Resources

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

 

California’s Vaccination Plan

California is allocating COVID-19 vaccines as they become available to ensure equitable distribution.
Understanding New Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations
 
Cal/OSHA emergency regulations requiring employers to protect workers from hazards related to COVID-19 are now in effect following their approval November 30 by the Office of Administrative Law. As emergency standards, these regulations become effective immediately.

The emergency standards apply to most workers in California not covered by Cal/OSHA’s Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard. The regulations require that employers implement a site-specific written COVID-19 prevention program to address COVID-19 health hazards, correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions and provide face coverings. When there are multiple COVID-19 infections or outbreaks at the worksite, employers must provide COVID-19 testing and notify public health departments. The regulations also require accurate recordkeeping and reporting of COVID-19 cases.

The official new regulations are posted at the three links below:
 
https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/noticeNov2020-COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency.pdf
https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-FOE.pdf
https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-txtbrdconsider.pdf
 
Many business entities and employers have been scrambling to understand the new regulations passed last week. Several items are available to assist, including a Frequently Asked Questions document, a press release just posted on the Cal/OSHA website and a one-page fact sheet.
 
Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Several resources that have been updated. Please make sure you are using the most recent versions of this information.


Update from USDA regarding Efforts to Address Food and Agriculture Sector PPE Challenges

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is reminding us to review this FEMA Fact Sheet:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Addressing PPE Needs in Non-Healthcare Setting, which summarizes how organizations should consider and manage their personal protective equipment (PPE) needs while ensuring the protection of workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic response.  

CDFA has communicated with the National Emergency Management Association, and they have affirmed the process laid out in this document for critical infrastructure PPE and cloth face covering needs as described below:
 
For PPE and Cloth Face Covering needs: if suppliers are unable to provide for your needs, and the PPE is urgently required, submit a request for assistance to your state emergency management agency. 


Updates to County Ordinances
Click here for the updated county ordinance list as of May 8, 2020. 


New Guidance for Businesses Issued as State Begins Process of Reopening
Things continue to change rapidly as the Governor announced new executive orders as the state moves into Phase 2 of modifying the state’s stay-at-home order beginning May 8th. The recommendation is for each business to review the new guidance and prepare a plan based on the guidance for their industry and put it into action. New guidance for Agriculture and Livestock is available here.


Additional Relief Package Signed by President Trump
As most of you know, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act into law. The bill provides $310 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and makes agricultural enterprises eligible for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. However, it is expected this funding will run out quickly, as it is first come, first serve. Below, are links to apply for these grants. Farmers and other small businesses are encouraged to establish a relationship with an eligible bank or credit institution to begin the process.

Please note that unlike PPP, applications for the EIDL program are made directly to SBA.

•   Paycheck Protection Program
•   Economic Injury Disaster Program
•   Any small business with fewer than 500 employees is eligible to apply—this program is inclusive of sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and private contractors.
•   The EIDL advance program will issue grants of up to $10,000 that do not need to be repaid.


OSHA Update

Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  (click here)

Updated PPE Supplier List

CDFA has updated its list of PPE suppliers. Click here for the updated list dated April 22. 
 

OSHA Update

Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)  (click here)

Groups Collaborating to Provide Information and Updates USDA Update

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, several associations and alliances are forming throughout the food and agriculture industry to get better guidance to producers and eliminate confusing, conflicting directives.  We aren’t all the way there yet, but a few key groups are emerging to address the situation.

Once such alliance is the Food and Beverage Issue Alliance (FBIA).  You can access their website here. The associations involved are listed prominently on the homepage of this website. Membership ranges from groups representing retailers and foodservice distributors to an alphabet soup of food product associations including produce, eggs, canned goods and more. 
The FBIA has put together some extremely valuable summaries of guidance documents spanning a range of topics. We are linking to a few of those documents here. 

It may be a good idea to bookmark this website and utilize it as you are developing or updating your own policies.
Multiple government agencies are also working closely together to ensure accurate information is being shared with businesses.  Recent updates include those posted below: 

USDA Update
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also issued some information for employers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 incorporating information from the Centers for Disease Control. The information can be found here.

Resources Available from UC Davis Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
We wanted to remind you of this resource available from the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at UC Davis. This resource provides many print, audio and video resources along with a new employer checklist. Resources are available in English and Spanish.  (click here)


Cal-OSHA Issues Updated Safety and Health Guidance

Over the weekend the California Department of Industrial Relations Divison of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) issued an updated Safety and Health Guidance for use by agricultural employers and employees to prevent infection of COVID-19. The guidance does not introduce any new legal obligations, but because COVID-19 is widespread in the community, most California workplaces must consider the disease a workplace hazard. Several links to information and Q&A are included in the document.

Agricultural works who normally wear Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) are expected to continue this practice. We received a list of suppliers of PPE from the Department of Food and Agriculture which you can access here.



Navigating the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for Businesses

The resources below are designed to help businesses understand details of this new legislation passed by Congress last week and include information on the Paycheck Protection Program, small business interruption loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Emergency Loans and additional relief programs. At the top of the list is an excellent resource that provides FAQs regarding the Family Care Act
1. Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
2. Coronavirus Relief Resources for US Business Owners
3. Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Checklist


Sample Letter for Employees


Guidance for Safeguarding 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.
  1. COVID-19 Resources for Agriculture from the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety
  2. Advisory for Agricultural Worker Protection During COVID-19 Crisis
  3. 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.

Sample Letter to Employees

 

CDFA Website Adds Coronavirus Resource Section

The 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

California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association

 

__________________________________________________________________________

Click the links below to view various resources.


SAFE Industry Outreach: Education & Seminars
Bioterrorism Act
Bioterrorism Recordkeeping
NGFA Comprehensive Guidance Document
FSMA Informational Seminar March 2016 Seminar Materials
FSMA Informational Seminar Binder Cover
FSMA Informational Seminar Agenda
FSMA Seminar Table of Contents
NGFA 210 Active Member Benefit Form
FSPCA Flyer
FDA FSMA Fact Sheet
Presentations
FSMA Overview
CGMPs and Preventive Controls Overview
CGMPs Details
Preventive Controls Details
Supply Chain Program Details
Review of Records
FSPCA Other Information Resources
FSMA Presentation – Holland
CDFA Program Update & SAFE FSMA Readiness & Self-Assessment Checklists
CDFA Program Update
Additional FDA Information
FDA Registration of Food Facilities
FDA Reinspection and Recall Fees & FSMA Technical Assistance Network Information
FDA Key Requirements Final Rule on Preventive Controls for Animal Food
Almond Hullers Educational Seminar July 2015 Presentations
Almond Hullers Educational Seminar
Almond Hull Enforcement Program
Almond Hull Quality Assurance Sample Procedure
Processor Quality Control
Nutritionist Perspective on Almond Hulls as a Feed