Construction worker on UTC project tested positive for coronavirus

Renovation of old Lupton Library to resume Monday

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / The Lupton Building is seen on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Thursday, May 7, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Work had to be halted at a construction site on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus last week after a construction worker tested positive for COVID-19.

EMJ Construction has been leading the renovations of Lupton Hall, formerly Lupton Library, into administrative offices and classrooms for months. On Wednesday, April 29, a subcontractor notified the company that an employee had tested positive, according to EMJ Construction President Jack Bowen.

The next day, an EMJ employee also tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We decided it was best to close the job down for the week," Bowen said. "What's going on on the job site right now is a result of us having a plan. We implemented our plan."

When the coronavirus first started spreading across the country, Bowen said EMJ developed contingencies for situations like these, as well as safety measures and social distancing guidelines to enforce on work sites.