Coronavirus causing supply shortage for construction workers

The CDC issued a new warning about the rapid spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus here in the United States. Officials said it could soon cause disruptions to daily life on the local level.

Many local construction companies in Georgia said they are already feeling that disruption. Some business owners said they are not able to order certain supplies to keep their workers safe on the job.

Specifically, they said the face masks workers need every single day are now out of stock because they are what many people are buying to keep the coronavirus away.

Steve Williams of New South Construction supply said they're down to the last few boxes of the N95 respirator masks.

The business, located in Tucker, recently worked with the Rotary Club to send hundreds of these masks to doctors and patients in China affected by the coronavirus, but, giving that help now has them in a bind.

We donated a good portion of our inventory, and then we went to reorder with our supplier, and we got a message that they're out of stock," said Steve Williams.

Williams said many other construction companies in the community are feeling the pinch of this shortage too as the demand for these special masks is skyrocketing.

"More than the profit or the money, we're concerned about the safety of our workers and our customers, and we definitely want the guys in the field to be equipped with the right equipment," said Williams. "We don't want to sell them short," he said of the masks that many workers need to protect them from hazardous materials on the job.

What's more frustrating to many is that health officials said these masks are not effective in fending off the coronavirus.

Williams said with no end to the shortage in sight, he's not sure how the company will protect its own workers in the months to come.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it, but I suspect we won't be the only ones with this issue," said Williams.

He said, in the end, he is proud his company donated the inventory they could to help those in need.