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According to the Boston Globe, all permitted construction projects in Newton Mass., which is seven miles west of downtown Boston, are set to come back to life if crews follow social distancing and other measures to protect against the coronavirus, The decision was made by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller. The mayor's move is not in complete agreement with guidelines issued by the state's Governor Charlie Baker, but the town believes stopping all remodeling projects was leading to homeowner displacements.

In Newton, construction can resume if project owners have a building permit, and workers follow measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. The workers also must wear face coverings wherever they are not able to remain at least 6 feet apart, Fuller said in the statement.

Contractors or owners must provide the city’s Inspectional Services Department a signed form acknowledging “they understand and will follow Newton’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Construction Sites,” Fuller said.

“Newton’s inspectors will do unannounced visits to job sites as well as routine inspections to ensure compliance,” Fuller said in the statement. Fuller said she made the changes in Newton after Governor Charlie Baker on Monday updated his guidance on essential services where physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, and cleaning can be maintained.

Baker’s warning came days after he extended his stay-at-home advisory for residents and closure of non-essential businesses to May 18. According to the state, construction is considered an essential service if it is related to infrastructure or to products, services, and the supply chain in COVID-19 relief efforts.

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