On March 19, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a list identifying workers in certain industries as essential critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 response.
The list, meant to be advisory in nature, was created to clarify which workers are deemed essential during the COVID-19 crisis, following a statement by President Donald Trump on March 16. The President said, “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare workers and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
In addition to healthcare, pharmaceutical and food industry workers, the list released by CISA also identified workers in other critical infrastructure industries, including those “who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including timber, paper and other wood products.”
Also included on the list were truck drivers supporting infrastructure and the manufacturers and distributors “of packaging materials, pallets, crated, containers and supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations.”
It’s important to note that while these federal guidelines are advisory, states are also setting their own rules about what kinds of business activities can continue to operate in physical locations, so be sure to check your state’s guidelines. Check out the latest local COVID-19 restrictions and impacts on the forest products sector at https://forestresources.org/impact-of-covid-19-on-the-forest-products-industry.