and trying to pick yourself up by the handle.  92% of the money that goes to the federal government is individual income tax, payroll tax, and corporate income tax.  If Americans and American companies are not generating value in goods and services, our tax base declines and it will be impossible to support future programs.

Social distancing will help drive the numbers down and give our healthcare system the time to develop better treatments to improve outcomes.

Our office team will continue to work from home unless they have a reason to physically be in the office.  This reduces the risk to the company and ensures we will be able to provide outstanding support for our field operations team.

We had our first confirmed case of COVID-19 today.  The worker had already recovered by the time the test results came back positive (it took 10 days to get the results) and it was treated as a confirmed case as soon as symptoms were first identified.  It appears the procedures the safety team put in place limited the spread of the virus.


Construction continues to move forward in the state.  Projects are not starting as quickly as they are finishing but there is still activity out there keeping many of us busy.

South Carolina

The governor of South Carolina issued an executive order that took effect today at 5:00PM.  They are calling this one a “Stay at Home and Work” order.  Similar to the other states we operate in, construction is considered an essential business and work will continue on projects that are not cancelled by the owners.

Link to Executive Order: Link

North Carolina

The governor of North Carolina has added a few amendments to the Stay at Home order.  These changes do not affect Allison-Smith.

Link to Executive Order: Link


The governor of Oklahoma has not issued a Stay at Home or Shelter in Place order.  The state government is engaged and working to limit the spread of the virus – the Stay at Home orders in the state are generally being issued by county and city governments.


Schools being closed has disrupted many households and remote learning has added stress to many families.  Another source of stress in this environment is the constant change – the rules at project sites are dictated by the government, the owner, the GC, and Allison-Smith’s policies (we are following the CDC which is also changing frequently).  Our corporate chaplains from CCA are available to everyone in the Allison-Smith family.  Please use them as a resource if you need someone to talk to about personal issues – that is why they are on the team.


***Remember to practice social distancing***

I want to start by thanking everyone that is out on our project sites putting in electrical work.  This business is not easy – we did not choose the construction industry because we are wimps, whiners, or complainers – we are problem solvers that get things done!

The military, first responders, and hospital workers will get recognized in the media for the essential work they put in while this pandemic continues.  They certainly deserve recognition for their bravery and I do not want to minimize that.  The construction workers that are out there building the infrastructure for America to get back to work are rarely mentioned in the media.  These projects are essential and will contribute significantly to the recovery when this pandemic is under control.  Continue to take pride in your work and recognize that you are appreciated even if you are not celebrated in the media.


Georgia Governor Kemp issued a “shelter in place” order for the entire state of Georgia today.  This goes into effect on 4/3/20 @ 6:00PM and is currently set to expire on April 13th – this date matches the current end date of the public health state of emergency and is subject to change.  Right now, it looks like construction will be exempt from this order and our projects will continue.  This comes on the heels of Georgia closing all K-12 schools in the state for the rest of this semester to “flatten the curve”.

Link to Executive Order: Link


The new unemployment claims report that was released this morning revealed that 6,648,000 filed for unemployment over the last week.  This is a record high and is more than double the record from last week of 3,307,000.  That means that 9,955,000 workers filed for unemployment over the last two weeks – this represents almost 6.3% of the working population that was employed two weeks ago.  It is difficult to overstate the impact this virus is having on American families.

The Allison-Smith safety team is doing a great job taking care of everyone and making sure we are all protected.  If you have any questions or you run into a situation you need help with, please reach out to ehs@allisonsmith.com


***Social distancing is the phrase of the day***

Construction is currently being treated as “essential business” which allows all of us to remain working.  If we do not practice social distancing at work and at home, this will no longer be the case.

There was a delivery driver for one of our suppliers that tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend.

Fortunately, we have a manifest of where he was and have contacted each jobsite that he visited to notify our teams.  This is nearly a worst case scenario – a single worker with the virus traveling around the city and interacting with multiple jobsites.  WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES FROM THIS RISK – in this case, most of our jobsites did just that.

Based on information from the CDC, the risk of infection is extremely small if we follow their guidelines:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Keep your hands off your face
  3. Don’t shake hands with others
  4. Keep 6 feet away from others – if it is necessary to violate this to accomplish a work task, take extra precautions or use PPE – contact our safety team with the specific scenario for help with this if necessary

Please help everyone by following these guidelines.  Extra precautions need to be taken at the job boxes in the morning, at break/lunchtime, and at the end of the shift to ensure that we maintain the spacing guidelines.

We received a bulk order of hand sanitizer at the office on Friday to be distributed to project sites.  Contact ehs@allisonsmith.com if you are running low.

People in the news media call this a “new normal” – in my opinion, there is nothing normal about it.  This is temporary and if we follow the guidelines, we can make this situation pass faster.


Follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing at home and at work and wash your hands often.  If we reduce the number of people that are infected with Coronavirus, we can beat it faster.  Check the links above for the recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and OSHA.

Stimulus is the word of the day – specifically the CARES act.  The federal government put together the largest emergency aid package IN HISORY.  Two trillion dollars….that looks like this -> $2,000,000,000,000.  It is difficult to comprehend numbers this large but it is a clear indication that this government recognizes the current risk to American families.

We have been lucky to maintain most of our work through the beginning of this crisis.  It is our hope that this trend continues because Allison-Smith Company was largely left out of the aid provided by the bill.  We are too large for the Small Business Association loan programs and we are too small to get special attention in the bill.  We have been conservative over the years and we are financially strong so we can weather the storm for a while.

More importantly, this bill focused on the American worker and it provides a valuable safety net for people that get displaced due to the Coronavirus.  The devil is in the details – there are a number of conditions that have to be met to qualify for the expanded unemployment insurance.

The world has not stopped turning yet.  We were awarded two projects this week and one of them starts next Monday.  Construction is an essential business and we are fortunate to be in an industry that is needed at a time like this.

For those of you that are not working this weekend, take some time to relax and spend time with your family (or your cat).  It is rare to have so few distractions so take the opportunity to strengthen the relationships you have with your loved ones.


Today was a day of extremes – some very good news and some very bad news.

Good news – it looks like the federal government is going to step up with a historically large economic stimulus bill – the deal is not completely done yet but it will drastically increase unemployment payments by all reports.  It passed the US Senate tonight and will likely make it to the House of Representatives on Friday.

Bad news – the NCG site went to a skeleton crew effective today.  We were unable to reassign everyone to a new project due to the size of the crew on site and the lack of new work starting up.  It is currently unknown when NCG will get started back up but all initial indications are that it will be multiple weeks.

Good news – the State, County, and City governments did not make any changes today for the areas we are working in.

Bad news – we had a few other projects get shut down for COVID-19 cases.

Good news – There are still zero known cases of COVID-19 in the Allison-Smith family.

Good news – the statistics for the rate of increase of COVID-19 infections are improving.  This likely is a result of the percentage of the population that is currently following the CDC and White House guidelines to stop the spread.

Good news – we still have the best electrical contracting team in the world because everyone continues to pull in the right direction.

3/24/20 – Evening:

Our office staff is going to be nearly 100% remote starting tomorrow (3/25/20).  They will continue to provide excellent project and back office support.

Political pressure is mounting for cities, counties, and states to take action to prevent the spread of the virus.  While we are optimistic that our country is well prepared for this pandemic, the temporary economic impact will be felt by all.

We had another hectic day of changes and updates to government orders.  Most projects have NOT been affected.


Atlanta has issued a revision to clarify the 14-day “stay at home” executive order.  It clarifies that construction activities are considered essential.

You can read the revised executive order here: Link

Special thanks to AGC Georgia (www.agcga.org/) for following up with the city and getting this clarification out.

For those of you that have been impacted by this, please reach out to your foreman or project manager for an update on your project.  It is possible that some property owners will not reverse the decision to shut down construction during this “stay at home” order.

Cobb County has also issued a “stay at home” order in a declaration of emergency.

You can read the document here: Link

This order also clarifies that construction is considered an “essential business”.  The decision to shut down construction projects is made by the building owners and the general contractors, please look to them for guidance.

South Carolina

Indications are that Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will issue a stay at home order for the city.  Based on initial reports, construction will be considered “essential business” under this order.  Updates will be provided when more information is available.

North Carolina

Mecklenburg County (which includes the city of Charlotte) has issued a “shelter in place” order.  Similar to the corrected Atlanta order, construction activities are considered essential.

You can read the order here: Link

It is currently unknown if this will have any impact on our construction operations.  As previously communicated, some of our clients have elected to shut down (or delay) construction projects.  As of this hour, that has not changed.


Oklahoma has issued a 21 day closure of “non-essential” businesses in 19 counties beginning 11:59PM on 3/25/20.  THIS ORDER IS NOT EXPECTED TO AFFECT CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES.  The order has not yet been released – updates will be provided once more information is available.

The local news story can be found here: Link

For all cases, please check with you site leadership for direction.

3/24/20 – Morning:

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed a 14-day “stay at home” executive order last night– this order goes into effect tonight (March 24th) at midnight.  The full impact to the construction industry in the city is unknown.

You can read the executive order here: Link

Some of our projects inside the city limits will be closed down during this 14 day period based on initial reports from the general contractors we are working for. We are working with the general contractors to determine which jobs are affected by this order and will be communicating to the teams individually.

We will continue to focus on the things that we can control.


Not much has changed since the last update.  Our team continues to exceed expectations and the majority of our workforce is continuing uninterrupted.  I would like to thank each of you again for your dedication.

As expected, the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is climbing rapidly as testing accelerates across the country.

The project in Ga that was closed down for a COVID-19 scare last week was restarted this morning.

There is a project in Athens, Ga that is proceeding despite a “shelter in place” order from the city.  It was determined by the GC that the construction work met the criteria for essential activity.  This may not be the case in other cities if they issue similar orders.

The situation is different in each state so the updates are broken out below.


There were widespread rumors all day today that Georgia Governor Kemp was going to issue a “Shelter in Place” order for Georgia.  This proved to be inaccurate with the exception of “high risk” individuals.

His press conference can be viewed here: Link

Check the Georgia Department of Public Health for updates: Link

South Carolina

Governor McMaster had a press conference today.  Other than the obvious impacts for schools, restaurants, and bars, there is nothing of note for the construction industry.  He has recommended that groups of 3 or more are broken up.

His press conference can be viewed here: Link – The press conference actually starts at minute 21 of the video based on the most recent update.

One of our clients has delayed current projects in their live facilities that has impacted our South Carolina workforce.  It is our hope that these projects will resume soon but no updates are currently available.

North Carolina

The state of North Carolina has closed schools, limited social gatherings, and closed some businesses.  So far, there have not been widespread impacts to the construction industry.

North Carolina updates can be found here: Link

One of our clients has delayed current projects in their live facilities that has impacted our North Carolina workforce.  It is our hope that these projects will resume soon but no updates are currently available.


Situation updates can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health found here: Link

State guidelines are similar to other states and do not largely impact construction at this time.  The situation is rapidly changing so check the website for updates if you are interested.


I am inspired by the way the Allison-Smith Company family takes care of each other.  Two out of three conversations I have had in the last week are related to what we can do for the construction workforce.  Our management team has been working with the IBEW, AECA, and NECA on temporary plans during these unprecedented times.  There is no doubt that this virus will impact workers, the company, and the economy overall but we are working hard to minimize the impact.


Many of our office employees are going to be working from home to help limit the spread of the virus.  We have been testing this over the last week with great success and we will be able to continue to provide world class support to the project teams.

Material Availability:

Our vendors have confirmed that they are up and running 100% and that material availability is not a problem.  They have their fleet of trucks running and can operate normally.  Please contact your PM if you experience any material availability or delivery problems.

IBEW / NECA Agreement:

The IBEW and NECA have come to an agreement in recognition of the threat of the current coronavirus situation.

Link to Document: Link

Project Updates:

So far, we have seen a very small impact to our overall project workload.  There have been a few cases where clients have shut down “non critical” work and one case where work was shut down due to a suspected COVID-19 case.  If we keep up with our mitigation plans, we can limit the overall impact of the virus.

Bid activity remains strong and projects that are in the pipeline are still on schedule to start.  Our GC community has been open and honest with their communication with us.


The city of Atlanta has temporarily suspended field inspections.  They are still processing permits and have asked us to continue to schedule inspections.  Please communicate this to the GCs you are working for if the project is in the city of Atlanta.  Currently, there are no impacts to the other jurisdictions.