Emergency Response Services are Available
Transportation Workers are Essential Support Functions
As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th, the President 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.”
Please find guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response:
Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19.
Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.
Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible at the store and location level if the store employs less than 500 workers. This means each store location could be eligible.
A Marine Safety Information Bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard:
Maintaining Maritime Commerce and Identification of Essential Maritime Critical Infrastructure Workers
The uninterrupted flow of commerce on our Marine Transportation System (MTS) is critical to both National Security and economic vitality. During the ongoing national emergency, it is paramount that we safeguard the continued operation of the MTS in the face of the acute and evolving threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The MTS, which provides more than 90 percent of the domestic supply chain, is dependent on an extensive support network comprised of workers from both the private and public sectors.
On March 19, 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a memorandum that developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security (The most current version can be found: https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19). The CISA memorandum and this MSIB are advisory in nature and quarantine orders and their enforcement are ultimately up to State and local officials. This MSIB should be used to provide further clarification when making determinations regarding which MTS workers are considered essential in regions impacted by COVID-19 quarantine and shelter-in-place orders.
Though not meant to be an exhaustive list, the following personnel are essential for sustaining the continuous flow of maritime commerce:
A message from USDA re COVID-19:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks a united effort with our industry partners in preventing the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to produce safe food for consumers. We provide this updated guidance to our industry partners in accordance with the President’s March 13, 2020 Proclamation declaring a National Emergency, the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control both declaring that COVID-19 is a pandemic, and the Office of Management and Budget March 17, 2020 Guidance, “Federal Agency Operational Alignment to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19”. COVID-19 remains a fluid situation, and thus, USDA will continue to monitor and implement Federal government and applicable public health authorities’ guidance and may revise the following accordingly.
During this pandemic, industry employees may orally ask USDA employees questions concerning COVID-19 prior to allowing entrance into the facility. USDA permits industry to orally ask the following:
Protecting Inland Shores against Covid-19
On March 13th, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin in the wake of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are two (2) very important messages:
- Symptoms to look for, and
- Reporting illness requirements
An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting mariners and maritime commerce. This MSIB serves as a reminder that the illness of persons on board a vessel must be reported to both the Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reporting delays create significant challenges to protect persons on board vessels and, more broadly, maintain an effective Marine Transportation System. Vessels or masters that do not immediately report illness or death among passengers or crew may face delays and disruption to passenger and cargo operations including a requirement to return to the previous port after sailing. Additionally, vessels and masters are subject to Coast Guard enforcement action, which include civil penalties, vessel detentions, and criminal liability.