COVID-19 Updates and Resources
Sample Letter for Employees
A number of resources are now being circulated to assist businesses – particularly those in the food and agriculture sector deemed essential. It is extremely important in maintaining the U.S. food supply that precautions are taken to ensure workers are safe. The links below go to several resources to provide employers with information on how to manage employees and what precautions need to be taken during this COVID-19 situation.
Guidance for Safeguarding Employees
- COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture from the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
- Advisory for Agricultural Worker Protection During COVID-19 Crisis
- Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID- 19
Additional News Regarding Agriculture Employees
Coronavirus Testing for Food Industry: A group of associations representing consumer packaged goods, retail and foodservice is pressing the Administration to prioritize testing of workers. United Fresh Produce Association joined in signing a letter stating the following: We support continued priority testing to healthcare providers and first responders. As testing capabilities expand, we respectfully request that you prioritize consumer packaged goods manufacturing and retail employees as you administer testing. This critical function during this crisis helps assure the products consumers want and need are available to them when they go the store.
Updated Guidance on Essential Infrastructure: The National Grain and Feed Association forwarded an updated version of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance designating Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers. Additions include the specific inclusion of employees engaged in “agribusiness support services” and “grain and oilseed handling, processing and distribution” which can be found in bullet #4 under Food and Agriculture.
Revised Document: The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published version 3.0 of their Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross Issues Statement
Employer Resources: Sample Letter for Employees of Essential Services As you may be aware, California Governor Newsom yesterday issued a statewide Stay at Home Order for all residents in California. We recognize this order may create some challenges and confusion for both employers and employees of businesses deemed as essential in this crisis.
We are providing below a sample letter that California food and agriculture businesses may find useful to share with employees. We encourage you to personalize this letter to provide your employees with any specific information about additional safety precautions in place to protect their health and to outline any services, such as childcare, that may be available to them.
Although the Governor’s order directs all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, it specifically states this does not apply to employees of operations determined critical infrastructure sectors, which includes agriculture. Yesterday, we provided information from the Department of Homeland Security outlining what types of businesses qualify for exemptions from orders such as the one issued in California yesterday. You can find that list here.
Governor Newsom has emphasized that Californians working in 16 critical infrastructure sectors-which includes food and agriculture-may continue their work because of the importance of these sectors to Californians' health and well-being. It is critically importantly the food supply be maintained.
CDFA Website Adds Coronavirus Resource SectionThe California Department of Food and Agriculture has added a new section to its website with information for California's agriculture industry. This can be found here. We suggest you bookmark this and visit regularly for updates.
Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency – For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a notice and accompanying waiver for drivers who might have their licenses or medical screenings lapse over the next few months due to closure of DMVs/medical facilities. Had to have current credentials as of March 1st. Waiver runs through June 30th.
Notice of Enforcement Policy – Notice of Enforcement Policy
Waiver - Waiver
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Issues Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
CGFA has just received the attached announcement as the nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19. The President has issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that:
"If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker List Updated
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released Version 3.0 of its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers list. Version 3.0 provides clarity around a range of positions needed to support the critical infrastructure functions laid out in the original guidance and Version 2.0.
Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID- 19
COVID-19 Resources for the Grain and Feed Industry
Below is a list of available COVID-19 resources for your industry from various trade associations and government agencies. We suggest you visit these sites often for updated information. We will continue to provide links in future emails and will add others we become aware of that may also be of value.
American Feed Industry Association (AFIA)
Coronavirus: News & Resources to Help Members Weather this Public Health Crisis
Note: This is a members only page.
National Grain and Feed Association
COVID-19 Industry Resources
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—Resources for Businesses and Employers
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
California State Coronavirus Website
California Coronavirus Response
California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Employers and Workers
UC Berkeley Labor Occupational Health Program
COVID-19 Worker Health Resources
Click the links below to view various resources.
SAFE Industry Outreach: Education & Seminars