On Friday, May 1st, the Las Vegas Review Journal attempted to pull a fast onepull a fast one and, in reporting that the Southern Nevada Health District would start “voluntary” COVID-19 testing of Mortenson / McCarthy workers, managed to put in the not so little statistic that “there have been 16 positive cases of coronavirus identified on the site.” Now, this space has to ask, is Allegiant Stadium itself contaminated with COVID-19?
That number of COVID-19-afflicted workers affirms something this blogger and other observers have wondered: if the initial number of media reports of Allegiant Stadium workers with COVID actually represented a larger number of infected contractors? That speculation grew as photo after video surfaced of Las Vegas Stadium / Allegiant Stadium workers not following proper social distancing policy, even as the builder Mortenson / McCarthy said they were in press releases.
Mortenson / McCarthy Sought Help Of Southern Nevada Health District In Testing Workers
In a statement, Mortenson / McCarthy announced it asked for the help of the Southern Nevada Health DistrictSouthern Nevada Health District in testing workers after a team of electricians were found to have contracted the virus, thus causing the infected workers count to jump to 16. This is what the Raiders Stadium Builder wrote:
Mortenson / McCarthy’s highest priority on the Allegiant Stadium project is the health and safety of our team members, project partners and the community. To that end, we have implemented and have been following a thorough job site protocol including social distancing to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. As part of a larger community tracing effort, we are collaborating with Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) representatives to investigate COVID-19 cases involving workers on the project.
We have identified new cases over the past few weeks mostly localized in the team of electricians working on site. For the health and safety of everyone we work with, we have requested assistance from SNHD representatives to conduct targeted, voluntary on-site workforce testing during the week of May 4. This testing will help us better understand the nature of these cases and enable us to make further decisions.
Since the onset of COVID-19, more than 4000 craft workers and various trade partners and vendors have been on site. We continue to follow guidance on COVID-19 issued by the CDC along with local, state, and federal authorities and implement strict health and safety protocols. Our team will make changes and adjustments as needed or identified to help protect everyone on the Allegiant Stadium project.
The sentence, “Since the onset of COVID-19, more than 4000 craft workers and various trade partners and vendors have been on site,” should cause alarm, because none of those workers were tested. If 16 workers were found to have COVID-19, and the latest not one person, but a “ team of electricians working on site”, then that random development would seem to point to a larger problem with Allegiant Stadium, itself.
If “4,000 craft workers and various trade partners and vendors have been on site” then that means their hands have been on many parts of the stadium: drywall, plastics, metals, and wiring. It means that port-o-potties were set up in the stadium, and frequently used. In all, that spells many thousands of times a worker unknowingly infected with COVID-19 could pass the virus on to others just by working at the stadium. Have doubts? Let’s take a look at the number of ways it is written that COVID-19 could pass through a building:
COVID-19 Virus Can Spread Through A Building’s Pipes
According to Rachael Rettner In “Can the new coronavirus spread through building pipes?” in Live Science, February 11, 2020, “there has been at least one instance of a coronavirus spreading through pipes,” she writes.
“In 2003, during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS (which is also caused by a coronavirus) officials found that the virus was likely transmitted in a Hong Kong apartment tower called Amoy Gardens through faulty plumbing, according to the World Health Organization.
This happened because the SARS coronavirus could get into feces and thus into raw sewage. The pipes that carry raw sewage are “usually kept separate from people,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious-disease specialist and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore. But if there are leaks or breaches in the pipes, it could allow people to be exposed. For example a faulty piping system could allow the virus to become “aerosolized” out of a pipe and get into the surrounding air, Adalja said.”
And COVID-19 virus infection tests have also found the Coronavirus present in patients’ stool, which suggests the virus may be able to spread through fecal contamination. Taking our port-o-potty example into consideration, that means an Allegiant Stadium worker could pass on the virus to another worker who may use a port-o-potty that was not disinfected. To date, Mortenson-McCarthy has not had a policy of working to clean any part of the stadium to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19, let alone disinfect its port-o-potties on a daily basis. So, the chance that COVID-19 could spread in this way is active.
NBA Arenas Were Entirely Sanitized After Two Players Were Found To Have COVID-19
And The Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association worked to have their entire Golden 1 Center arena sanitized after every game, concert and event, and that included including player and staff spaces, according to The Sacramento Bee. While Mortenson / McCarthy said that it provided hand-sanitizing stations at Allegiant Stadium, there was no stated effort to have every stadium work area sanitized on a daily basis.
Some Stadium Construction Projects Have Been Stopped Since The Advent Of COVID-19
While the Las Vegas Stadium and SoFi Stadium in America, and a number of stadium construction projects around the world have continued, WooSox Stadium construction in Worcester, Mass was stopped due to the coronavirus spreadwas stopped due to the coronavirus spread. “We want nothing more than for Polar Park to be a point of pride for the people of Worcester and the commonwealth – including the many local skilled construction workers who are putting their heart and soul into this ballpark,” the Worcester Red Sox said in a statement. “We concur with our partners that a temporary halt gives our community the best opportunity to permanently contain this destructive virus.”
Time will tell if the State of Nevada, The Las Vegas Stadium Authority, and The Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL will agree. This blogger has a feeling it would only happen after a larger number of workers than 16 tests positive for COVID-19. They should have stopped it when the first worker did.