COVID-19 Updates and Resources
California is allocating COVID-19 vaccines as they become available to ensure equitable distribution.
California’s Vaccination Plan
- Vaccination plans for each county are available at county websites.
Several resources that have been updated. Please make sure you are using the most recent versions of this information.
- Updated Cal OSHA Guidance Document: COVID-19 Daily Checklist for Agricultural Employers
- Updated Cal OSHA Guidance Document: COVID-19 General Checklist for Agricultural Employers
- Updated Cal OSHA Guidance Document: COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees
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.
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.
Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (click here)
Groups Collaborating to Provide Information and Updates USDA Update
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.
- Emergency Prevention Measures for Physical (Social) Distancing in Food Manufacturing Facilities as Related to COVID-19
- Food Industry Recommended Protocols When Employee/Customer Tests Positive for COVID-19 (V3 linked to from the FDA guidance- V4, linked, is updated to align with the latest from CDC)
- Screening Food Industry Employees for COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure
- Proper Usage of Face Masks
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:
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a Rumor control page to provide ground truth on rumors and facts. The page can be found here.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Homeland Security Administration’s Cyber. Released this week Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Conformed COVID-19.
- Also available from CDC are “do’s” and “don’ts” regarding best safety practices for persons who have been exposure to COVID-19.
- Last but not least, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has provided an updated list of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) suppliers.
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
2. Coronavirus Relief Resources for US Business Owners
3. Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Checklist
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